Florida HB 7067 / SB 1016 / SB 7018 Re-creates Indigent Civil Defense Trust Fund within Justice Administrative Commission without modification. Repeals provisions that would have terminated the trust fund in 2012. (see also HB 7065 / SB 1014 / SB 7016)
Florida HB 443 / HB 7199 / SB 170 Requires that each public defender implement a system to electronically file court documents with the clerk of the court. Requires Florida Public Defender Association report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by a specified date on the progress made in implementing the electronic filing system.
Georgia HB 238 Reconstitutes and vacates all currently serving members of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council. Provides for appointing new members. Alters powers and duties of the council and council director, council’s responsibility to set policy and standards, and the director’s responsibility to develop rules and regulations to efficiently administer the provisions of the law related to public defenders. Provides director to appoint circuit public defenders and requires two-thirds vote of council to remove the chairperson of the council or to overturn the director’s decision regarding the removal of a circuit public defender. Requires certain annual reports be prepared by the director, rather than the council, and a copy sent to the Supreme Court. Changes provisions relating to the circuit public defender supervisory panel. Changes provisions relating to appointing attorneys in conflict of interest cases.
Maryland SB 515 Specifies that an individual whose assets and net annual income are less than 100% of the federal poverty guidelines may be determined eligible for services from the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) without an assessment. Clarifies that the District Court, a Circuit Court, and the Court of Special Appeals are prohibited from appointing an attorney through OPD to represent an indigent individual if (1) there is a conflict in legal representation in a matter involving multiple defendants and one of the defendants is being represented by or through OPD; or (2) OPD declines to provide representation to an indigent individual entitled to representation.
North Carolina HB 243 Provides fee charged by clerk for certificates under seal is waived for appointed attorneys representing indigent clients.
Virginia SB 902 Permits retired justices or judges to appear as counsel in cases in courts of the Commonwealth if (i) the retired justice or judge has been retired for at least two years and is not authorized for temporary recall by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, (ii) the retired justice or judge is appearing as counsel, pro bono, for an indigent person in a civil matter, (iii) such civil matter is assigned or referred to the retired justice or judge by a nonprofit legal aid program organized under the auspices of the Virginia State Bar, and (iv) the retired justice or judge is not an employee, officer, or board member of such nonprofit legal aid program.
Active/Carried over into 2012
Georgia HB 648 Implements HR 977 (Constitutional Amendment). Creates trust fund for indigent defense dollars collected by clerks. Provides and specifies certain fees and assessments are dedicated to funding legal services for indigent persons accused of crimes and delinquent acts. Provides such funds are to be remitted to the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council.
Georgia HB 977 (Constitutional Amendment) Creates trust fund for indigent defense dollars collected by clerks. Provides and specifies certain fees and assessments are dedicated to funding legal services for indigent persons accused of crimes and delinquent acts.
Approved by one chamber
West Virginia HB 3067 / SB 549 Increases certain civil filings fees currently collected by circuit courts, and impose a new docketing fee for unspecified civil appeals including family court appeals but not including Workers’ Comp cases or, presumably, actions in the Supreme Courts original jurisdiction, to be collected by the Court and paid, at its discretion, to either Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV) or into the Interest on Lawyer’s Trust Accounts (IOLTA) fund. Approved by full House, died in Senate Finance Committee.
West Virginia SB 568 Clarifies that an attorney from the public defender office shall be appointed by a judge in all cases where an attorney-at-law is required to be appointed for an eligible client. Approved by full Senate, died in House Judiciary Committee.
West Virginia SCR 79 Requests Joint Committee on Government and Finance study need for authorizing executive director of Public Defender Services control over public defender corporations. Approved by full Senate, died in House.
Died in committee
North Carolina SB 596 Expands state’s office of public defender system to every county in state. Realigns public defender districts accordingly.
Virginia HB 1570 / SB 908 Increases from $10 to $14 fee on most civil actions filed in trial courts to pay for free civil legal representation provided for the poor by a nonprofit legal aid program organized under the auspices of the Virginia State Bar. Changes from $9 to $13 the amount that, from such additional fee, is to be credited to the Virginia State Bar’s Legal Aid Services Fund.
West Virginia SB 482 Requires public defender corporations of all the judicial circuits to be centralized under the executive director of Public Defender Services and grants executive director rulemaking authority.