Law:Title 2. Judicial Branch. Subtitle F. Court Administration (Texas)

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Subtitle F. Court Administration

Contents

Chapter 71. Texas Judicial Council

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  71.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Assigned counsel program" means a system under which private attorneys, acting as independent contractors and compensated with public funds, are individually appointed to provide legal representation and services to a particular indigent defendant accused of a crime or juvenile offense.

(2)  "Chair" means the chair of the council.

(3)  "Contract defender program" means a system under which private attorneys, acting as independent contractors and compensated with public funds, are engaged to provide legal representation and services to a group of unspecified indigent defendants who appear before a particular court or group of courts.

(4)  "Council" means the Texas Judicial Council.

(5)  "Crime" means:

(A)  a misdemeanor punishable by confinement; or

(B)  a felony.

(6)  "Defendant" means a person accused of a crime or a juvenile offense.

(7)  "Indigent defense support services" means criminal defense services that:

(A)  are provided by licensed investigators, experts, or other similar specialists, including forensic experts and mental health experts; and

(B)  are reasonable and necessary for appointed counsel to provide adequate representation to indigent defendants.

(8)  "Juvenile offense" means conduct committed by a person while younger than 17 years of age that constitutes:

(A)  a misdemeanor punishable by confinement; or

(B)  a felony.

(9)  "Public defender" has the meaning assigned by Article 26.044(a), Code of Criminal Procedure.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1408, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 12, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 855, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Subchapter B. Administrative Provisions

Section  71.011.  Number And Classes Of Members.

The Texas Judicial Council is an agency of the state composed of 16 ex officio and six appointive members.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1408, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  71.012.  Ex Officio Members.

The ex officio members are:

(1)  the chief justice of the supreme court;

(2)  the presiding judge of the court of criminal appeals;

(3)  two members of the senate, appointed by the lieutenant governor;

(4)  the chair of the House Judicial Affairs Committee;

(5)  one member of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house;

(6)  two justices of the courts of appeals designated by the chief justice of the supreme court;

(7)  two district judges designated by the chief justice of the supreme court;

(8)  two judges of county courts, statutory county, or statutory probate courts designated by the chief justice of the supreme court;

(9)  two justices of the peace designated by the chief justice of the supreme court; and

(10)  two municipal court judges designated by the chief justice of the supreme court.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 8.44(13), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1408, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1328, Sec. 2, eff. June 21, 2003.



Section  71.013.  Terms Of Ex Officio Members; Delegation Of Functions.

(a) The chief justice of the supreme court and the presiding judge of the court of criminal appeals are members of the council as long as they hold those offices.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (a), all members of the judiciary appointed to the council serve staggered terms of four years with the term of one member from each judicial group expiring on February 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(c)  A legislative member whose membership in the legislature ceases continues as a member of the council at the pleasure of the appointing authority.

(d)  A vacancy in a judicial membership must be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.

(e)  A judicial or legislative member of the council serves until his successor is chosen and has qualified.

(f)  The chief justice of the supreme court and the presiding judge of the court of criminal appeals may each designate a member of his court to act in his stead under this chapter. The designated person serves at the will of the official who chose him for service.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 8.44(14), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1408, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  71.014.  Citizen Members.

(a) The governor shall appoint the six citizen members on the council.

(b)  A citizen member must be a resident citizen of the state. Three of the six citizen members must be members of the State Bar of Texas and two must be persons who are not licensed to practice law.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1408, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  71.015.  Terms Of Citizen Members.

(a) Citizen members serve for staggered terms of six years with two members' terms expiring on June 30 of each odd-numbered year.

(b)  A vacancy in citizen membership is filled for the unexpired term by appointment by the governor.

(c)  A citizen member serves on the council until his successor is appointed and has qualified.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1408, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  71.016.  Meetings.

(a) The council shall meet at least once in each calendar year and may meet at other times as ordered by the council or under its authority.

(b)  The council may meet at a place and time designated by it or under its authority.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  71.017.  Quorum.

Eleven members of the council constitute a quorum.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1408, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  71.018.  Officers; Committees.

(a) The chief justice of the supreme court shall serve as chair and the presiding judge of the court of criminal appeals shall serve as vice chair of the council. Other officers of the council shall be elected by the council.

(b)  The council may prescribe the duties of an officer of the council.

(c)  The council may appoint committees from its membership. It may prescribe the duties of and delegate powers under this chapter to a committee except as otherwise limited by this chapter.

(d)  The chair may appoint committees for two-year terms that he considers necessary for the organization of the council.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1408, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  71.019.  Rules.

