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Chapter 158A: PUBLIC DEFENDER


Section


2A:158A-1 State policy.

2A:158A-2 Indigent defendant defined.

2A:158A-3 Establishment of Office of the Public Defender.

2A:158A-4 Appointment; term; salary; vacancy.

2A:158A-5 Duties.

2A:158A-5.1 Repealed.

2A:158A-5.2 Offenses and violations; legal representation.

2A:158A-6 Deputy and Assistant Deputy Public Defender.

2A:158A-7 Powers of the Public Defender.

2A:158A-8 Selection of deputies and assistant deputies.

2A:158A-9 Division of case workload.

2A:158a-10 Contracts.

2A:158A-11 Staff members' duties.

2A:158A-12 Protection of Attorney-client privilege.

2A:158A-13 Standards of performance.

2A:158A-14 Determination of eligibility.

2A:158A-15 Repealed.

2A:158A-15.1 Investigation of financial status.

2A:158A-15.2 Pilot project.

2A:158A-16 Reimbursement for services.

2A:158A-17 Lien on property of defendant.

2A:158A-18 Lien books.

2A:158A-19 Collection of moneys due.

2A:158A-20 Settlement of claims.

2A:158A-21 Repealed.

2A:158A-22 Annual report to the Legislature, Governor and Supreme Court.

2A:158A-23 Oaths and affirmations.

2A:158A-24 Representation of juveniles.

2A:158A-25 Minors; eligibility for services.

Copr. © West 2000 No Claim to Orig. U.S. Govt. Works



NJ ST 2A:158A-1

N.J.S.A. 2A:158A-1



NEW JERSEY STATUTES ANNOTATED

TITLE 2A. ADMINISTRATION OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

SUBTITLE 11. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

CHAPTER 158A. PUBLIC DEFENDER



Copr. © West Group 1999. All rights reserved.



Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-1. Declaration of state policy



It is hereby declared to be the policy of this State to provide for the realization of the constitutional guarantees of counsel in criminal cases for indigent defendants by means of the system and program established and authorized by this act to the end that no innocent person shall be convicted, and that the guilty, when convicted, shall be convicted only after a fair trial according to the due process of the law.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 1, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Sections 24 and 25 of L.1967, c. 43, provided:



"There is appropriated to the Office of the Public Defender for the purposes of this act such sums as shall be included in any general or special appropriation act.



"This act shall take effect July 1, 1967."



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-1 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.



Title of Act:



An Act concerning the representation of indigent defendants in criminal cases, creating the Office of the Public Defender, prescribing its functions, powers and duties, and providing for an appropriation. L.1967, c. 43.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-2. "Indigent defendant" defined



As used herein "indigent defendant" means a person who is formally charged with the commission of an indictable offense, and who does not have the present financial ability to secure competent legal representation, as determined by the factors in section 14 of P.L.1967, c. 43 (C. 2A:158A-14), and to provide all other necessary expenses of representation.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 2, eff. July 1, 1967. 1999 Electronic Update



Amended by L.1987, c. 170, 1.



SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STATEMENT



1999 Electronic Update



Assembly, No. 1547--L.1987, c. 170



The Senate Judiciary Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 1547 OCR.



Presently, the Office of the Public Defender itself is responsible for determining which criminal defendants are eligible to receive its services. This bill would shift responsibility for determining eligibility for a public defender to the judiciary by requiring that in each county the Assignment Judge designate a judge or a court support office to be responsible for making the determination of whether to appoint counsel. If there is a determination to deny the services of the Public Defender, the determination is to be subject to the final review of the Assignment Judge or his designee. The court is also to designate a court support office which is to conduct an investigation of a defendant's financial status. At the court's discretion, the Public Defender may be asked for assistance in conducting the investigation.



The bill expands the criteria to be considered in determining eligibility. Presently, eligibility for the services of the Public Defender is determined on the basis of the defendant's "need". The appointment of counsel to an indigent defendant is made in consideration of "the financial ability of the defendant to engage and compensate competent private counsel and to provide all other necessary expenses of representation." The bill retains this basic concept but also details other factors which are to be investigated in ascertaining the financial status of the defendant. Among the factors to be considered are the defendant's employment, liquid assets and income from all sources. In certain cases the ability of the defendant to demonstrate convincingly that the defendant has consulted at least three private attorneys, none of whom would accept the case for a fee within the defendant's ability to pay, will also be considered in determining whether counsel is to be assigned.



