•  Summary 
  •  
  •  Actions 
  •  
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  
  •  Memo 
  •  
  •  Text 
  •  
  •  LFIN 
  •  
  •  Chamber Video 

A03048 Summary:

BILL NOA03048A
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORLentol
 
COSPNSRFahy
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd 722 & 722-f, County L
 
Relates to plans for representation of persons accused of a crime or certain parties in family or surrogate's court.
Go to top    

A03048 Actions:

BILL NOA03048A
 
01/25/2017referred to codes
03/02/2017amend and recommit to codes
03/02/2017print number 3048a
04/25/2017reported referred to ways and means
Go to top

A03048 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A3048A              Recived 03/03/17
 
SPONSOR: Lentol
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the county law, in relation to plans for representation of persons accused of a crime or certain parties in family court or surrogate's court This measure is being introduced at the request of the Chief Administra- tive Judge on behalf of the Unified Court System. This measure would amend provisions of Article 18-B of the County Law in relation to approval of bar association plans for assigned counsel services in criminal cases and for certain parties in Family and Surro- gate's Court.   SUMMARY: Section 1 amends County Law § 722(3)(b) and (c) to transfer authority to approve bar association plans for the operation of an assigned counsel program or office of conflict defender from the Chief Administrator of the Courts to the Office of Indigent Legal Services (ILS). For counties operating an office of conflict defender on or after April 1, 2018, under the authority of County Law § 722(3)(c), the authority to approve (or disapprove) plans to operate such offices would be transferred to the Office. Section 2 adds a new paragraph (d) to County Law § 722(3) to provide that bar association plans approved prior to April 1, 2018 would remain in effect unless and until they are superseded by plans approved (or disapproved) by ILS. Section 3 amends County Law § 722-f(1) to require indigent legal service providers to provide the Office with copies of annual reports filed with the Chief Administrator. The report required to be filed with the Chief Administrator provides information on cases, staffing and finances of indigent legal service providers. Section 3 would authorize ILS to determine the form of the annual report filed with the Chief Administra- tor.   JUSTIFICATION: This measure has two aims. First, to transfer authority to approve bar association plans for operation of an assigned counsel program or office of conflict defender from the Chief Administrator to ILS, while ensuring that any plan approved on or before April 1, 2018 would remain in effect unless and until superseded by a plan approved (or disapproved) by the ILS. Second, to require indigent legal service providers to provide ILS with copies of annual reports required to be filed with the Chief Admin- istrator. 1. Transfer of authority to approve plans of bar associations *Responsibility of Chief Administrator to approve bar association plans In 1965, in response to the decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), in which the Supreme Court held that states are required under the Sixth Amendment to provide representation in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys, New York enacted Article 18-B of the County Law and created a county based, coun- ty funded system for providing representation to indigent defendants to ensure that they receive meaningful and effective assistance of coun- sel.{1} This law required each county outside of New York City and New York City to establish a plan for the provision of such representation, providing for (1) creation of a public defender office; or (2) designation of a private legal aid bureau or society; or (3) adoption of a bar associ- ation plan, coordinated by an administrator, under which private counsel are provided on a rotating schedule (see County Law § 722(3); or (4) any combination of the first three. In 2010, the Legislature amended County Law § 722 to add a fourth method for counties to provide 18-B represen- tation, an office of conflict defender operated pursuant to a bar asso- ciation plan. Originally, the State's Judicial Conference was given responsibility under Article 18-B to approve bar association plans to operate an assigned counsel program.{2} In 2010, the Legislature extended this responsibility to include approval of bar association plans for operation of an office of conflict defender. The 2010 legis- lation also directed that, when considering approval of bar association plans to operate an office of conflict defender, the Chief Administrator "employ the guidelines established by the office of indigent legal services." See L. 2010, c. 56. *Creation of ILS and the Indigent Legal Services Board In 2010, the Legislature created ILS and the Indigent Legal Service Board (Board). Id. Their statutory mission is "to monitor, study and make efforts to improve the quality of services provided pursuant to article eighteen-B of the county law." See Executive Law §§ 832(1), 833(1). ILS and the Board also were authorized to distribute State funds appropriated to the counties and City from the State's Indigent Legal Services Fund (ILSF). As part of its statutory duties and responsibil- ities, ILS was directed to "establish standards and criteria for the provision of ... services in cases involving a conflict of interest". See Executive Law § 832(3)(d). *Why transfer authority to approve bar association plans With the statutory mission to oversee all Article 18-B representation, ILS and the Board are best suited to review and approve bar association plans to provide 18-B representation. Having approval authority of bar association plans would enhance their current efforts to improve the quality of 18-B representation. For example: o Pursuant to Executive Law § 832(3)(d), on June 8, 2012 the Board issued standards and criteria for cases involving conflict cases; with transfer of approval authority, ILS would be the entity employing these standards and criteria when considering approval of an office of conflict defender. o ILS has convened a working group of experts to develop and draft Stan- dards for the Administration of Assigned Counsel Programs, which are expected to be submitted to the Board for review and approval by fall 2017. With transfer of approval authority, these Standards would be used by ILS in considering approval of an assigned counsel program. o The Board has authorized the development of six targeted Assigned Counsel Infrastructure competitive grants to counties to establish or upgrade an assigned counsel program. With transfer of approval authori- ty, ILS could ensure that, as part of this grant program, the award counties develop assigned counsel plans that incorporate the standards issued by the Board. o ILS and the Board have provided non-competitive funding to counties to upgrade assigned counsel programs and conflict defender offices, includ- ing providing training, technology and adding or upgrading conflict defender attorney positions, support staff and assigned counsel adminis- trators. With transfer of approval authority, ILS can condition such funding opportunities with plans it has approved. o ILS consults with and assists counties and indigent legal service providers in the provision of indigent legal services, in part by providing guidance to county officials, providers and bar associations in developing assigned counsel and conflict defender plans. With trans- fer of approval authority, ILS could assist counties throughout the entire process of plan development and approval. 1. Provision of annual reports to 11.5 * County Law § 7224(1) annual report requirement County Law § 722-f(1) requires that indigent legal service providers file annual reports with the Chief Administrator. This report provides information on cases, staffing and finances of indigent legal service providers. * Office access to County Law § 722-f(1) annual reports Having direct access to the annual reports required under County Law § 722-f(1) is important for a number of reasons, including: o ILS' duties and responsibilities require it to collect data contained in this annual report. For example, § 832(3)(b)(v) requires the collection of information regarding caseload and disposition informa- tion. Being the recipient of these annual reports will help ILS fulfill its statutory duties. This measure would take effect April 1, 2018.   2017 LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: OCA 2017-24 Assembly 3048 (M. of A. Lentol) (ref to Codes)   2015-16 LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: OCA 2015-7R Assembly 6389-A (M. of A. Lentol) (PASSED) {1} In subsequent years, the responsibility for providing County Law 18-B representation to the indigent was extended to certain types of proceedings under the Family Court Act and Surrogate's Court. {2} Following adoption of court reform constitutional amendments in 1978, this responsibility was shifted to the Chief Administrative Judge.
Go to top

