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Kowalski v. Tesmer

Docket No.: 03-407
Certiorari Granted: Jan 20 2004
Argued: October 4, 2004
Decided: December 13, 2004

Topics:

Article 3, Section 2, Paragraph 1: Case or Controversy Requirement, Judicial Power, Standing to Sue, Article I, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, First Amendment, Medicaid, Presentment Clause, RICO, Sixth Amendment, abuse of discretion, antitrust, criminal procedure, habeas, habeas corpus, ineffective assistance of counsel, sentencing guidelines, separation of powers

PartyNames: John F. Kowalski, Judge, 26th Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan, et al. v. John C. Tesmer, et al.
Petitioner: John F. Kowalski, Judge, 26th Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan, et al.
Respondent: John C. Tesmer, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Citation: 333 F3d 683
Supreme Court Docket

John F. Kowalski, Judge, 26th Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan, et al.
v.
John C. Tesmer, et al.
543 U.S. 125 (2004)
Question Presented:

The Michigan Constitution, Mich Const 1963, art I, ยง20, provides that a criminal defendant who pleads guilty shall not have an appeal of right and shall have a right to appointed appellate counsel ''as provided by law ." A Michigan statute, Michigan Compiled Law (MCL) 770.3a, provides, with significant listed exceptions, that criminal defendants who plead guilty shall not have appointed appellate counsel for discretionary appeals for review of the defendant's conviction or sentence. I. Does the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee a right to an appointed appellate attorney in a discretionary first appeal of an indigent criminal defendant convicted by a guilty plea? II. Do attorneys have third-party standing on behalf of potential future indigent criminal defendants to make a constitutional challenge to a state statute prohibiting appointment of appellate counsel in discretionary first appeals following convictions by guilty pleas where the federal courts properly abstained from hearing the claims of indigent criminal defendants themselves?

Question:

(1) Does the 14th Amendment guarantee an indigent criminal defendant convicted by a guilty plea the right to an appointed appellate attorney in a discretionary first appeal? (2) Do attorneys have third-party standing on behalf of potential indigent defendants to make a constitutional challenge to a state statute prohibiting appointment of appellate counsel in discretionary first appeals following convictions by guilty pleas?

Kowalski v. Tesmer
ORAL ARGUMENT

October 4 2004

Holding: reversed and remanded
Decision: Decision: 6 votes for Kowalski, 3 vote(s) against
Vote: 6-3

Kowalski v. Tesmer
Case Documents

1Slip Opinion in Kowalski v. Tesmer (Opinion by )
2Opinion in Kowalski v. Tesmer
3Opinion in Kowalski v. Tesmer
Additional documents for this case are pending review.