[Rev. 11/21/2013 10:26:38 AM--2013]

CHAPTER 260 - COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDERS

NRS 260.010           Creation of office by ordinance; restrictions on creation; appointment; term of office.

NRS 260.020           Joint action to establish office.

NRS 260.030           Qualifications; representation of indigent person charged with public offense.

NRS 260.040           Compensation; deputies and employees; private practice of law limited; expenses; deputies in certain counties governed by merit personnel system.

NRS 260.050           Interview with and representation of indigent person.

NRS 260.060           Magistrate or district court may appoint and compensate other defense counsel.

NRS 260.065           County may contract for services of State Public Defender.

NRS 260.070           Annual reports.

NRS 260.075           Reports to Legislative Commission. [Repealed.]

NRS 260.080           Construction of chapter.

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      NRS 260.010  Creation of office by ordinance; restrictions on creation; appointment; term of office.

      1.  In counties whose population is 100,000 or more, the boards of county commissioners shall create by ordinance the office of public defender.

      2.  Except as otherwise provided by subsection 4, in counties whose population is less than 100,000, boards of county commissioners may in their respective counties create by ordinance, at the beginning of a fiscal year, the office of public defender.

      3.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, if a board of county commissioners intends to create the office of county public defender, the board shall notify the State Public Defender in writing on or before March 1 of any odd-numbered year and the office may not be created before July 1 of the same year in which the notice was given.

      4.  If the county contribution approved by the Legislature exceeds the estimate provided to the county on December 1 by more than 10 percent for either year of the biennium, the board of county commissioners may create the office of county public defender on July 1 of the next even-numbered year if the board notifies the State Public Defender on or before March 1 of the same year in which the office is to be created.

      5.  The office of public defender when created must be filled by appointment by the board of county commissioners.

      6.  The public defender serves at the pleasure of the board of county commissioners.

      (Added to NRS by 1965, 597; A 1969, 1475, 1545; 1979, 525; 1989, 1646; 1991, 994; 1995, 499)

      NRS 260.020  Joint action to establish office.  A county may join with one or more other counties to establish one office of public defender to serve those counties.

      (Added to NRS by 1965, 597)

      NRS 260.030  Qualifications; representation of indigent person charged with public offense.

      1.  The public defender shall be a qualified attorney licensed to practice in this state.

      2.  The public defender shall, when designated pursuant to NRS 171.188, represent, without charge, each indigent person who is under arrest and held for a public offense.

      (Added to NRS by 1965, 597; A 1967, 1471; 1969, 479; 1973, 358)

      NRS 260.040  Compensation; deputies and employees; private practice of law limited; expenses; deputies in certain counties governed by merit personnel system.

      1.  The compensation of the public defender must be fixed by the board of county commissioners. The public defender of any two or more counties must be compensated and be permitted private civil practice of the law as determined by the boards of county commissioners of those counties, subject to the provisions of subsection 4 of this section and NRS 7.065.

      2.  The public defender may appoint as many deputies or assistant attorneys, clerks, investigators, stenographers and other employees as the public defender considers necessary to enable him or her to carry out his or her responsibilities, with the approval of the board of county commissioners. An assistant attorney must be a qualified attorney licensed to practice in this State and may be placed on a part-time or full-time basis. The appointment of a deputy, assistant attorney or other employee pursuant to this subsection must not be construed to confer upon that deputy, assistant attorney or other employee policymaking authority for the office of the public defender or the county or counties by which the deputy, assistant attorney or other employee is employed.

      3.  The compensation of persons appointed under subsection 2 must be fixed by the board of county commissioners of the county or counties so served.

      4.  The public defender and his or her deputies and assistant attorneys in a county whose population is less than 100,000 may engage in the private practice of law. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, in any other county, the public defender and his or her deputies and assistant attorneys shall not engage in the private practice of law except as otherwise provided in NRS 7.065. An attorney appointed to defend a person for a limited duration with limited jurisdiction may engage in private practice which does not present a conflict with his or her appointment.

      5.  The board of county commissioners shall provide office space, furniture, equipment and supplies for the use of the public defender suitable for the conduct of the business of his or her office. However, the board of county commissioners may provide for an allowance in place of facilities. Each of those items is a charge against the county in which public defender services are rendered. If the public defender serves more than one county, expenses that are properly allocable to the business of more than one of those counties must be prorated among the counties concerned.

      6.  In a county whose population is 700,000 or more, deputies are governed by the merit personnel system of the county.

      (Added to NRS by 1965, 597; A 1973, 678; 1979, 525; 1989, 203; 1993, 2260; 1999, 161; 2005, 684; 2011, 1129)

      NRS 260.050  Interview with and representation of indigent person.

      1.  The public defender may, before being designated as counsel for that person pursuant to NRS 171.188, interview an indigent person when he or she has been arrested and confined for a public offense or for questioning on suspicion of having committed a public offense.

      2.  The public defender shall, when designated pursuant to NRS 62D.030, 171.188 or 432B.420, and within the limits of available money, represent without charge each indigent person for whom he or she is appointed.

      3.  When representing an indigent person, the public defender shall:

      (a) Counsel and defend the person at every stage of the proceedings, including revocation of probation or parole; and

      (b) Prosecute, subject to the provisions of subsection 4 of NRS 180.060, any appeals or other remedies before or after conviction that he or she considers to be in the interests of justice.

      (Added to NRS by 1965, 598; A 1967, 1471; 1969, 479; 1971, 1412; 1973, 358; 1975, 42; 1977, 339; 1985, 1400; 2003, 1130)

      NRS 260.060  Magistrate or district court may appoint and compensate other defense counsel.  For cause, the magistrate or district court may, on its own motion or upon motion of the public defender or the indigent person, appoint and compensate out of county funds an attorney other than, or in addition to, the public defender to represent such indigent person at any stage of the proceedings or on appeal in accordance with the laws of this state pertaining to the appointment of counsel to represent indigent criminal defendants.

      (Added to NRS by 1965, 598; A 1969, 479)

      NRS 260.065  County may contract for services of State Public Defender.  Any county in which the office of public defender has been created may contract for the services of the State Public Defender in providing representation for indigent persons when the court, for cause, disqualifies the county public defender or when the county public defender is otherwise unable to provide representation.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 338)

      NRS 260.070  Annual reports.  The public defender shall make an annual report to the board of county commissioners covering all cases handled by his or her office during the preceding year.

      (Added to NRS by 1965, 598)

      NRS 260.075  Reports to Legislative Commission.  Repealed. (See chapter 337, Statutes of Nevada 2013, at page 1634.)

 

      NRS 260.080  Construction of chapter.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to interfere in any way with the manner in which the several counties and district courts deal with indigent defendants, if the provisions of this chapter are not applicable.

      (Added to NRS by 1965, 598)