Friday February 15, 2019 Legislative Updates!

IN [R] HB 1453 This bill, authored by Rep. John Young (R), addresses appellate defender and misdemeanor reimbursement. It establishes the office of the state appellate defender for adults and to provide direct appeals for indigent individuals; however, it states that a case that originates from Lake or Marion County is exempt from receiving services from the office of the state appellate defender and that a juvenile delinquency case that originates from Marion County is exempt from receiving services from the state appellate defender juvenile defense office. It also states that a county may be reimbursed for indigent defense services provided for misdemeanors in a superior or circuit court. The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means as of 1/3/2019, and the text of the bill can be found here.

IN [R] SB 488 This bill, authored by Sen. Michael Young (R), states that county executives will adopt ordinances that allow counties to enter into an inter-local agreement with one or more counties for the purpose of: creating a multicounty public defender's office and providing legal services to indigent persons located in the areas subject to the inter-local agreement. It also requires inter-local agreements concerning indigent criminal defense to be administered by a joint board, lays out the overall structure of the board, including term limits, and prohibits certain persons from acting as a member of a joint board. The bill was referred to the House as of 1/29/2019, and the text of the bill can be found here.

IL [R] SB 63 This bill, sponsored by Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (D), would amend the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. The bill states that the chief judge of each judicial circuit may establish a Justice for Juveniles Program, which would require that juveniles arrested or detained for eligible offenses be represented by legal counsel throughout the entire custodial interrogation of the juvenile. Additionally, if a chief judge establishes a Justice for Juveniles Program, any oral, written, or sign language statement of a juvenile made without the presence of legal counsel during a custodial interrogation on or after the effective date of the Program shall be inadmissible as evidence against the juvenile in a proceeding. It also defines "eligible offense" and "juvenile". The bill was referred to assignments as of 1/23/2019, and the text of the bill can be found here.

MO [R] HB 42 This bill, sponsored by Rep. Ingrid Burnett (D), states that if a child waives his or her right to counsel, such waiver shall be made in open court and be recorded and in writing. In determining whether a child has knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived his or her right to counsel, the court shall look to the totality of the circumstances, as specified in the bill. If a child waives his or her right to counsel, the waiver shall only apply to that particular proceeding. The bill also specifies certain proceedings in which a child's right to counsel shall not be waived. The bill was referred to the Children and Families Committee as of 2/07/2019, and the text of the bill can be found here.

MS [R] HB 480 This bill, sponsored by Rep. Deborah Dixon (D), amends section 43-21-311 of the Mississippi code of 1972 to say when a child of 15 years of age or younger is taken into custody for committing a delinquent act, the youth will consult with legal counsel before waiving his or her rights and requires the youth court to consider the effect of the failure to comply with the requirement of consulting with legal counsel, when applicable, before waiving his or her rights when adjudicating the admissibility of certain statements. The bill was tabled subject to call on 2/12/19, and the text can be found here.

NE [R] LB 231 This bill, introduced by Rep. Pansing Brooks (D), makes several changes to the legal defense of a juvenile. The bill creates a fund for the off-setting of costs for counties providing legal counsel of indigent juveniles, the creation of a juvenile defense filing fee, changes provisions relating to appointment of counsel for juveniles and standards for guardians ad litem and attorneys in juvenile court, and creates an option for rescission of a waiver of counsel by a juvenile. The bill will be given a hearing on 3/6/2019, and the text of the bill may be found here.

NY [R] AB 3900 This bill, sponsored by Assembly Member David Weprin (D), would allow for representation by counsel at parole hearings. The bill has been referred to corrections as of 1/31/2019, and the text of the bill can be found here.

VA [R] HB 2283 This bill, introduced by Rep. Elizabeth Guzman (D), prohibits any child age 15 and younger who is alleged to be in need of services, in need of supervision, or delinquent from waiving his right to an attorney. The bill also requires any child who is age 16 or older and is alleged to be in need of services, in need of supervision, or delinquent to consult with an attorney before such child may waive his right to an attorney. Additionally, a court must determine that such waiver is free and voluntary. The bill is currently in the Courts of Justice committee as of 2/5/2019, and the text of the bill can be found here.

US [R] HR 568 This bill, authored by Rep. Theordore Deutch (D), requires state governors to submit to the Attorney General an annual report on the number of individuals who represented themselves in court in criminal matters or juvenile delinquency matters, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary as of 1/15/2019, and the text of the bill can be found here.