A03048 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         3048--A
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 25, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  LENTOL -- (at request of the Office of Court
          Administration) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Codes --
          committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
          recommitted to said committee
 
        AN  ACT to amend the county law, in relation to plans for representation
          of persons accused of a crime or certain parties in  family  court  or
          surrogate's court
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of subdivision 3 of section  722  of
     2  the  county  law, as amended by section 3 of part E of chapter 56 of the
     3  laws of 2010, are amended to read as follows:
     4    (b) Any plan of a bar association must receive  the  approval  of  the
     5  [state  administrator] office of indigent legal services before the plan
     6  is placed in operation. In the county of Hamilton, representation pursu-
     7  ant to a plan of a bar association in accordance with  subparagraph  (i)
     8  of  paragraph (a) of this subdivision may be by counsel furnished by the
     9  Fulton county bar association pursuant to a plan of  the  Fulton  county
    10  bar  association, following approval of the [state administrator] office
    11  of indigent legal services. When considering approval of  an  office  of
    12  conflict  defender  pursuant  to this section, the [state administrator]
    13  office of indigent legal services shall employ  the  guidelines  it  has
    14  heretofore established [by the office of indigent legal services] pursu-
    15  ant to paragraph (d) of subdivision three of section eight hundred thir-
    16  ty-two of the executive law.
    17    (c)  Any county operating an office of conflict defender, as described
    18  in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of this subdivision, as  of  March
    19  thirty-first,  two  thousand  ten  may  continue to utilize the services
    20  provided by such office provided that the county submits a plan  to  the
    21  state  administrator  within one hundred eighty days after the promulga-
    22  tion of criteria for the provision of conflict defender services by  the
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD08831-03-7

        A. 3048--A                          2
 
     1  office  of  indigent  legal  services.  The authority to operate such an
     2  office pursuant to this paragraph shall expire when the  state  adminis-
     3  trator  (or,  on or after April first, two thousand eighteen, the office
     4  of  indigent  legal  services)  approves  or disapproves such plan. Upon
     5  approval, the county is authorized to operate such office in  accordance
     6  with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision.
     7    §  2.  Subdivision  3  of  section 722 of the county law is amended by
     8  adding a new paragraph (d) to read as follows:
     9    (d) For purposes of this subdivision, any plan of  a  bar  association
    10  approved  hereunder  pursuant  to this subdivision, as provided prior to
    11  April first, two thousand eighteen, shall remain in effect until  it  is
    12  superseded  by  a plan approved by the office of indigent legal services
    13  or disapproved by such office.
    14    § 3. Subdivision 1 of section 722-f of the county  law,  as  added  by
    15  chapter 761 of the laws of 1966 and as designated by section 4 of part J
    16  of chapter 62 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows:
    17    1.  A public defender appointed pursuant to article eighteen-A of this
    18  chapter, a private legal aid bureau or society designated by a county or
    19  city pursuant to subdivision two of section seven hundred twenty-two  of
    20  this  [chapter] article, [and] an administrator of a plan of a bar asso-
    21  ciation appointed pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred
    22  twenty-two of this [chapter] article and an office of conflict  defender
    23  established  pursuant  to  such  subdivision shall file an annual report
    24  with the [judicial conference] chief administrator of the courts and the
    25  office of indigent legal services. Such report shall be  filed  at  such
    26  times and in such detail and form as the [judicial conference] office of
    27  indigent legal services may direct.
    28    § 4. This act shall take effect April 1, 2018.
Go to top