Fuller v. Oregon

LOCATION: Matlock Residence

DOCKET NO.: 73-5280
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: 417 US 40 (1974)
ARGUED: Mar 26, 1974
DECIDED: May 20, 1974

Gillette -
J. Marvin Kuhn -

Facts of the case


Media for Fuller v. Oregon

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 26, 1974 in Fuller v. Oregon

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 20, 1974 in Fuller v. Oregon

Potter Stewart:

The second opinion and judgment that I have for the Court this morning is in the case of Prince Eric Fuller, petitioner against the state of Oregon, respondent, number 73-5280, a case which is here on writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals of the state of Oregon.

The petitioner in this case was indigent at the time he was brought to Oregon State Court upon serious criminal charges.

The state provided a lawyer to represent him as well as a professional investigator to aid in his defense.

He ultimately pleaded guilty to one of the charges against him and was placed on probation.

One of the conditions of this probation was that he repay to the state the cause of his legal defense in the event that he becomes able to make these payments without hardship.

This condition was imposed under the authority of a state statute and it's constitutional validity was upheld on appeal in the Oregon courts.

The petitioner attacks the state's recoupment statute upon two separate constitutional grounds.

First he contends that the classifications made by the recoupment statute, violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

And second, he argues that the recoupment statute impairs the right of an indigent to the effective representation of counsel under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments.

For the reasons set out in some detail in a written opinion filed today with the clerk, we reject both of these claims and accordingly we affirm the judgment of the Oregon court.

Mr. Justice Douglas has filed a separate opinion concurring in the judgment and Mr. Justice Marshall has filed a dissenting opinion which Mr. Justice Brennan has joined.