Public Defenders To Represent Mentally Ill; Meeting Monday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Mentally ill patients facing court-ordered involuntary commitment in central Kentucky will have attorneys at
their sides after a judge forced the state's public defenders to take the cases.

Fayette District Judge Joe Bouvier ordered the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy to take the cases after the office said it would stop handling civil commitment cases from Fayette County.

Public defenders withdrew from those cases earlier this month because of budget cuts passed by the General Assembly.

The arrangement may be a temporary one, though, as the public defenders and all six judges in Fayette District Court are scheduled to meet Monday about how to better handle the situation.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-13-08 1328EDT

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