The bill has language indicating that it is within the authority of the Public Defender to weigh the factors of need and real value to a defense against the financial constraints of the Public Defender's Office in determining what are the necessary services and facilities of representation.



Additionally, the bill also provides that the shift of responsibility for determining eligibility for Public Defender services to the courts be done on an experimental five year basis. After the courts have handled eligibility determinations for three years, the Administrative Office of the Courts is required to issue a report to the Legislature on these procedures.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1999 Electronic Update



1987 Legislation



L.1987, c. 170, 1, inserted reference to factors in 2A:158A-14.



L.1987, c. 170, 8, amended L.1993, c. 115, 1, eff. May 24, 1993; L.1998, c. 77, 2, eff. August 14, 1998, provided:



"This act shall take effect on the 270th day after enactment [eff. Apr. 3, 1988] except for section 5 [ 2A:158A-15.2] which shall take effect immediately."



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-2 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.







2A:158A-3. Establishment



There is hereby established in the Executive Branch of the State Government the Office of the Public Defender. For the purpose of complying with the provisions of Article V, Section IV, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, the Office of the Public Defender is hereby allocated within the Department of State, but, notwithstanding said allocation, the office shall be independent of any supervision or control by the department or by any board or officer thereof.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 3, eff. July l, 1967. Amended by L.1974, c. 27, 9.



1999 Electronic Update



Amended by L.1994, c. 58, 7, eff. July 1, 1994.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1999 Electronic Update



1994 Legislation



L.1994, c. 58, 7, substituted reference to department of state for reference to department of public advocate.



Statement: Committee statement to Assembly, No. 15--L.1994, c. 58, see 52:27E-50.



1985 Main Volume



The 1974 Amendment substituted "the Department of the Public Advocate" for "the Department of Institutions and Agencies."



Effective date of 1974 amendment, see Historical Note under 52:27E-1.



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-3 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.







Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-4. Public defender; appointment; term; salary; vacancy



The head of the office shall be the Public Defender, who shall be an attorney- at-law of this State and experienced in the practice of law in this State. He shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate for a term of 5 years and until the appointment and qualification of his successor. He shall devote his entire time to the duties of his office and shall receive such salary as shall be provided by law. Any vacancy occurring in the office of the Public Defender shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, but for the unexpired term only.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 4, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-4 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.







Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-5. Duties of public defender



It shall be the duty of the Public Defender to provide for the legal representation of any indigent defendant who is formally charged with the commission of an indictable offense.



All necessary services and facilities of representation (including investigation and other preparation) shall be provided in every case. The factors of need and real value to a defense may be weighed against the financial constraints of the Public Defender's office in determining what are the necessary services and facilities of representation.



Representation as herein provided for shall include any direct appeal from conviction and such post-conviction proceedings as would warrant the assignment of counsel pursuant to the court rules.



Representation for indigent defendants (a) may be provided in any federal court in any matter arising out of or relating to an action pending or recently pending in a court of criminal jurisdiction of this State and (b) may be provided in any federal court in this State where indigent defendants are charged with the commission of a federal criminal offense and where the representation is under a plan adopted pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 (18 U.S.C. 3006A).



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 5, eff. July 1, 1967. 1999 Electronic Update



Amended by L.1987, c. 170, 2.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1999 Electronic Update



1987 Legislation



L.1987, c. 170, 2, in second undesignated par. inserted provisions relating to weighing financial constraints against need and real value to defense.



1999 Legislation



L.1999, c. 53, 57, approved Mar. 31, 1999, provides:



"The Office of the Public Defender shall report to the Legislature and Governor by October 1, 1999 on the number of cases for which it has provided representation pursuant to sections 54, 55 and 56 of P.L.1999, c. 53 (C.30:4C- 15.4 et al.) and whether and to what extent the representation was provided by contract with attorneys in private practice or other public interest organizations. The report shall include recommendations as to how and by whom the representation should be provided in Fiscal Year 2000 and as to how the State can ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that the same legal counsel can continue to represent the interests of the child or parent throughout proceedings under Titles 9 and 30 of the Revised Statutes."



