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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 20, 2015 01:37 PM
From: Representative Kerry A. Benninghoff
To: All House members
Subject: Reimbursement - Public Defender under Mental Health Procedures Act
 
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to amend the Public Defenders Act in order to restore equity to the manner in which the cost of providing counsel to indigent defendants who are subject to the Mental Health Procedures Act is assessed.

Currently, indigent defendants are entitled to counsel when they are subject to involuntary psychiatric treatment under the Mental Health Procedures Act. The public defender is charged with such representation. Often, however, the county which imposed a sentence of incarceration is not the county which provides the public defender at the proceedings regarding involuntary psychiatric treatment. This leaves the county which provided representation under the Mental health Procedures Act to absorb the cost.

Under the Public Defenders Act, if an indigent defendant is represented by a pubic defender at a parole revocation hearing, the county which imposed the sentence of incarceration must reimburse the cost of the public defender of any other county which provided the defendant's representation at the parole revocation hearing. It strikes me that the same rule should apply in proceedings regarding involuntary mental health treatment under the Mental Health Procedures Act.

Accordingly, my legislation amends the Public Defenders Act to provide that if a county, other than the county which imposed a sentence of incarceration, provides the services of a public defender to a defendant under the Mental Health Procedures Act, then the county which imposed the sentence of incarceration must reimburse the county which provided representation for the defendant at the proceedings regarding involuntary psychiatric treatment.

Thank you for your consideration!



Introduced as HB1107