TITLE LIX
PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES

Chapter 604-B
PUBLIC DEFENDER PROGRAM

Section 604-B:1

    604-B:1 Declaration of Purpose. – It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state to continue a public defender program for representation of indigent criminal defendants in Belknap, Merrimack, Hillsborough and Rockingham counties and to extend that program to the remaining 6 counties in the state.

Source. 1977, 296:1. 1981, 568:19, eff. July 1, 1981.

Section 604-B:2

    604-B:2 Representation of Indigent Defendants. –
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, when the appointment of counsel is required:
I. For indigent defendants in criminal cases, or
II. For juveniles charged as delinquents under RSA 169-B, the district, municipal, superior and supreme courts shall appoint the public defender program or a qualified attorney assigned by the court. The public defender program shall also provide such other representation of indigents as is necessary and consistent with normal criminal defense as required by the New Hampshire and United States Constitutions.

Source. 1977, 296:1. 1981, 568:19, eff. July 1, 1981.

Section 604-B:3

    604-B:3 Limitation of Representation. – The public defender program shall not represent more than one person where a conflict of interest exists under the code of professional responsibility.

Source. 1977, 296:1. 1981, 568:19, eff. July 1, 1981.

Section 604-B:4

    604-B:4 Contract. – The state of New Hampshire, by the judicial council and with the approval of governor and council, shall contract with any organization or groups of lawyers approved by the board of governors of the New Hampshire Bar Association to operate the public defender program and provide public defender representation as provided in RSA 604-B:2 and 3. The contract shall fix the number of defender attorneys providing representation in each county and shall permit the public defender program to subcontract for attorney services, including appellate services, as may be necessary to provide such representation. No such contract shall be effective for longer than 2 years. The compensation for operation of the public defender program shall be such sums as may be fixed by the contract, subject to the appropriations made therefor.

Source. 1977, 296:1. 1981, 568:19, eff. July 1, 1981.

Section 604-B:5

    604-B:5 Supervision. – The public defender program shall be under the general supervision of the judicial council for such matters pertaining to, but not limited to, allocation of cases between the public defender program and assigned counsel, performance, professional competence, and fiscal and budgetary matters. The supreme court shall recommend a fee schedule for assigned counsel which shall be graduated to reflect years of legal experience of such counsel.

Source. 1977, 296:1. 1981, 568:19, eff. July 1, 1981.

Section 604-B:6

    604-B:6 Allocation of Cases. – The allocation of cases between the public defender program and assigned counsel shall be in accordance with a plan adopted by the public defender program and approved by the judicial council. The plan shall establish caseload limits for defender attorneys in accordance with professional standards under the code of professional responsibility and shall provide for appointment of assigned counsel only where maximum caseloads have been reached or public defender attorneys are otherwise unavailable.

Source. 1977, 296:1. 1981, 568:19, eff. July 1, 1981.

Section 604-B:7

    604-B:7 Public Defenders. – Public defenders shall serve in accordance with the terms of a contract entered into pursuant to RSA 604-B:4. Public defender responsibilities shall be exclusively concerned with rights of indigent criminal defendants.

Source. 1977, 269:1. 1978, 52:4. 1981, 568:19, eff. July 1, 1981.

Section 604-B:8

    604-B:8 Alternate Public Defender Program. – The state of New Hampshire by the judicial council and with the approval of the governor and council may, in addition to the contract for the public defender program referred to in RSA 604-B:4, contract for an alternate public defender program to represent indigent defendants in circumstances where, because of conflict of interest or otherwise, the public defender program is unable to provide representation to a defendant. The alternate public defender program and the contract between it and the state shall be governed by the provisions of this chapter.

Source. 1988, 225:1, eff. April 30, 1988.