2018 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:162 - Vacancies in position of district public defender; formation of district public defender selection committee; powers and duties of committee; process for filling vacancy for district public defender; interim district public defender

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 15:162 (2018)

§162. Vacancies in position of district public defender; formation of district public defender selection committee; powers and duties of committee; process for filling vacancy for district public defender; interim district public defender

            A. Except as provided for in Subsection G of this Section, within twenty days of receiving notice of a vacancy which occurs for the position of district public defender by reason of demotion, termination, retirement, resignation, or death, the board shall form a district public defender selection committee as provided for in Subsection B of this Section.

            B.(1) The selection committee shall consist of three attorneys who are in good standing with the Louisiana State Bar Association, are domiciled in that judicial district, and are not otherwise disqualified by Paragraph (2) of this Subsection.

            (2) No person shall be appointed to the selection committee that has received compensation to be an elected judge, elected official, judicial officer, prosecutor, law enforcement official, or indigent defense provider, or employees of all such persons, within a two-year period prior to appointment. No active part-time, full-time, contract, or court-appointed indigent defense provider, or active employees of such persons, may be appointed to serve on the selection committee.

            (3) The members shall be selected as follows:

            (a) One member, who shall serve as chairman of the committee, appointed by the state public defender.

            (b) One member appointed by the president of the Louisiana State Bar Association.

            (c) One member appointed by the chief judge of the judicial district.

            C. In the event there are fewer than three attorneys eligible to serve as members of a selection committee as provided for in Subsection B of this Section, or there are fewer than three eligible attorneys who are willing to serve as members of a selection committee, the members shall be selected as provided for in Paragraph (B)(3) of this Section from among any registered voters residing in that judicial district.

            D.(1) The selection committee shall review eligible candidates for the position of district public defender, giving preference to those individuals who are domiciled in the district.

            (2) Within sixty days of formation of the selection committee, the selection committee shall submit a list of at least three nominees for the position of district public defender.

            E. Within thirty days of receiving the nominations for the position of district public defender from the selection committee, the board shall employ a district public defender from the list of nominees submitted to the board.

            F. The board shall appoint an interim district public defender to fill the vacancy of the district public defender until the position is filled.

            G. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to a district which has been regionalized pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 15:163.

            H. Whenever a vacancy occurs for the position of district public defender in any judicial district having a population of less than thirty thousand, or having less than four attorneys providing public defender services, the board shall evaluate the district and make a determination regarding the appropriateness of employing a district public defender or authorizing a district public defender from a contiguous judicial district to manage and supervise public defender services in that judicial district. If a decision is made by the board to employ a district public defender, the board shall use the selection process provided for in this Section to fill that vacancy.

            I.(1) Board staff shall not require of the district public defenders or their staff any response with a due date less than six working days from the first full day since the request is received, other than during a natural emergency. The time period provided for in this Paragraph shall not include responses requested by the governor, the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice, or the Senate Committee on Judiciary C.

            (2) The board shall make every effort to end the use of paper reports and shall make every effort to rely on searchable digital data in order to reduce costs of operation.

            Acts 2007, No. 307, §1; Acts 2008, No. 220, §6, eff. June 14, 2008; Acts 2016, No. 571, §1.

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