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Supreme Court ruling to impact Grandview budget

GRANDVIEW - The Washington State Supreme Court recently made a decision that will have a fiscal impact on municipal courts.

That's according to Attorney Quinn Plant, who last night told the Grandview City Council the court has set a new standard for indigent defense.

Plant said the court's ruling will be in effect beginning Sept. 1.

That ruling, he said, states public defenders are to handle no more than 400 cases each year.

"We (Menke Jackson Beyer Ehlis & Harper, LLP) contract with Everett Law Firm," said Plant, whose law firm represents the city of Grandview, as well as Sunnyside.

He said he has discussed with the firm contracted for Grandview's public defense counsel the number of cases public defenders handle in the city of Grandview. That number exceeds 400 cases per year.

As a result, said Plant, the fees for public defenders may double because additional attorneys mean additional legal fees for the city.

Plant said his firm is exploring other options for the city of Grandview.

Mayor Norm Childress asked him if those options might be presented during the Grandview City Council's retreat scheduled for Tuesday, July 24.

Plant said he could have a list of options available for the council to review at that time.

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