2015-2016 Task Force on State Public Defender Operations

About Task Force on State Public Defender Operations

HB 627 - Establishing Task Force on State Public Defender Operations

  • REPRESENTATIVE RANDY BRODEHL (R)
  • REPRESENTATIVE KIMBERLY DUDIK (D)
  • REPRESENTATIVE KENNETH HOLMLUND (R)
  • SENATOR DAVID HOWARD (R)
  • SENATOR JIM KEANE (D)
  • SENATOR CYNTHIA WOLKEN (D)

   
     Public Members:

  • HON. JAMES HAYNES
     
  • MIKE EAKIN
     
  • JULI PIERCE 
     
  • JASON TRINITY HOLDEN
     
  • WENDY HOLTON
     

Task Force on State Public Defender Operations Topics

In General -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

Montana -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

Alaska -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

Colorado -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

Idaho -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

New Mexico -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

Rhode Island -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

Vermont -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

Wyoming -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

Clark County, Nevada -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

Washington, D.C. -- Information on Public Defense/Defenders

Montana Office of the State Public Defender

Federal Public Defender

Dependent Neglect Process in Various States

Supporting Materials

Bills Related to Structure

  • LCpd1a – Governor to appoint a director position to supervise the agency, including the chief public defender, chief appellate defender, and chief conflict defender. Commission to be advisory.
  • LCpd1b - Same as LCpd1a, except the Department of Administration director to appoint an executive director of OPD. (Drafter: Sheri Scurr)
  • LCpd02 – Establish a chief administrator position and make other changes to enact OPD's strategic plan. (Drafter: Sheri Scurr)
  • LCpd09 – Statutorily separate the OPD, the appellate defender office, and the conflict coordinator office. (Drafter: Julie Johnson)

Other Bills

  • LCpd03 – Transfer determination of eligibility to presiding court. (Drafter: Julie Johnson)
  • LCpd04 – Transfer determination of eligibility to DPHHS (Drafter: Julie Johnson)
  • LCpd05 – Montana Dept. of Revenue to be responsible for collecting the any fees for public defender services imposed by a judge pursuant to section 46-8-113, MCA. (Drafter: Julie Johnson)
  • LCpd06 – Establish a holistic defense pilot program in four locations (Drafter: Sheri Scurr)
  • LCpd07 – Require the Public Defender Commission to contract for a workload assessment study. (Drafter: Julie Johnson)
  • LCpd08 – Clearly grant to the Public Defender Commission and the OPD the authority to set different contractor rates in different areas of the state. (Drafter: Julie Johnson)
  • LCpd10 – Statutorily prohibit OPD from providing legal counsel to a putative father in a dependent neglect case. (Drafter: Julie Johnson)
  • LCpd11 – Statutorily require the Public Defender Commission to set “soft caps” for OPD and appellate defender contractor caseloads. (Drafter: Julie Johnson)

Comparative Public Defender Data Spreadsheet

Historical Information for Task Force on State Public Defender Operations

Note: The Links provided here are to information compiled, prepared, or presented during the 2003-04 Legislative Interim to the Law and Justice Interim Committee as it's members and staff examined the then-existing provision of legal defense counsel to indigent individuals. The LJIC examination led to the recommendation for statewide public defender systems and, ultimately, to the establishment of the state Office of Public Defender, i.e., the system under which Montana now provides public defense counsel to indigent individuals charged with crimes, certain misdemeanors, and certain civil actions. 

Law And Justice Interim Committee Reports 2003-04

Court-Related Documents

Task Force on State Public Defender Operations

Task Force Bills For 2017 Session

Click here to go to LAWS and find the most recent text of the bills as they make their way through the session.

  • LC 432 (working draft LCpd1a) – provide an overall agency director appointed by the governor, convert the public defender commission to an advisory body, provide that the commission shall nominate three candidates for director, provide that the governor shall select a the director from the list of nominees, and provide that the director would be hired position, not a politically-appointed position so that the director could only be removed with cause.

     

  • LC 437 (working draft LCpd09) – eliminate the statutory requirement for the chief appellate defender to confer with chief public defender on the office of appellate defender’s budget.

     

  • LC 439 (working draft LCpd04) – transfer determination of eligibility for public defender services to the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

     

  • LC 440 (working draft LCpd05) – provide that the Montana Department of Revenue is responsible for collecting any fees for public defender services imposed by a judge pursuant to section 46-8-113, Montana Code Annotated.

     

  • LC 441 (working draft LCpd06) – establish a holistic defense pilot program in up to four public defender office locations across the state.

     

  • LC 442 (working draft LCpd07) – require the Office of State Public Defender to contract for a workload assessment study.

     

  • LC 443 (working draft LCpd10) – revise appointment of a public defender to a putative father in a dependent neglect case.

     

  • LC 444 (no working draft prepared) - revise appointment of a public defender to an absentee parent in a dependent neglect case.
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