2013 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:165 - Methods of delivery of public defender services; selection of methods; emergency circumstances


LA Rev Stat § 15:165 What's This?

§165. Methods of delivery of public defender services; selection of methods; emergency circumstances

A. The method of delivery in each judicial district shall be approved to the extent that it is meeting or able to meet the performance standards and guidelines of the board. The board may change the method of delivery in order to ensure compliance with best practices reflected in the performance standards and guidelines.

B. The board shall approve the method of delivery of public defender services for each district upon consultation with and recommendations of the state public defender, the director of juvenile defender services, the regional director for the service region, where applicable, and the district public defenders from the following service delivery methods or any combination thereof:

(1)(a) Appointment by the district public defender from a list of competent attorneys licensed to practice law in this state and classified according to case-type certification level.

(b) All appointments shall be on a successive, rotational basis by case-type certification. Deviations from the board's list shall be permitted only to comply with Code of Criminal Procedure Article 512 and in exceptional circumstances upon approval of the board upon recommendation of the district public defender or regional director, where applicable.

(2) An independent public defender organization qualified with the United States Internal Revenue Service for an exemption from federal income tax under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code to provide counsel for indigent defendants. The salaries of the district public defender and all assistants and supporting personnel shall be fixed by the board in compliance with salary and compensation standards adopted pursuant to rule by the board.

(3) The board may authorize the district public defender or regional director, where applicable, to 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 in criminal proceedings.

(4) A full-time public defender office, staffed by full-time lawyers and support staff, or primarily full time with supplemental positions on a contract basis.

C. Any delivery model in existence prior to April 30, 2007, shall be presumed to be acceptable and meet standards guidelines pursuant to rules adopted by the board, and as provided by statute until the delivery model is proven not to meet those standards and guidelines.

D.(1) If, after reasonable assistance, providing of resources, and consultation with the board, the state public defender, or regional director, where applicable, the preexisting delivery model is still deemed unacceptable, the board shall determine upon consultation with the state public defender, the director of juvenile defender services, and the regional director, where applicable, the appropriate service delivery system to provide counsel for indigent defendants in criminal proceedings. Such a system shall be structured with due consideration for local variances from judicial district to judicial district within the region and shall, where necessary, establish satellite offices or part-time satellite offices to maintain easy access to clients in each judicial district within their purview.

(2) The board shall provide notice of a public hearing as provided in Paragraph (3) of this Subsection, to the district public defender, district advisory board, if applicable, and the chief judge of the judicial district prior to changing any delivery model as provided for by this Section and provide the public an opportunity to offer comment on the change in the delivery model.

(3) The public hearing provided for by this Subsection may be conducted at a regular meeting of the board provided proper notice is provided to the public as required by this Subsection.

E. An independent public defender organization qualified with the United States Internal Revenue Service for an exemption from federal income tax under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code existing as of August 15, 2007, may, with the approval of current local indigent defender boards of other judicial districts in its region, provide administration, management, and supervision of services and budgets for those districts, with due consideration for local variances from judicial district to judicial district within the region, and establish, where necessary, satellite offices or part-time satellite offices to maintain easy access to clients in each judicial district within their purview.

F. The district public defender shall create a staff organization plan for its delivery method which shall be subject to approval by the state public defender or regional director, where applicable, and the board. The staff organization plan will provide for the method of delivery, positions, duties, and assignments in the district court.

G. In the event of a catastrophic event, natural or otherwise, the board shall have the power to establish an appropriate delivery system to maintain the competent delivery of services from among the delivery methods provided for by this Section.

Acts 2007, No. 307, §1; Acts 2008, No. 220, §6, eff. June 14, 2008.

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