[Rev. 6/2/2018 3:17:27 PM--2017]

CHAPTER 180 - INDIGENT DEFENSE SERVICES

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 180.002           Definitions. [Effective through June 30, 2019.]

NRS 180.003           “Commission” defined. [Effective through June 30, 2019.]

NRS 180.004           “Indigent defense services” defined. [Effective through June 30, 2019.]

STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER

NRS 180.010           Office created; term; qualifications; private practice of law prohibited; supervision; assignment of additional duties.

NRS 180.030           Employment of deputies and other employees; qualifications of deputies.

NRS 180.040           Office; branch offices.

NRS 180.050           Contracts for legal services.

NRS 180.060           Duties: Representation of indigent persons; contracts to render services.

NRS 180.080           Duties: Reports to Governor, participating counties and Legislative Commission.

NRS 180.090           Application.

NRS 180.100           Other protections and sanctions not excluded.

NRS 180.110           Collection of charges to counties for services.

NEVADA RIGHT TO COUNSEL COMMISSION

NRS 180.200           Creation; members and appointing authorities; vacancies; per diem. [Effective through June 30, 2019.]

NRS 180.210           Commission to study and submit report concerning the provision of indigent defense services. [Effective through June 30, 2019.]

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GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 180.002  Definitions. [Effective through June 30, 2019.]  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the words and terms defined in NRS 180.003 and 180.004 have the meanings ascribed to them in those sections.

      (Added to NRS by 2017, 2940, 2943)

      NRS 180.003  “Commission” defined. [Effective through June 30, 2019.]  “Commission” means the Nevada Right to Counsel Commission created by NRS 180.200.

      (Added to NRS by 2017, 2940, 2943)

      NRS 180.004  “Indigent defense services” defined. [Effective through June 30, 2019.]  “Indigent defense services” means the provision of legal representation to:

      1.  An indigent person who is charged with a public offense; or

      2.  An indigent child who is:

      (a) Alleged to be delinquent; or

      (b) In need of supervision pursuant to title 5 of NRS.

      (Added to NRS by 2017, 2940, 2943)

STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER

      NRS 180.010  Office created; term; qualifications; private practice of law prohibited; supervision; assignment of additional duties.

      1.  The Office of State Public Defender is hereby created within the Department of Health and Human Services.

      2.  The Governor shall appoint the State Public Defender for a term of 4 years, and until a successor is appointed and qualified.

      3.  The State Public Defender:

      (a) Must be an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Nevada.

      (b) Is in the unclassified service of the State.

      (c) Except as otherwise provided in NRS 7.065, shall not engage in the private practice of law.

      4.  No officer or agency of the State, other than the Governor and the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, may supervise the State Public Defender. No officer or agency of the State, other than the Governor, may assign the State Public Defender duties in addition to those prescribed by this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1971, 1410; A 1973, 707; 1977, 1176; 1989, 202; 1993, 1518)

      NRS 180.030  Employment of deputies and other employees; qualifications of deputies.

      1.  The State Public Defender may employ:

      (a) Deputy state public defenders in the unclassified service of the State.

      (b) Clerical, investigative and other necessary staff in the classified service of the State.

      2.  Each deputy state public defender must be an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Nevada, and shall not engage in the practice of law, except in performing the duties of office and as otherwise provided in NRS 7.065.

      (Added to NRS by 1971, 1411; A 1977, 159; 1981, 1270; 1985, 394; 1989, 202)

      NRS 180.040  Office; branch offices.

      1.  The Office of the State Public Defender shall be in Carson City, Nevada, and the Buildings and Grounds Section of the State Public Works Division of the Department of Administration shall provide necessary office space.

      2.  The State Public Defender may establish branch offices necessary to perform the State Public Defender’s duties. The State Public Defender shall designate a deputy state public defender to supervise each such office.

      (Added to NRS by 1971, 1411)

      NRS 180.050  Contracts for legal services.

      1.  The State Public Defender may contract with attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Nevada and with county public defenders to provide services required by this chapter if it is impracticable for the State Public Defender or the State Public Defender’s deputies to provide such services for any reason.

      2.  All such contract services shall be performed under the supervision and control of the State Public Defender.

      (Added to NRS by 1971, 1411; A 1973, 706)

      NRS 180.060  Duties: Representation of indigent persons; contracts to render services.