Effective date of L.1987, c. 170, as amended, see Historical Note under 2A:158A-2.



Statement: Committee statement to Assembly, No. 1547--L.1987, c. 170, see 2A:158A-2.



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-5 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.







Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-5.1. Repealed by L.1994, c. 58, 70, eff. July 1, 1994



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1999 Electronic Update



Repealed 2A:158A-5.1, added by L.1974, c. 33, 2, required the public defender to represent persons charged with parole violations.



Statement: Committee statement to Assembly, No. 15--L.1994, c. 58, see 52:27E-50.



1985 Main Volume



Section 5 of L.1974, c. 33, approved May 31, 1974, provides:



"Effective dates.



"a. Sections 1 and 4 of this act shall take effect immediately.



"b. Section 2 of this act shall take effect on the first day of the twelfth month following its enactment, provided, however, that the Public Defender may furnish legal representation as provided herein on pilot or experimental basis in some or all cases immediately.



"c. Section 3 of this act shall take effect on the first day of the twenty- fourth month following its enactment, provided, however, that the Public Defender may furnish legal representation as provided herein on pilot or experimental basis in some or all cases immediately."



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-5.1 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.



Title of Act:



An Act providing for representation of certain persons by the Public Defender, amending P.L.1968, c. 371, supplementing P.L.1967, c. 43, and making an appropriation. L.1974, c. 33.









Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-5.2. Offenses and violations; legal representation



The Public Defender shall in the manner prescribed by P.L.1967, c. 43 (C. 2A:158A-1 et seq.) provide for the legal representation of any person charged with a disorderly persons offense or with the violation of any law, ordinance or regulation of a penal nature where there is a likelihood that the persons so charged, if convicted, will be subject to imprisonment or, in the opinion of the court, any other consequence of magnitude.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1974, c. 33, 3.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Effective date, see Historical Note under 2A:158A-5.1.



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-5.2 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.







Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-6. Deputy and assistant public defenders; appointment; salary



The Public Defender shall appoint deputy public defenders and assistant deputy public defenders in such number as he shall require to assist him in the performance of the duties of his office. Deputies and assistant deputies shall be attorneys-at-law of this State, shall serve at the pleasure of the Public Defender and shall receive such salaries as he shall from time to time designate.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 6, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Section 23 of L.1967, c. 43, provided:



"Any appointments authorized by this act may be made prior to the effective date hereof."



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-6 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.







Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-7. Powers of public defender



The Public Defender shall:



(a) Appoint such investigators, stenographic and clerical assistants and other personnel as may be required for the conduct of the office, subject to the provisions of Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes, and other applicable statutes;



(b) Establish and maintain suitable headquarters for the office and such regional quarters within the State as the Public Defender shall deem necessary for the proper functioning of the office;



(c) Maintain one or more trial pools of lawyers who shall be available to serve as counsel on a case basis as needed;



(d) Engage counsel from said trial pools on a case basis as may be necessary for the proper performance of the duties of the office and compensate them for their services;



(e) Accept the services of volunteer workers or consultants at no compensation or at nominal or token compensation and reimburse them for their proper and necessary expenses;



(f) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1972, c. 168);



(g) Keep and maintain proper financial records and records in respect to particular cases handled and develop records for use in the calculation of direct and indirect costs of all or any aspect of the operation of the office;



(h) On the basis of available data or estimates to prepare schedules of rates from time to time of amounts to be paid for services rendered other than by the staff, taking into account the nature of the services, the time involved, trouble and risk, the skill and experience required, and other pertinent factors;



(i) Have a general responsibility for the operation of the office;



(j) Formulate and adopt rules and regulations as are necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act and for the efficient conduct of the work and general administration of the office, its professional staff and other employees;



(k) Be the request officer of the office within the meaning of such term as defined in P.L.1944, c. 112; [FN1]



(l) Have the authority to make all necessary arrangements to coordinate services to the office with any Federal program to provide counsel to the indigent, and to arrange for the receipt by the office, wherever possible, of sums allowable under such Federal program, whether by direct allowance, by assignment or transfer, or otherwise;



(m) Have the authority to solicit, apply for and expend grants, donations, or other funds available from the federal government or private foundations as may be available to support the programs of the office; and



(n) Assume responsibility for representation in litigation formerly handled by the Office of Inmate Advocacy in the Department of the Public Advocate that is pending on the effective date of P.L.1994 c. 58 (C. 52:27E-50 et al.).



