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CHAPTER 977
STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER
977.01   Definitions.
977.02   Board; duties.
977.03   Board; powers.
977.04   Board; restrictions.
977.05   State public defender.
977.06   Indigency determinations; redeterminations; verification; collection.
977.07   Determination of indigency.
977.075   Payment for legal representation.
977.076   Collections.
977.077   Deposit of payments received.
977.08   Appointment of counsel.
977.085   Quarterly report procedure.
977.09   Confidentiality of files.
Ch. 977 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See definitions in s. 967.02.
Ch. 977 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also PD, Wis. adm. code.
977.01 977.01 Definitions. In this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:
977.01(1) (1) "Board" means the public defender board.
977.01(2) (2) "Public assistance" means relief provided by counties under s. 59.53 (21), Wisconsin works under ss. 49.141 to 49.161, medical assistance under subch. IV of ch. 49, low-income energy assistance under s. 16.27, weatherization assistance under s. 16.26, and the food stamp program under 7 USC 2011 to 2029.
977.01 History History: 1977 c. 29; 2003 a. 33 ss. 1913, 2776, 2777.
977.02 977.02 Board; duties. The board shall:
977.02(1) (1) Appoint the state public defender and establish the state public defender's salary under s. 20.923.
977.02(2) (2) Submit the budget of the state public defender to the governor after such budget is submitted to the board by the state public defender and approved by the board.
977.02(2m) (2m) Promulgate rules regarding eligibility for legal services under this chapter, including legal services for persons who are entitled to be represented by counsel without a determination of indigency, as provided in s. 48.23 (4), 51.60, 55.105, or 938.23 (4).
977.02(3) (3) Promulgate rules regarding the determination of indigency of persons entitled to be represented by counsel, other than persons who are entitled to be represented by counsel under s. 48.23, 51.60, 55.105, or 938.23, including the time period in which the determination must be made and the criteria to be used to determine indigency and partial indigency. The rules shall specify that, in determining indigency, the representative of the state public defender shall do all of the following:
977.02(3)(a) (a) Consider the anticipated costs of effective representation for the type of case in which the person seeks representation.
977.02(3)(b) (b) Subject to par. (d), treat assets as available to the person to pay the costs of legal representation if the assets exceed $2,500 in combined equity value. In determining the combined equity value of assets, the representative of the state public defender shall exclude the equity value of vehicles up to a total equity value of $10,000 and shall exclude the first $30,000 of the equity value of the home that serves as the individual's homestead.
977.02(3)(c) (c) Subject to par. (d), treat income as available to the person to pay the costs of legal representation only if the gross income exceeds 115 percent of the federal poverty guideline, as defined in 42 USC 9902 (2) (2011). In calculating gross income under this paragraph, the representative of the state public defender shall include all earned and unearned income of the person, except any amount received under section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code, as defined in s. 71.01 (6), any amount received under s. 71.07 (9e), any payment made by an employer under section 3507 of the Internal Revenue Code, as defined in s. 71.01 (6), any student financial aid received under any federal or state program, any scholarship used for tuition and books, and any assistance received under s. 49.148. In determining the earned and unearned income of the individual, the representative of the state public defender may not include income earned by a dependent child of the person.
977.02(3)(d) (d) Treat assets or income of the person's spouse as the person's assets or income, unless the spouse was the victim of a crime the person allegedly committed.
977.02(4) (4) Promulgate rules regarding the determination of payments required of persons found to be indigent in part.
977.02(4m) (4m) Promulgate rules for payments to the state public defender under s. 977.075.
977.02(4r) (4r) Promulgate rules that establish procedures to provide the department of administration with any information concerning the collection of payment ordered under s. 48.275 (2), 757.66, 938.275 (2), 973.06 (1) (e) or 977.076 (1).
977.02(5) (5) Promulgate rules establishing procedures to assure that representation of indigent clients by the private bar at the initial stages of cases assigned under this chapter is at the same level as the representation provided by the state public defender.
977.02(6) (6) Promulgate rules to accommodate the handling of certain potential conflict of interest cases by the office of the state public defender. The rules shall not provide for the automatic referral of all potential conflict of interest cases to private counsel.
977.02(7) (7) Review decisions of the state public defender regarding bill payments, as provided under s. 977.08 (4). The board may affirm, modify or reject the decision of the state public defender.
977.02(7m) (7m) Establish agreements with the state bar association, local bar associations, law firms and private counsel designed to encourage a certain amount of legal representation under this chapter without compensation as a service to the state.
977.02(7r) (7r)
977.02(7r)(a)(a) Promulgate rules to allow the reduction of payment rates for cases assigned by the state public defender under s. 977.08 (4m) for any of the following:
977.02(7r)(a)1. 1. A reduction of not more than $2 per hour for time spent in court.
977.02(7r)(a)2. 2. A reduction of not more than $2 per hour for time spent out of court, excluding travel.
977.02(7r)(b) (b) Any reduction under par. (a) applies to cases assigned on or after the effective date of the applicable rule promulgated under par. (a).
977.02(8) (8) Perform all other duties necessary and incidental to the performance of any duty enumerated in this chapter.
977.02(9) (9) Promulgate rules establishing the maximum fees that the state public defender may pay for copies, in any format, of materials that are subject to discovery in cases in which the state public defender or counsel assigned under s. 977.08 provides legal representation. In promulgating the rules under this subsection, the board shall consider information regarding the actual, necessary, and direct cost of producing copies of materials that are subject to discovery.
977.02 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also PD, Wis. adm. code.
977.03 977.03 Board; powers.
977.03(1)(1) The board may remove the state public defender pursuant to the procedure under s. 977.05 (2). The board may enter into contracts with federal governmental agencies and local public defender organizations for the provision of legal services under this chapter.
977.03(2) (2) The board may promulgate rules to establish exceptions to limiting the amount that may be reimbursed for investigative or expert services under s. 977.05 (4r).
977.03(2m) (2m) The board may promulgate rules that establish procedures to collect payment ordered under s. 48.275 (2), 757.66, 938.275 (2), 973.06 (1) (e) or 977.076 (1) from a prisoner's prison financial account.
977.03(3) (3) The state public defender may establish procedures by rule under which the state public defender may appoint attorneys without regard to s. 977.08 (3) (c) and (d) based on the state public defender's evaluation of the attorneys' performance.
977.03 History History: 1977 c. 29; 1991 a. 269; 1993 a. 437; 1995 a. 27, 77.
977.03 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also PD, Wis. adm. code.
977.04 977.04 Board; restrictions. The board shall not make any decision regarding the handling of any case nor interfere with the state public defender or any member of his or her staff in carrying out professional duties.
977.04 History History: 1977 c. 29.
977.05 977.05 State public defender.
977.05(1) (1) Appointment. The board shall appoint a state public defender, who shall be a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin. The state public defender shall serve for a period of 5 years and shall continue until a successor is appointed, except that at the conclusion of the 5-year term of the state public defender in office as of July 1, 1980, the state public defender shall be appointed to serve at the pleasure of the board. He or she shall devote full time to the performance of duties as state public defender.
977.05(2) (2)Removal. During a 5-year term commencing prior to July 1, 1980, the state public defender may be discharged only for cause by the board after a public hearing. If the state public defender is serving at the pleasure of the board, he or she is subject to removal under s. 17.07.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)