1. The local public defender shall do all of the following:
a. Represent without fee an indigent person who is under arrest or charged with a crime if the indigent person requests representation or the court orders representation. The local public defender shall counsel and defend an indigent defendant at every stage of the criminal proceedings and prosecute before or after conviction any appeals or other remedies which the local public defender considers to be in the interest of justice unless other counsel is appointed to the case.
b. Represent an indigent party, without fee and upon an order of the court, in child in need of assistance, family in need of assistance, delinquency, and termination of parental rights proceedings pursuant to chapter 232 in a county served by a public defender. The local public defender shall counsel and represent an indigent party in all proceedings pursuant to chapter 232 in a county served by a public defender and prosecute before or after judgment any appeals or other remedies which the local public defender considers to be in the interest of justice unless other counsel is appointed to the case. The state public defender shall be reimbursed by the counties for services rendered by employees of the local public defenders' offices under this subsection, pursuant to section 232.141.
c. Make an initial determination of indigence as required under section 815.9 prior to the initial arraignment or other initial court appearance.
d. Make an annual report to the state public defender. The report shall include all cases handled by the local public defender during the preceding calendar year.
2. An appointed attorney under this section is not liable to a person represented by the attorney pursuant to this chapter for damages as a result of a conviction unless the court determines in a postconviction appeal that the person's conviction resulted from ineffective assistance of counsel.
3. The local public defender may appoint the number of assistant public defenders, clerks, investigators, stenographers, and other employees as approved by the state public defender. An assistant local public defender must be an attorney licensed to practice before the Iowa supreme court. Appointments shall be made in the manner prescribed by the state public defender.
4. The local public defender shall handle every case to which the local public defender is appointed if the local public defender can reasonably handle the case.
5. If a conflict of interest arises or if the local public defender is unable to handle a case because of a temporary overload of cases, the local public defender shall return the case to the court. The court shall first appoint a contract attorney. Appointments by the court shall be on a rotational or equalization basis considering the experience of the attorney and the difficulty of the case.
6. If a contract attorney is not available, or if a conflict of interest or overload of cases prevents a contract attorney from handling a case, the court shall appoint a private noncontract attorney who has agreed to take the case. The appointment shall be on a rotational or equalization basis, considering the experience of the attorney and the difficulty of the case.
88 Acts, ch 1161, § 9; 89 Acts, ch 83, § 4; 91 Acts, ch 268, §413, 439; 94 Acts, ch 1187, §18, 19; 96 Acts, ch 1040, § 3, 4
Referred to in § 815.10
© 1997 Cornell College and League of Women Voters of Iowa
Last update: Mon Jan 27 16:05:08 CST 1997