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 7, eff. July 1, 1967. Amended by L.1970, c. 308, 1, eff. Dec. 16, 1970; L.1972, c. 168, 1, eff. Nov. 3, 1972. 1999 Electronic Update



Amended by L.1994, c. 58, 9, eff. July 1, 1994.



[FN1] N.J.S.A. 52:27B-1 to 52:27B-85.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1999 Electronic Update



1994 Legislation



L.1994, c. 58, 9, made technical corrections and added subsecs. (m) and (n).



Statement: Committee statement to Assembly, No. 15--L.1994, c. 58, see 52:27E-50.



1985 Main Volume



The 1970 amendment deleted a provision in subsec. (b) which would not allow an office or regional quarters to be located in any municipal or county building or office.



The 1972 amendment deleted subsec. (f) relating to consultation and cooperation with professional bodies and groups concerning and concerned with the causes of criminal conduct.



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-7 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.











Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-8. Lawyers to represent defendants on case basis; selection



In selecting deputy public defenders and assistant deputy public defenders or lawyers to be available to represent defendants on a case basis, the Public Defender shall make his selections on a basis calculated to provide the respective defendants with competent counsel in the light of the nature, complexity and other characteristics of the cases, the services to be performed, the status of the matters, and other relevant factors.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 8, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-8 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.







Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-9. Case workload; division; employment of counsel



To achieve a proper balance between the services to be provided pursuant to this act and the efficiency of the operation as a whole, as well as to stimulate the continual development of professional experience and interest in the administration of criminal justice, the Public Defender shall divide the case workload of the office between the professional staff and the trial pool or pools. In any case where the matter involved requires some special experience or skill not available on the professional staff, the Public Defender shall engage counsel on a case basis, and shall assign a suitable member of the staff to the extent feasible to assist counsel so engaged. Counsel shall also be engaged on a case basis whenever needed to meet case load demands, or to provide independent counsel to multiple defendants whose interests may be in conflict.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 9, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-9 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.







Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-10. Contracts authorizing private or public organizations to execute functions of public defender



The Public Defender is authorized to enter into contracts from time to time with private or public organizations that are equipped to provide legal services for indigent defendants or to execute any lawful functions of the office of the Public Defender, as occasion may require. Every such contract shall require that the level and quality of the work shall be at least equal to that of the office of the Public Defender, and that all services rendered thereunder shall be under the control and supervision of the Public Defender.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 10, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158-10 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-11. Duties of staff members and others engaged on case basis



The primary duty of all members of staff and of others engaged on a case basis shall be to the individual defendant, with like effect and to the same purpose as though privately engaged by him and without regard to the use of public funds to provide the service. This shall not preclude the designation or assignment of different individuals to perform various parts of the service from time to time, the duty in such cases to be the same as would exist in the case of a privately engaged law firm.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 11, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-11 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.









Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-12. Attorney-client privilege



All communications between the individual defendant and any person in or engaged by the Office of the Public Defender whether on a case basis or by contract shall be fully protected by the attorney-client privilege to the same extent and degree as though counsel has been privately engaged. This shall in no way preclude the use by the office of material in its files, otherwise privileged, for the preparation and disclosure of statistical, case study and other sociological data, provided always that in any such use there shall be no disclosure of identity or of means for discovery of identity of particular defendants.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 12, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-12, shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-13. Standards and level of performance of attorneys providing legal services



In providing legal services to defendants pursuant to this act, the Office of the Public Defender and every attorney actually engaged in the performance of the same, whether as a member of the staff or engaged on a case basis or otherwise, shall adhere at all times to the standards and level of performance established from time to time by the Supreme Court of New Jersey in the execution of its duty to supervise the practice of law; and the office shall furnish to such court materials and data as may be requisite to the measurement of the adequacy of the performance hereunder.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 13, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-13 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.







Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-14. Eligibility for services; determination



Eligibility for the services of the Office of the Public Defender shall be determined on the basis of the need of the defendant. Need shall be measured according to :



a. The financial ability of the defendant to engage and compensate competent private counsel ;



b. The current employment, salary and income of the defendant including prospects for continued employment if admitted to bail;



c. The liquid assets of the defendant, including all real and personal property and bank accounts;



d. The ability of the defendant to make bail and the source of bail posted;



e. Where appropriate the willingness and ability of the defendant's immediate family, friends or employer to assist the defendant in meeting defense costs;



f. Where appropriate an assessment of the probable and reasonable costs of providing a private defense, based upon the status of the defendant, the nature and extent of the charges and the likely issues;



g. Where appropriate, the ability of the defendant to demonstrate convincingly that he has consulted at least three private attorneys, none of whom would accept the case for a fee within his ability to pay; and



h. The ability of the defendant to provide all other necessary expenses of representation.



In the event that a determination of eligibility cannot be made before the time when the first services are to be rendered, or if an initial determination is found to be erroneous, the office shall undertake the same provisionally, and if it shall subsequently be determined that the defendant is ineligible it shall so inform the defendant, and the defendant shall thereupon be obliged to engage his own counsel and to reimburse the office for the cost of the services rendered to that time.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 14, eff. July 1, 1967. 1999 Electronic Update



Amended by L.1987, c. 170, 3.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1999 Electronic Update



1987 Legislation



L.1987, c. 170, 3, designated portions of existing provisions subsecs. a. and h.; added subsecs. b. to g.; in subsec. h. as so designated omitted factors of nature, extent and liquidity of assets, disposable net income, nature of charge, effort and skill necessary to gather information and/or give advice or other services, and probable expenses; and in closing par. substituted "be determined" for "determine".



Effective date of L.1987, c. 170, as amended, see Historical Note under 2A:158A-2.



Statement: Committee statement to Assembly, No. 1547--L.1987, c. 170, see 2A:158A-2.



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-14 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.







Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-15. Repealed by L.1998, c. 77, 3, eff. Aug. 14, 1998



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1999 Electronic Update



The repealed section, which related to the investigation of the financial status of defendants, was added by L.1967, c. 43, 15.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-15.1. Financial status of defendant; investigation by judge or court support office



In each county, the Assignment Judge shall designate a judge or court support office who shall make an investigation of the financial status of each defendant requesting the services of the Office of the Public Defender and make a determination whether to grant the request for an appointed attorney. A determination to grant or deny the services of the Public Defender shall be subject to final review by the Assignment Judge or his designated judge. The court, or a designated court support office shall make an investigation of the financial status of each defendant requesting an appointed attorney, which investigation shall include the factors enumerated in section 14 of P.L. 1967, c. 43 (C. 2A:158A-14). The court, in its discretion, may ask for the assistance of the Public Defender in conducting the investigation.



The judge or court support office is authorized to obtain information from any public record office of the State or of any subdivision or agency thereof on request and without payment of the fees ordinarily required by law.



CREDIT(S)



1999 Electronic Update



Amended by L.1998, c. 77, 1, eff. Aug. 14, 1998.



ASSEMBLY JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STATEMENT



1999 Electronic Update



ASSEMBLY, No. 1995, L.1998, c. 77



The Assembly Judiciary Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 1995.



Under the provisions of N.J.S.A.2A:158A-15.1 enacted in 1987, responsibility for investigating the financial status of criminal defendants who request the services of a public defender was shifted from the Office of the Public Defender to the Judiciary. N.J.S.A.2A:158A-15.1 expired on April 3, 1998. This bill would continue to authorize the courts to investigate the financial status of individuals requesting public defenders.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1999 Electronic Update



1998 Legislation



This section was enacted by L.1987, c. 170, 4, eff. April 3, 1988. It expired on April 3, 1998 under the provisions of L.1987, c. 170, 8. L.1998, c. 77, 1 and 2, effective August 14, 1998, amends the section and deletes the expiration provision from L.1987, c. 170, 8. Prior to amendment 8 read:



"This act shall take effect on the 270th day after enactment except for section 5 which shall take effect immediately. Section 4 of this act shall expire on April 3, 1998."



