Determination of indigency — Provisional appointment — Promissory note.
(1) A determination of indigency shall be made for all persons wishing the appointment of counsel in criminal, juvenile, involuntary commitment, and dependency cases, and any other case where the right to counsel attaches. The court or its designee shall determine whether the person is indigent pursuant to the standards set forth in this chapter.
(2) In making the determination of indigency, the court shall also consider the anticipated length and complexity of the proceedings and the usual and customary charges of an attorney in the community for rendering services, and any other circumstances presented to the court which are relevant to the issue of indigency. The appointment of counsel shall not be denied to the person because the person's friends or relatives, other than a spouse who was not the victim of any offense or offenses allegedly committed by the person, have resources adequate to retain counsel, or because the person has posted or is capable of posting bond.
(3) The determination of indigency shall be made upon the defendant's initial contact with the court or at the earliest time circumstances permit. The court or its designee shall keep a written record of the determination of indigency. Any information given by the accused under this section or sections shall be confidential and shall not be available for use by the prosecution in the pending case.
(4) If a determination of eligibility cannot be made before the time when the first services are to be rendered, the court shall appoint an attorney on a provisional basis. If the court subsequently determines that the person receiving the services is ineligible, the court shall notify the person of the termination of services, subject to court-ordered reinstatement.
(5) All persons determined to be indigent and able to contribute, shall be required to execute a promissory note at the time counsel is appointed. The person shall be informed whether payment shall be made in the form of a lump sum payment or periodic payments. The payment and payment schedule must be set forth in writing. The person receiving the appointment of counsel shall also sign an affidavit swearing under penalty of perjury that all income and assets reported are complete and accurate. In addition, the person must swear in the affidavit to immediately report any change in financial status to the court.
(6) The office or individual charged by the court to make the determination of indigency shall provide a written report and opinion as to indigency on a form prescribed by the office of public defense, based on information obtained from the defendant and subject to verification. The form shall include information necessary to provide a basis for making a determination with respect to indigency as provided by this chapter.
[1997 c 41 § 5; 1989 c 409 § 3.]