The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey represented Todd Dorcelus who faced charges in the Palisades Interstate Park Municipal Court and was denied a public defender by the municipal judge despite the fact that he filled out the application for a public defender and was income eligible. The judge questioned Mr. Dorcelus about his answers on the application and subsequently denied Mr. Dorcelus’s application based upon perceived discrepancies between Mr. Dorcelus’s oral answers and what was written on the application. The ACLU appealed to the Bergen County Superior Court on behalf of Mr. Dorcelus, arguing that he was wrongfully denied a public defender. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s office agreed that Mr. Dorcelus should have been granted a public defender and the case was remanded back to the Palisades Interstate Park Municipal Court.
- Dorcelus: Letter Brief (1.4 MB pdf)