L.1998, c. 77, 1, deleted a reference to 2A:158A-15.1, and substituted "an investigation of the financial status of each defendant requesting the services of the Office of the Public Defender and make a determination whether to grant the request" for "the determination on each request by a defendant".







Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-15.2. Establishment of system in counties; responsibility for eligibility determinations; purpose of pilot project



Within 30 days of the effective date of this section, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall establish a system in one or more counties and the Assignment Judge, through a designated judge or court support office shall be responsible for making eligibility determinations for the services of the Office of the Public Defender in that county. The purpose of the pilot project is to enable the Judiciary to develop a program for Statewide implementation and to gauge the fiscal impact of assuming responsibility for making eligibility determinations.



CREDIT(S)



1999 Electronic Update



L.1987, c. 170, 5, eff. July 8, 1987.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1999 Electronic Update



Statement: Committee statement to Assembly, No. 1547--L.1987, c. 170, see 2A:158A-2.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-16. Part payment of cost by defendant



In all cases where it appears that the defendant has or reasonably expects to have means to meet some part, though not all, of the cost of the services rendered to him he shall be required to reimburse the office, either by a single payment or in installments, in such amounts as he can reasonably be expected to pay; but no default or failure in the making of any such payment shall in any wise affect or reduce the rendering of the services to him.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 16, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-16 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-17. Lien on property of defendant



The reasonable value of the services rendered to a defendant pursuant to this act may in all cases be a lien on any and all property to which the defendant shall have or acquire an interest. The Public Defender shall effectuate such lien whenever the reasonable value of the services rendered to a defendant appears to exceed $150.00 and may effectuate such lien where the reasonable value of those services appears to be less than $150.00.



To effectuate such a lien, the Public Defender shall file a notice setting forth the services rendered to the defendant and the reasonable value thereof with the Clerk of the Superior Court. The filing of said notice with the Clerk of the Superior Court shall from the date thereof constitute a lien on said property for a period of 10 years, unless sooner discharged and except for such time limitations shall have the force and effect of a Judgment at Law. Within 10 days of the filing of the Notice of Lien, the Public Defender shall send by certified mail, or serve personally, a copy of such notice with a statement of the date of the filing thereof to or upon the defendant at his last known address. If the Public Defender shall fail to give notice, the lien shall be void.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 17, eff. July 1, 1967. Amended by L.1968, c. 371, 1, approved Dec. 27, 1968; L.1969, c. 29, 1, eff. May 8, 1969.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



As originally added in 1967, this section provided:



"The reasonable value of the services rendered to a defendant pursuant to this act shall in all cases be a lien on any and all property to which the defendant shall have or acquire an interest. To effectuate such lien the Public Defender shall submit to the court having jurisdiction in the matter an affidavit setting forth the services rendered to the defendant and the reasonable value thereof. The court shall determine and adjudge the reasonable value of said services. Upon adjudication the lien shall be filed or docketed with the Clerk of the Superior Court and from the date thereof shall constitute a lien on said property for a period of 10 years unless sooner discharged and except for such time limitation shall have the force and effect of a judgment at law."



The 1968 amendment added the phrase "whenever the reasonable value of the services rendered to a defendant appears to exceed $150.00 and may, where the reasonable value of those services appears to be less than $150.00" following "Public Defender shall" in the second sentence.



Section 6 of L.1968, c. 371, approved Dec. 27, 1968, provided:



"This act shall take effect July 1, 1968, except that sections 1 and 2 of this act shall take effect immediately."



The 1969 amendment rewrote this section to read as it now appears.



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-17 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.



Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-18. Recording of liens; books provided; fees



The Clerk of the Superior Court shall provide separate books for the recording of said liens which books shall be properly indexed in the name of the judgment debtor. The Public Defender shall not be required to pay filing or recording fees.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 18, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-18 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-19. Collections of moneys due



The Public Defender in the name of the State shall do all things necessary and proper to collect all moneys due to the State by way of reimbursement for services rendered pursuant to this act. He may enter into arrangements with one or more agencies of the State or of the counties to handle said collections on a cost basis to the extent that such arrangements are calculated to simplify collection procedures. He shall have all the remedies and may take all of the proceedings for the collection thereof which may be had or taken for or upon the recovery of a judgment in a civil action and may institute and maintain any action or proceeding in the courts necessary therefor. In any such proceedings or action, the defendant may contest the value of the service rendered by the Public Defender.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 19, eff. July 1, 1967. Amended by L.1969, c. 29, 2, eff. May 8, 1969.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



The 1969 amendment added the last sentence.



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-19 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-20. Compromise and settlement of claim for services



The Public Defender is authorized to compromise and make settlement of any claim for services performed for any person pursuant to this act whenever the financial circumstances of said person are such that in the judgment of the Public Defender the best interest of the State will be served by such compromise and settlement.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 20, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-20 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-21. Repealed by L.1969, c. 305, 1, eff. Jan. 19, 1970



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



The repealed section, added by L.1967, c. 43, 21, related to forfeiture of recognizance and provided for payment of funds to the state treasury.



Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-22. Annual report



The Office of the Public Defender shall report annually to the Legislature, the Governor and the Supreme Court. Such report may be combined with that of any other body, agency or study group engaged in reviewing the administration of criminal justice. The report shall include all pertinent data on the operations of the office, the costs, projected needs, and to the extent experience may indicate, recommendations for statutory changes, including changes in the criminal law or changes in court rules, all as may be appropriate to the improvement of the system of criminal justice, the control of crime, the rehabilitation of offenders, and other related objectives.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1967, c. 43, 22, eff. July 1, 1967.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-22 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-23. Oaths and affirmations



The Public Defender, the deputy public defender, the assistant deputy public defenders and investigators attached to the Office of the Public Defender shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations in relation to any matter within the jurisdiction of the Office of the Public Defender.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1968, c. 371, 2.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Effective date, see Historical Note under 2A:158A-17.



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-23 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-24. Juvenile delinquent or juvenile in need of supervision; legal representation



Except as hereinafter provided, the Public Defender shall in the manner prescribed by P.L.1967, c. 43 (C. 2A:158A-1 et seq.) provide for the legal representation of any person who is charged as a juvenile delinquent or as a juvenile in need of supervision and where in the opinion of the juvenile judge the prosecution of the complaint may result in the institutional commitment of such person.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1968, c. 371, 3. Amended by L.1974, c. 33, 1, eff. May 31, 1974.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Effective date of addition of this section, see Historical Note under 2A:158A-17.



The 1974 amendment deleted "N.J.S." at the beginning of the parenthetical citation; and substituted "any person who is charged as a juvenile delinquent or as a juvenile in need of supervision" for "any other person under the age of 18 who is formally charged with the commission of an act of juvenile delinquency".



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-24 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.





Current through L.1999, c. 198



2A:158A-25. Minors; eligibility for services



Whenever a person formally charged with an indictable offense, or coming within this act, is under the age of 21 years, the question of eligibility for services shall be measured not only in terms of the financial circumstances of the individual, but also in terms of the financial circumstances of the individual's parents or legal guardians. The Office of the Public Defender shall be entitled to recover the cost of legal services from the parents or legal guardians of such persons to the same extent and in the same manner as is provided under P.L.1967, chapter 43, [FN1] and shall have authority to require parents or legal guardians of such to execute and deliver such written requests or authorization as may be requisite under applicable law in order to provide the office with access to records of public or private sources, otherwise confidential, as may be of aid to it in evaluating eligibility.



CREDIT(S)



1985 Main Volume



L.1968, c. 371, 4.



[FN1] N.J.S.A. 2A:158A-1 et seq.



HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



1985 Main Volume



Effective date, see Historical Note under 2A:158A-17.



Allocation: Section 2A:158A-25 shall remain in full force and effect for use, administration and enforcement as heretofore, pending enactment of acts to revise, repeal or to compile in Title 2C, see 2C:98-3.



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