HB 3207

83(R) - 2013
Criminal Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Roberto Alonzo

Bill Caption

Relating to the authority of public defenders to refuse to accept indigent defense appointments for good cause.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication is anticipated on the State. If the local government has a public defender's office in which the caseloads exceed the maximum allowable amount, then the local government would need to appoint and pay additional counsel. The fiscal impact for local governments would vary on future cases but may be significant.

Bill Analysis

Summary: HB 3207 would prohibit a public defender's office from accepting a case if it violates the maximum caseload established by the defender's office. The chief public defender must file a statement regarding why a case is refused, and the court shall determine if the chief defender had adequate cause to refuse a case. This bill would prohibit a public defender from being terminated for refusing a case in good faith.

Analysis: HB 3207 is intended to prevent an indigent individual from receiving subpar representation due to excessive caseloads. This bill does not fall under our liberty principles. We remain neutral on HB 3207.