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

      2.  The State Public Defender shall, when designated pursuant to NRS 62D.030, 62D.100, 171.188 or 432B.420, and within the limits of available money, represent without charge each indigent person for whom the State Public Defender is appointed.

      3.  When representing an indigent person, the State Public Defender shall:

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

      (b) Prosecute any appeals or other remedies before or after conviction that the State Public Defender considers to be in the interests of justice.

      4.  In cases of postconviction proceedings and appeals arising in counties in which the office of public defender has been created pursuant to the provisions of chapter 260 of NRS, where the matter is to be presented to the appellate court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to the rules fixed by the Supreme Court pursuant to Section 4 of Article 6 of the Nevada Constitution, the State Public Defender shall prepare and present the case and the public defender of the county shall assist and cooperate with the State Public Defender.

      5.  The State Public Defender may contract with any county in which the office of public defender has been created to provide 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 1971, 1411; A 1973, 358; 1975, 41; 1977, 338; 1985, 1398; 2003, 1124; 2013, 1762)

      NRS 180.080  Duties: Reports to Governor, participating counties and Legislative Commission.

      1.  The State Public Defender shall submit:

      (a) A report on or before December 1 of each year to the Governor and to each participating county containing a statement of:

             (1) The number of cases that are pending in each participating county;

             (2) The number of cases in each participating county that were closed in the previous fiscal year;

             (3) The total number of criminal defendants represented in each participating county with separate categories specifying the crimes charged and whether the defendant was less than 18 years of age or an adult;

             (4) The total number of working hours spent by the State Public Defender and the State Public Defender’s staff on work for each participating county; and

             (5) The amount and categories of the expenditures made by the State Public Defender’s office.

      (b) To each participating county, on or before December 1 of each even-numbered year, the total proposed budget of the State Public Defender for that county, including the projected number of cases and the projected cost of services attributed to the county for the next biennium.

      (c) Such reports to the Legislative Commission as the regulations of the Commission require.

      2.  As used in this section, “participating county” means each county in which the office of public defender has not been created pursuant to NRS 260.010.

      (Added to NRS by 1971, 1412; A 1977, 331; 1995, 498)

      NRS 180.090  Application.  Except as provided in subsections 4 and 5 of NRS 180.060, the provisions of this chapter apply only to counties in which the office of public defender has not been created pursuant to the provisions of chapter 260 of NRS.

      (Added to NRS by 1971, 1412; A 1975, 42; 1977, 338)

      NRS 180.100  Other protections and sanctions not excluded.  The provisions of this chapter do not exclude any protection or sanction that the law otherwise provides.

      (Added to NRS by 1971, 1412)

      NRS 180.110  Collection of charges to counties for services.

      1.  Each fiscal year the State Public Defender may collect from the counties amounts which do not exceed those authorized by the Legislature for use of the State Public Defender’s services during that year.

      2.  The State Public Defender shall submit to the county an estimate on or before the first day of May and that estimate becomes the final bill unless the county is notified of a change within 2 weeks after the date on which the county contribution is approved by the Legislature. The county shall pay the bill:

      (a) In full within 30 days after the estimate becomes the final bill or the county receives the revised estimate; or

      (b) In equal quarterly installments on or before the 1st day of July, October, January and April, respectively.

Ę The counties shall pay their respective amounts to the State Public Defender who shall deposit the amounts with the Treasurer of the State of Nevada and shall expend the money in accordance with the State Public Defender’s approved budget.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 719; A 1975, 714; 1977, 309; 1983, 528; 1991, 995)

NEVADA RIGHT TO COUNSEL COMMISSION

      NRS 180.200  Creation; members and appointing authorities; vacancies; per diem. [Effective through June 30, 2019.]

      1.  The Nevada Right to Counsel Commission, consisting of 13 voting members and 1 ex officio nonvoting member, is hereby created.

      2.  The voting members of the Commission must be appointed as follows:

      (a) One member who is a member in good standing of the State Bar of Nevada, appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate.

      (b) One member who has expertise in the finances of State Government, appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.

      (c) One member who is a retired judge or justice or has expertise in juvenile justice and criminal law, appointed by the Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court.

      (d) Two members from among six nominees selected by the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Nevada, three of whom must be members in good standing of the State Bar of Nevada who reside in a county whose population is less than 100,000, and three of whom must be members in good standing of the State Bar of Nevada who reside in a county whose population is 100,000 or more, appointed by the Governor. The Governor must appoint one member who resides in a county whose population is less than 100,000 and one member who resides in a county whose population is 100,000 or more.

