Senate Bill No. 176
Introduced By hertel
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act revising the law related to eligibility for court-appointed counsel;
hardship in providing for personal or family necessities as criteria for court-appointed counsel; REQUIRING THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PROVIDE FORMS; and amending section
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 46-8-111, MCA, is amended to read:
"46-8-111. Eligibility for court-appointed counsel -- determination of indigence -- ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PROVIDE FORMS. (1) The court shall make a determination of indigence.
(2) (A) In applying for court-appointed counsel, a defendant shall submit a sworn financial statement demonstrating
financial inability to obtain legal representation
without substantial hardship in providing for personal or family necessities
WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL HARDSHIP IN PROVIDING FOR PERSONAL OR FAMILY NECESSITIES. The
statement is not admissible in a civil or criminal action except when offered for impeachment purposes or in a subsequent
prosecution of the declarant for perjury or false swearing.
(B) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBSECTION (2), THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT CONSTITUTE SUBSTANTIAL HARDSHIP UNLESS THE JUDGE SPECIFICALLY FINDS OTHERWISE:
(I) THE NEED TO BORROW MONEY BY USING PERSONAL OR FAMILY ASSETS FOR COLLATERAL; OR
(II) THE NEED TO SELL PERSONAL OR FAMILY ASSETS, OTHER THAN THE DEFENDANT'S HOME OR MOTOR VEHICLE THAT IS USED FOR TRANSPORTATION TO THE DEFENDANT'S JOB OR TO THE JOB OF A PERSON IN THE HOUSEHOLD UPON WHOM THE HOUSEHOLD DEPENDS FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT.
(3) THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SHALL, BY RULE, PRESCRIBE THE FORM OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUIRED BY SUBSECTION (2) FOR USE IN DETERMINING INDIGENCE. THE FORM MUST REQUIRE THE DISCLOSURE OF INCOME AND ASSETS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE OWNERSHIP OF REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY, CASH, AND SAVINGS."