Jailed man sues lawyer for not talking to him

Kelly Holleran Oct. 21, 2008, 4:00am

An inmate in the Madison County Jail has filed suit against his defense lawyer and the Madison County public defender, claiming his lawyer has not represented him well and the public defender has refused to assign another lawyer to his case.

Hubert D. Hill, the inmate, claims after he was arrested in November 2006 and charged with illegal possession of pharmaceutical prescription, Morgan Scroggins was assigned to his case.

"From the first docket call in court the defendant would not set down and talk to me about any evidence or statements against me," Hill wrote in the lawsuit filed Oct. 15 in Madison County Circuit Court. "This conduct continued month after month until plaintiff fired the defendant."

Hill asked to be assigned another defender three months later. But Madison County Public Defender John Rekowski assigned Scroggins to the case again, the suit states.

"From the time of the defendants return to plaintiff's case, the same conduct started happening again," Hill wrote.

Hill claims he tried to talk to Scroggins "about someone wearing a wire and detectives questioning him," but received no response.

Scroggins has been Hill's lawyer for 20 of the last 23 months and has yet to ask him any questions about his case, the suit states.

Hill has complained to Rekowski about Scroggins three times to no avail, he claims.

"Defendant Rokowski had it in his power and owed plaintiff the duty to remove defendant Mr. Scroggins from plaintiff's case," the suit states.

Hill claims his First and 14th Amendment rights have been violated as a result of Scroggins's and Rekowski's actions.

Hill seeks a declaratory judgment regarding Scroggins's duty to Hill and unspecified punitive damages.

He also seeks injunctive relief that would remove Scroggins from Hill's case and would have a special public defender assigned to his case.

Hill is representing himself.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-969.

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