      (e) Four members from among six nominees selected by the Nevada Association of Counties who reside in a county whose population is less than 100,000, appointed by the Governor. The Governor must appoint one member who has expertise in the finances of local government.

      (f) Two members from among four nominees selected by the Board of County Commissioners of Clark County, appointed by the Governor.

      (g) One member from among two nominees selected by the Board of County Commissioners of Washoe County, appointed by the Governor.

      (h) One member from among three nominees selected jointly by associations of the State Bar of Nevada who represent members of racial or ethnic minorities, appointed by the Governor.

      3.  The Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court or his or her designee is an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Commission.

      4.  Each person appointed to the Commission pursuant to subsection 2 must have:

      (a) Significant experience in providing legal representation to indigent persons who are charged with public offenses or to indigent children who are alleged to be delinquent or in need of supervision;

      (b) A demonstrated commitment to providing effective legal representation to such persons; or

      (c) Expertise or experience, as determined by the appointing authority, which qualifies the person to contribute to the purpose of the Commission or to carrying out any of its functions pursuant to NRS 180.210.

      5.  A person must not be appointed to the Commission pursuant to subsection 2 if he or she is:

      (a) A current judge, justice or judicial officer;

      (b) A prosecuting attorney or an employee thereof;

      (c) A law enforcement officer or an employee of a law enforcement agency; or

      (d) An attorney who may obtain any financial benefit from the policies adopted by the Commission.

      6.  In addition to the other requirements set forth in this section, not more than two persons who are county managers or members of a board of county commissioners may be appointed to the Commission pursuant to subsection 2.

      7.  Each member of the Commission continues in office until a successor is appointed.

      8.  Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Commission must be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term.

      9.  Each member of the Commission:

      (a) Serves without compensation; and

      (b) While engaged in the business of the Commission, is entitled to receive the per diem allowance and travel expenses provided for state officers and employees generally.

      10.  Each member of the Commission who is an officer or employee of the State or a local government must be relieved from his or her duties without loss of his or her regular compensation so that the member may prepare for and attend meetings of the Commission and perform any work necessary to carry out the duties of the Commission in the most timely manner practicable. A state agency or local government shall not require an officer or employee who is a member of the Commission to make up the time the member is absent from work to carry out his or her duties as a member, and shall not require the member to take annual vacation or compensatory time for the absence.

      11.  The Governor may remove a member of the Commission for incompetence, neglect of duty, moral turpitude, misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in office or for any other good cause.

      12.  A majority of the voting members of the Commission constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business at a meeting of the Commission. A majority of the voting members of the Commission is required for official action of the Commission.

      (Added to NRS by 2017, 2940, 2943)

      NRS 180.210  Commission to study and submit report concerning the provision of indigent defense services. [Effective through June 30, 2019.]

      1.  The Commission shall conduct a study during the 2017-2019 interim concerning issues relating to the provision of indigent defense services.

      2.  The Commission shall make recommendations to the Legislature to improve the provision of indigent defense services and to ensure that those services are provided in a manner that complies with the standards for the effective assistance of counsel established by the United States Supreme Court and the appellate courts of this State under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 8 of Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution. The Commission shall make recommendations concerning:

      (a) Standards related to the caseload and workload of defense counsel;

      (b) Minimum standards for the provision of indigent defense services;

      (c) Minimum standards for a statewide system for the provision of indigent defense services in a county whose population is less than 100,000;

      (d) Funding a statewide system for the provision of indigent services; and

      (e) Any other recommendations in accordance with the findings of the Commission.

      3.  Any state agency, political subdivision of this State or any other state or local governmental agency in this State, or any officer, employee or other person acting on behalf of such an agency or entity, shall provide, to the best ability of the agency, entity or person, information requested by the Commission to carry out any of its functions pursuant to this section.

      4.  The Commission may employ and contract, within the limits of legislative appropriations, such experts as necessary to carry out any of its functions pursuant to this section.

      5.  On or before September 1, 2018, the Commission shall submit a report of its findings and any recommendations to:

      (a) The Office of Finance in the Office of the Governor; and

      (b) The Director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau for transmittal to the 80th Session of the Nevada Legislature.

      (Added to NRS by 2017, 2942, 2943)