2006 Louisiana Laws - RS 15:145 — Powers and duties of the judicial district indigent defender boards
§145. Powers and duties of the judicial district indigent defender boards
A. Each district board shall maintain a current panel of volunteer attorneys licensed to practice law in this state and shall additionally maintain a current panel of nonvolunteer attorneys under the age of fifty-five licensed to practice law in this state and residing in the judicial district. The panel of nonvolunteer attorneys shall not include any attorney who has been licensed to practice in this state for thirty or more years.
B. Each district board shall select one of the following procedures or any combination thereof for providing counsel for indigent defendants:
(1)(a) Appointment by the court from a list provided by the district board of volunteer attorneys licensed to practice law in this state. In the event of an inadequate number of volunteer attorneys, appointment shall be from a list provided by the district board of nonvolunteer attorneys as provided in Subsection A of this Section. The court may delegate appointing power to the district board.
(b) All appointments shall be on a successive basis. Deviations from the panel list shall be permitted only to comply with Article 512 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and in exceptional circumstances upon approval of the district board.
(2)(a) The district board may employ a chief indigent defender and such assistants and supporting personnel as it deems necessary. The chief indigent defender shall be appointed for a period of three years and may not be a member of the board. The salaries of the chief indigent defender and all assistants and supporting personnel shall be fixed by the district board. All employees of the board shall possess such powers and duties as prescribed by the district board and consistent with the Code of Professional Responsibility.
(b) The chief indigent defender may in the event of conflicts of interest, inadequate personnel or for any other reason approved by the board request that the court appoint counsel to represent indigent defendants pursuant to Section 145(B)(1).
(3) The district board may enter into a contract or contracts, on such terms and conditions as it deems advisable, with one or more attorneys licensed to practice law in this state to provide counsel for indigent defendants.
(4) In a judicial district comprising more than one parish, the board may select the method of providing counsel for indigents on an individual parish basis.
C. The district board shall adopt rules for the transaction of business and shall keep an accurate record of all its proceedings and official actions. All papers, documents, and records of the board shall be filed at the domicile of the board.
D. The district board shall keep accurate records of the information set forth in R.S. 15:143(B) and shall furnish such information to the state board upon request.
E.(1) The district board may expend funds for its necessary expenses, including compensating its employees and reimbursing the district board members for actual expenses in traveling to and from district board meetings and otherwise incurred while on district board business.
(2) In addition, members of the Twenty-ninth Judicial District Indigent Defender Board may be paid per diem for each day the member attends a board meeting, which per diem shall be at the same rate as that paid to members of the legislature.
(3) In addition, in any parish with a population greater than four hundred fifty thousand according to the latest federal decennial census, the members of the parish indigent defender board may be paid per diem for each day the member attends a board meeting, which per diem shall be at the same rate as that paid to members of the legislature.
F. The district board may accept, receive, and use public or private grants. Copies of applications for public or private grants shall be forwarded to the state board.
G. The district board shall possess such other authority as is necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of this Code Title.
H. Each indigent defender board shall adopt rules to establish a policy of selecting a proportionate number of minority and women lawyers in accordance with the makeup of the general population of the district, to the extent that minority and women lawyers are available and otherwise eligible for selection within the district in accordance with the provisions of this Section. Any citizen of majority age shall have a cause of action to enjoin the activities of a board for failure to comply with this provision.
Added by Acts 1975, No. 820, §1. Amended by Acts 1976, No. 653, §1; Acts 1983, No. 16, §1; Acts 1986, No. 94, §1, eff. June 23, 1986; Acts 1990, No. 1044, §1; Acts 1999, No. 91, §1; Acts 2004, No. 142, §1.
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