Montana Code Annotated 2015

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     47-1-201. Office of state public defender -- personnel -- compensation -- expenses -- reports. (1) There is an office of state public defender. The office must be located in Butte, Montana. The head of the office is the chief public defender, who is supervised by the commission.
     (2) The chief public defender must be an attorney licensed to practice law in the state. The chief public defender is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the commission. The position of chief public defender is exempt from the state classification and pay plan as provided in 2-18-103. The commission shall establish compensation for the position commensurate with the position's duties and responsibilities, taking into account the compensation paid to prosecutors with similar responsibilities.
     (3) The chief public defender shall hire or contract for and supervise other personnel necessary to perform the function of the office of state public defender and to implement the provisions of this chapter, including but not limited to:
     (a) the following personnel who are exempt from the state classification and pay plan as provided in 2-18-103:
     (i) an administrative director, who must be experienced in business management and contract management;
     (ii) a chief contract manager to oversee and enforce the contracting program;
     (iii) a training coordinator, appointed as provided in 47-1-210;
     (iv) deputy public defenders, as provided in 47-1-215;
     (b) assistant public defenders; and
     (c) other necessary administrative and professional support staff for the office.
     (4) Positions established pursuant to subsections (3)(b) and (3)(c) are classified positions, and persons in those positions are entitled to salaries, wages, benefits, and expenses as provided in Title 2, chapter 18.
     (5) The following expenses are payable by the office if the expense is incurred at the request of a public defender:
     (a) witness and interpreter fees and expenses provided in Title 26, chapter 2, part 5, and 46-15-116; and
     (b) transcript fees, as provided in 3-5-604.
     (6) If the costs to be paid pursuant to this section are not paid directly, reimbursement must be made within 30 days of the receipt of a claim.
     (7) The office may accept gifts, grants, or donations, which must be deposited in the account provided for in 47-1-110.
     (8) The office shall provide assistance with the budgeting, reporting, and related administrative functions of the office of appellate defender as provided in 47-1-205.
     (9) The chief public defender shall establish procedures to provide for the approval, payment, recording, reporting, and management of defense expenses paid pursuant to this section, including defense expenses paid for work performed by or for the office of appellate defender.
     (10) (a) The office of public defender is required to report data for each fiscal year by September 30 of the subsequent fiscal year representing the caseload for the entire public defender system to the legislative fiscal analyst. The report must be provided in an electronic format and include unduplicated count data for all cases for which representation is paid for by the office of public defender, the number of new cases opened, the number of cases closed, the number of cases that remain open and active, the number of cases that remain open but are inactive, and the average number of days between case opening and closure for each case type.
     (b) The office of public defender is required to report to the legislative fiscal analyst for each fiscal year by September 30 of the subsequent fiscal year on the amount of funds collected as reimbursement for services rendered, including the number of cases for which a collection is made, the number of cases for which an amount is owed, the amount collected, and the amount remaining unpaid. The report must be provided in an electronic format.

     History: En. Sec. 7, Ch. 449, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 486, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 24, L. 2011; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 394, L. 2011; amd. Sec. 13, Ch. 120, L. 2013.

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