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S1549................................................by JUDICIARY AND RULES LEGAL REPRESENTATION - NEEDY - Amends existing law to provide for legal representation of needy persons; to specify when a person shall be deemed a needy person and may not be required to make payment or reimbursement for the costs of the legal representation; and to provide that the prosecuting attorney may not seek payment or reimbursement for legal assistance from a needy person deemed to be needy under the statutory criteria at the time the assistance was rendered. 03/07 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing 03/08 Rpt prt - to Jud
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO |||| Fifty-fifth Legislature Second Regular Session - 2000 IN THE SENATE SENATE BILL NO. 1549 BY JUDICIARY AND RULES COMMITTEE 1 AN ACT 2 RELATING TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION OF NEEDY PERSONS; AMENDING SECTION 19-851, 3 IDAHO CODE, TO DEFINE CURRENT HOUSEHOLD INCOME AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL COR- 4 RECTIONS; AMENDING SECTION 19-854, IDAHO CODE, TO SPECIFY WHEN A PERSON 5 SHALL BE DEEMED A NEEDY PERSON AND MAY NOT BE REQUIRED TO MAKE PAYMENT OR 6 REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COSTS OF PROVIDING THE PERSON WITH LEGAL REPRESENTA- 7 TION AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS; AND AMENDING SECTION 19-858, IDAHO 8 CODE, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY MAY NOT SEEK PAYMENT OR 9 REIMBURSEMENT FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE FROM A NEEDY PERSON DEEMED TO BE NEEDY 10 UNDER THE STATUTORY CRITERIA AT THE TIME THE ASSISTANCE WAS RENDERED AND 11 TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS. 12 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho: 13 SECTION 1. That Section 19-851, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby 14 amended to read as follows: 15 19-851. RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL -- DEFINITIONS. In this act, 16 the term: 17 (a) "Current household income" means the total money earned from any 18 source whatsoever during the immediately preceding month by all persons living 19 in a household, whether or not those persons are related by blood, marriage, 20 adoption or otherwise; 21 (b) "Detain" means to have in custody or otherwise deprive of freedom of 22 action; 23 ( bc) "Expenses," when used with reference to representation under this 24 act, includes the expenses of investigation, other preparation, and trial; 25 ( cd) "Needy person" means a person who, at the time his need is deter- 26 mined, is unable to provide for the full payment of an attorney and all other 27 necessary expenses of representation; 28 ( de) "Serious crime" includes: 29 (1) aA felony; 30 (2) aAny misdemeanor or offense the penalty for which, excluding impris- 31 onment for non-paymentnonpayment of a fine, includes the possibility of 32 confinement for more than six (6) months. 33 SECTION 2. That Section 19-854, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby 34 amended to read as follows: 35 19-854. DETERMINATION OF NEED -- FACTORS CONSIDERED -- PARTIAL PAYMENT BY 36 ACCUSED. (a) The determination of whether a person covered by section 19-852, 37 Idaho Code, is a needy person shall be deferred until his first appearance in 38 court or in a suit for payment or reimbursement under section 19-858, Idaho 39 Code, whichever occurs earlier. Thereafter, the court concerned shall deter- 40 mine, with respect to each proceeding, whether he is a needy person. 41 (b) In determining whether a person is a needy person and in determining 2 1 the extent of his inability to pay, the court concerned may consider such fac- 2 tors as income, property owned, outstanding obligations, other hardships, and 3 the number and ages of his dependents. However, notwithstanding the foregoing, 4 a person shall be deemed a needy person if that person's total current house- 5 hold income, as defined in section 19-851(a), Idaho Code, is less than one 6 hundred twenty-five percent (125%) of the federal poverty level for a house- 7 hold of equivalent size, and in such a case the person may not be required to 8 pay or reimburse the county or other political subdivision of the state for 9 attorney's fees or other expenses of providing the person with legal represen- 10 tation. Release on bail does not necessarily prevent him from being a needy 11 person. In each case, the person shall, subject to the penalties for perjury, 12 certify in writing or by other record such material factors relating to his 13 ability to pay as the court prescribes. 14 (c) To the extent that a person covered by section 19-852, Idaho Code, is 15 able to provide for an attorney, the other necessary services and facilities 16 of representation, and court costs, the court may order him to provide for 17 their payment. 18 SECTION 3. That Section 19-858, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby 19 amended to read as follows: 20 19-858. REIMBURSEMENT TO COUNTY -- WHEN AUTHORIZED. (a) Except as pro- 21 vided in subsection (c) of this section, t The prosecuting attorney of each 22 county may, on behalf of the county, recover payment or reimbursement, as the 23 case may be, from each person who has received legal assistance or another 24 benefit under this act: 25 (1) tTo which he was not entitled; 26 (2) wWith respect to which he was not a needy person when he received it; 27 or 28 (3) wWith respect to which he has failed to make the certification 29 required by section 19-854, Idaho Code; and for which he refuses to pay or 30 reimburse. Suit must be brought within five (5) years after the date on 31 which the aid was received. 32 (b) The prosecuting attorney of each county may, on behalf of the county, 33 recover payment or reimbursement, as the case may be, from each person other 34 than a person covered by subsection (a) aboveof this section, who has 35 received legal assistance under this act and who, on the date on which suit is 36 brought, is financially able to pay or reimburse the county for it according 37 to the standards of ability to pay applicable under sections 19-851, 19-852 38 and 19-854, Idaho Code, but refuses to do so. Suit must be brought within 39 three (3) years after the date on which the benefit was received. 40 (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the 41 county shall not be entitled to recover any payment or reimbursement for legal 42 assistance or other benefit under this act from any needy person who meets the 43 requirements of section 19-854, Idaho Code, and who was a needy person when he 44 received the legal assistance. 45 (d) Amounts recovered under this section shall be paid into the county 46 general fund.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE RS 10005 This bill is intended to reaffirm Idaho's dedication to the guarantee of legal representation to those who are unable to afford it when charged with a criminal offense, as expressed in both the United States Constitution (6th Amendment) and the Idaho Constitution (Article 1 Section 13), and to establish a uniform standard throughout the State for provision of counsel at public expense. It does this by prohibiting the assessment of costs of representation to the less fortunate, and by setting the financial level at which a person presumptively qualifies for representation at public expense. FISCAL NOTE There is no fiscal impact to the state.(Nor will there be any fiscal impact to counties that have public defender contracted for representation of indigent clients.) CONTACT: Senator Mel Richardson 332-1332 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL IMPACT S1549