INDIGENT DEFENSE SERVICES AMENDMENTS.

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 1020 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 3, 2016
AN ACT TO AMEND THE APPOINTMENT OF THE COMMISSION ON INDIGENT DEFENSE SERVICES AND TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO INDIGENT DEFENSE SERVICES, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY.
Intro. by Daughtry.

Status: Ref To Com On Judiciary II (Senate Action) (May 17 2016)

Bill History:

H 1020

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 3 2016 - More information

    Amends GS 7A-498.4, concerning appointment to the 13-member Commission on Indigent Services.  Now provides that the Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court appoint one active or former superior court judge, one district court judge, and also the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) (previously, only appointed one member); that the Governor appoint two members, with at least one being a nonattorney (previously appointed only one member);  that the General Assembly appoint three members (was, one) at the recommendation of the Senate President Pro Tempore, all attorneys, with one being recommended to the President Pro Tempore by the NC Public Defenders Association; that the General Assembly appoint three members (was, one), at the recommendation of the Speaker of the House, all attorneys, with one being recommended to the Speaker by the NC Advocates for Justice.  Deletes language that required the following entities to appoint a member to the Commission: the NC Public Defenders Association, the NC Academy of Trial Lawyers, the NC Association of Black Lawyers, the NC Association of Women Lawyers, and three members appointed by the Commission.  Provides that all appointed members will serve four-year terms. Excludes the Director of the AOC from the term limits. Makes conforming changes.

    Provides that current members of the Commission will serve out their time and specifies an appointment schedule for the new appointment configuration of the Commission.

    The above provisions are effective January 1, 2017. 

    Amends GS 7A-498.2 to provide that the Director of AOC may modify the Office of Indigent Defense Services budget and use funds appropriated to that Office only after direct consultation with a quorum of the Commission (was, without the approval of the Commission or the Office). Amends GS 7A-498.9 to require that the annual report on the Office of Indigent Defense Services also include (1) specific data on the total final costs of capital and potentially capital cases and (2) data regarding the determination to create any new satellite offices for capital defenders, including specified information. Effective July 1, 2016.

    Requires the Office of Indigent Defense Services to: (1) assess the need for new satellite offices to handle potentially capital cases at the trial level; (2) in consultation with the Conference of District Attorneys, determine changes that can be made to the current system of identifying those cases that merit the cost of a capital prosecution and defense and what steps can be taken to facilitate the appointment of local counsel in most cases; and (3) consider the establishment of regional public defender offices to assist in alleviating scheduling conflicts due to appointed attorneys being appointed to cases in multiple jurisdictions. Requires a report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety and the cochairs for the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Justice and Public Safety no later than March 15, 2017.


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