North Dakota HB 1023 Strikes provision that certain court fees must be used to contract for indigent defense.
North Dakota HB 1065 Clarifies that the cities are responsible for indigent defense services in all prosecutions for violations of city ordinances, whether in city court, district court, or on appeal.
Minnesota HB 988 Requires the court, prior to appointing a public defender, to inquire whether a prosecutor intends to certify a misdemeanor as a petty misdemeanor. Provides that if an offense is certified as a petty misdemeanor, a defendant would not be eligible for a public defender. Clarifies that only those persons with a statutory right to a public defender under law may request appointment of a public defender. Establishes criteria to determine eligibility for public defender representation based on the offense level charged and the defendant’s income: misdemeanor 125% of federal poverty guideline; gross misdemeanor 150%; felony 175%. Maintains current language allowing the court to also determine eligibility based on defendant’s ability to pay for private counsel with current income and liquid assets. Strikes language limiting applicant’s duty to disclose information about changes in financial circumstances that is only relevant to eligibility for a public defender; language that allows only the public defender representing the applicant to see information in the application; and language providing that the court has the sole duty to conduct a financial inquiry, not the public defender. Requires all district courts to use financial statement forms furnished by the state public defender. Authorizes the court to reduce the $75 copayment for public defender representation. Provides that the court shall not appoint a public defender if a defendant: is financially able to retain counsel but refuses to do so; refuses to execute the required financial statement or provide information; or waives appointment of a public defender. Provides that the chief appellate public defender represents persons pursuing an appeal or post-conviction relief and the district public defender represents persons in all other statutorily defined cases. Strikes language mandating continued representation of an arrested individual and maintains permissive language allowing the public defender discretion in such cases. Eliminates restrictions on how reimbursements collected from defendants may be used by a district public defender’s office. Adds language requiring a defendant who is or becomes able to make partial payments to reimburse the state for the cost of the public defender. Strikes language referring to reimbursement guidelines (which is repealed in section 9). Directs the court, in determining a defendant’s payment schedule, to consider the defendant’s financial statement application. Requires the court to evaluate a defendant’s ability to make partial payments if the court originally determined that the defendant was financially unable to afford counsel due to the private retainer fee. Provides that the Board of Public Defense must fund all items and services necessary to satisfy its obligations law. Provides that a county is not responsible for public defender costs, expect for costs currently paid by Hennepin County.
Active/Carried over in 2012
Michigan HB 4742 Creates statewide public defense commission. Require commission develop, implement, and administer public defense system. Specifies manner for attorney representation of indigent criminal and juvenile defendants and standards for the appointment of legal counsel.
Ohio HB 49 Provides that specified fees, costs, and fines that currently are deposited into the state treasury to the credit of funds that help pay for the defense of indigent criminal defendants be deposited instead into the municipal treasury to help compensate counsel appointed by the court to represent indigent defendants if the court that imposed the fees, costs, or fines is a municipal court that is not a county?operated municipal court and that appoints counsel for indigent defendants in a manner other than that in law.
Died in committee
Indiana HB 1454 Establishes a statutory right to counsel for a child who is alleged or adjudicated to be a child in need of services or the subject of a parent- child termination proceeding. Establishes the office of the state juvenile public defender. Provides for representation of indigent children in cases filed in a juvenile court under a plan developed by the office of the state juvenile public defender and approved by the supreme court. Provides for counties to distribute to the state the average net amount (after deducting certain reimbursements) that the counties spent for these services over a five year period.
Indiana HB 1456 Provides that if a person is represented by a public defender in a probation violation hearing and the court determines the person is able to pay for part of the costs of the representation, the court shall order the person to pay $100. Provides that a court may make a finding of ability to pay the costs of representation for a probation violation hearing.
Iowa HB 602 Provides that legal services for indigent persons contracted through the state public defender may be paid based on other than an hourly rate, including a fixed rate basis. Provides for the handling of appeals for indigent persons by the state appellate defender or by transfer of the case to a person under contract with the state public defender. Provides that the expenses of the public defender in determining the amount of restitution for a case include all expenses approved by the state public defender together with the attorney fees for the public defender. Specifies an exception to payment of fees for appointed counsel by the person filing or on whose behalf a petition for termination of parental rights is filed.
Kansas HB 2197 Allows a public defender to withdraw from a court-appointed case when the defender determines a conflict of interest exists or when the defender’s current caseload would preclude them from providing adequate representation to new or existing clients. Requires withdrawal be communicated to Chief Judge of the District Court. Provides any public defender, with the approval of the Executive Director of the State Board of Indigents Defense Services, would be allowed to accept misdemeanor or juvenile appointments not covered by contract or agreement in the district county of jurisdiction. Requires public defender keep a record of time spent on a case and submit the timesheet to the Executive Director of BIDS and the Clerk of the District Court of the county in which the case was heard.
Kansas HB 2305 Reduces the number of members of the State Board of Indigents Defense Services from nine to seven. Reduces the number of members required to be lawyers from five to four and the number required not to be lawyers from four to three. Allows a member to represent both a congressional district and a county with a population of over 100,000.
Minnesota HB 987 Eliminates restrictions on use of reimbursements received by the Board of Public Defense.
Minnesota SB 1027 Authorizing counties and contiguous county groups to withdraw from the statewide public defense system for a certain specified period and allowing renewal of election to withdraw. Requires state board of public defense and commissioner of management and budget notification. Requires withdrawing counties to agree to provide court-ordered representation of indigent people Requires advisory board formation for comprehensive plan development. Requires state board of public defense to transfer a portion of state funding to withdrawing counties. Requires continued chief appellate public defender continued representation in appeals.
Missouri SB 89 Abolishes the state public defender system and requires circuit courts to provide legal defense for indigents.
Nebraska LB 214 In those areas where public defenders are elected, converts election from partisan to nonpartisan.
North Dakota SB 2105 Requires Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents to provide legal counsel services to persons who refuse to retain their own counsel, if the court has determined that they are incompetent to represent themselves.