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A03048 Summary:

BILL NOA03048B
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORLentol
 
COSPNSRFahy, Weinstein
 
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 and establishes a single town court to serve the towns of Erin and Chemung.
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A03048 Actions:

BILL NOA03048B
 
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
05/09/2017reported
05/11/2017advanced to third reading cal.331
05/15/2017amended on third reading 3048b
06/19/2017passed assembly
06/19/2017delivered to senate
06/19/2017REFERRED TO RULES
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A03048 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A3048B
 
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 and establishing a single town court to serve the towns of Erin and Chemung   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to provide that bar association plans approved prior to April 1, 2018 would remain in effect unless and until they are superseded by plans approved (or disapproved) by ILS.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. Section 4 of the bill would allow the towns of Chemung and Erin to oper- ate as a single town court through December 1, 2017. It would also allow such towns to consolidate beyond such date after following the proper procedures in the Uniform Justice Court Act.   JUSTIFICATION: Sections one, two and three of 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 Administrator. 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. 2. 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. These provision would take effect April 1, 2018. The bill will also allow the towns of Chemung and Erin to operate a single town court through December 17, 2017, and beyond after complying with the relevant provisions of the Uniform Justice Court Act.   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)
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A03048 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         3048--B
                                                                Cal. No. 331
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 25, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. LENTOL, FAHY, WEINSTEIN -- read once and referred
          to  the  Committee  on  Codes  --  committee discharged, bill amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --
          reported  and  referred to the Committee on Ways and Means -- reported
          from committee, advanced to  a  third  reading,  amended  and  ordered
          reprinted, retaining its place on the order of third reading
 
        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  and  establishing a single town court to serve the
          towns of Erin and Chemung
 
          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
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD08831-05-7

        A. 3048--B                          2
 
     1  provided  by  such office provided that the county submits a plan to the
     2  state administrator within one hundred eighty days after  the  promulga-
     3  tion  of criteria for the provision of conflict defender services by the
     4  office  of  indigent  legal  services.  The authority to operate such an
     5  office pursuant to this paragraph shall expire when the  state  adminis-
     6  trator  (or,  on or after April first, two thousand eighteen, the office
     7  of indigent legal services) approves  or  disapproves  such  plan.  Upon
     8  approval,  the county is authorized to operate such office in accordance
     9  with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision.
    10    § 2. Subdivision 3 of section 722 of the  county  law  is  amended  by
    11  adding a new paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    12    (d)  For  purposes  of this subdivision, any plan of a bar association
    13  approved hereunder pursuant to this subdivision, as  provided  prior  to
    14  April  first,  two thousand eighteen, shall remain in effect until it is
    15  superseded by a plan approved by the office of indigent  legal  services
    16  or disapproved by such office.
    17    §  3.  Subdivision  1  of section 722-f of the county law, as added by
    18  chapter 761 of the laws of 1966 and as designated by section 4 of part J
    19  of chapter 62 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows:
    20    1. A public defender appointed pursuant to article eighteen-A of  this
    21  chapter, a private legal aid bureau or society designated by a county or
    22  city  pursuant to subdivision two of section seven hundred twenty-two of
    23  this [chapter] article, [and] an administrator of a plan of a bar  asso-
    24  ciation appointed pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred
    25  twenty-two  of this [chapter] article and an office of conflict defender
    26  established pursuant to such subdivision shall  file  an  annual  report
    27  with the [judicial conference] chief administrator of the courts and the
    28  office  of  indigent  legal services. Such report shall be filed at such
    29  times and in such detail and form as the [judicial conference] office of
    30  indigent legal services may direct.
    31    § 4. (a) The legislature hereby finds and declares that:
    32    (i) In 2016, the towns of Erin and Chemung, in Chemung  county,  acted
    33  in  concert  in an effort to establish a single town court having juris-
    34  diction in both towns; and
    35    (ii) in undertaking this effort, the two towns inadvertently failed to
    36  comply with the necessary provisions of law - subdivision 1  of  section
    37  106-a of the uniform justice court act, as amended by chapter 205 of the
    38  laws  of 2016 - setting forth the process that must be followed in order
    39  to establish a single town court serving  the  two  towns,  and  section
    40  106-b  of  the  uniform justice court act, as added by chapter 87 of the
    41  laws of 2008 - setting forth the process that must be followed in  order
    42  to provide for the election of a single town justice for the two towns.
    43    (b)  Notwithstanding  any law to the contrary, such steps as the towns
    44  of Erin and Chemung have heretofore taken to  establish  a  single  town
    45  court  having  jurisdiction  in both towns shall be deemed sufficient to
    46  constitute such single town court solely for the period from the  effec-
    47  tive  date  of  this  act  through  December  31, 2017. Each of the town
    48  justices of the towns of Erin and Chemung, in office  on  the  effective
    49  date  of  this  act,  shall be and shall serve as a town justice of such
    50  single town court.
    51    (c) Nothing in this act shall prevent the towns of  Erin  and  Chemung
    52  from  establishing a single town court having jurisdiction in both towns
    53  pursuant to the provisions of section 106-a of the uniform justice court
    54  act, provided, however, such a court shall not be established  prior  to
    55  January 1, 2018.

        A. 3048--B                          3
 
     1    (d)  Notwithstanding  that the towns of Erin and Chemung are not adja-
     2  cent to each other, the two towns may provide  for  the  election  of  a
     3  single  town  judge  by complying with all other requirements of section
     4  106-b of the uniform justice court act.
     5    §  5.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
     6  sections one, two and three of this act shall take effect  on  April  1,
     7  2018.
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