The council may adopt rules expedient for the administration of its functions.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  71.020.  Expenses.

(a) A member of the council may not receive compensation for service on the council.

(b)  A member is entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing the duties of the council and approved for payment as provided by this section.

(c)  The council, its officers, and its committees are entitled to reimbursement for the actual and necessary clerical expenses incurred in performing functions under this chapter and approved for payment as provided by this section.

(d)  Before any expenses incurred by the council, its members or officers, or its committees may be paid, the chair of the council or the vice chair, if authorized by the chair in writing to do so, must approve a verified and itemized account of the expenses.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1408, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter C. Powers And Duties

Section  71.031.  Continuous Study.

The council continuously shall study the organization, rules, procedures and practice, work accomplished, results, and uniformity of the discretionary powers of the state courts and methods for their improvement.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  71.032.  Receipt Of Advice On Remedies.

The council shall receive and consider advice from judges, public officials, members of the bar, and citizens concerning remedies for faults in the administration of justice.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  71.033.  Methods For Improvement.

The council shall design methods for simplifying judicial procedure, expediting the transaction of judicial business, and correcting faults in or improving the administration of justice.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  71.034.  Reports; Investigations.

(a) The council shall file a complete detailed report with the governor and the supreme court before December 2 of each year on council activities, information from the council's study, and council recommendations.

(b)  The council may file a supplemental report on council activities, findings, or recommendations at a time it considers advisable.

(c)  The council shall investigate and report on a matter concerning the administration of justice that the supreme court or the legislature refers to the council.

(d)  The yearly or supplemental reports of the council are public information and may be given to the press when filed.

(e)  In addition to the information described by Subsection (a), the council shall include in the report a summary of information provided to the council during the preceding year under Article 2.211, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 85, Sec. 4.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  71.035.  Statistics; Enforcement By Mandamus.

(a) The council shall gather judicial statistics and other pertinent information from the several state judges and other court officials of this state. In addition, the council shall implement a monthly tracking system to ensure accountability for counties and courts which participate in the statewide integrated system for child support and medical support enforcement established under Section 231.0011, Family Code. As a duty of office, the district clerks and county clerks serving the affected courts shall report monthly such information as may be required by the council, including, at a minimum, the time required to enforce cases from date of delinquency, from date of filing, and from date of service until date of disposition. Such information as is necessary to complete the report and not directly within the control of the district or county clerk, such as date of delinquency, shall be provided to the clerk by the child support registry or by the enforcement agency providing Title IV-D enforcement services in the court. The monthly report shall be transmitted to the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System no later than the 20th day of the month following the month reported, in such form as may be prescribed by the Office of Court Administration, which may include electronic data transfer. Copies of such reports shall be maintained in the office of the appropriate district or county clerk for a period of at least two years and shall be available to the public for inspection and reproduction.

(b)  The council may require a state justice, judge, clerk, or other court official, as an official duty, to comply with reasonable requirements for supplying statistics pertaining to the amount and character of the civil and criminal business transacted by the court or other information on the conduct, operation, or business of his court or the office of the clerk of his court that is within the scope of the functions of the council. If the official does not supply the information within a reasonable time after the request, he is presumed to have wilfully refused the request. The council shall prescribe procedures, definitions of terms, and forms for supplying the statistics and other information.

(c)  The duty provided by this section to supply information may be enforced by writ of mandamus in:

(1)  the district court of the county of residence of the respondent if the petition for mandamus is filed against a district clerk or a clerk, judge, or other official of a trial court other than a district court;

(2)  the court of appeals for the court of appeals district in which the respondent resides if the petition for mandamus is filed against a district judge or a clerk of a court of appeals; or

(3)  the supreme court in any other case.

(d)  Except as provided by this subsection, the attorney general shall file and prosecute an action for mandamus on behalf of the council if requested to do so in writing by the council. To be valid, the written request must be signed by the chair or by at least 11 members of the council. The attorney general may refuse to file an action if he certifies in writing that the action is without merit.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 1.63, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, Sec. 2.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 79, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1408, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 71.0351.  Indigent Defense Information.

(a) In each county, not later than November 1 of each odd-numbered year and in the form and manner prescribed by the Task Force on Indigent Defense, the following information shall be prepared and provided to the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System:

(1)  a copy of all formal and informal rules and forms that describe the procedures used in the county to provide indigent defendants with counsel in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure, including the schedule of fees required under Article 26.05 of that code;

(2)  any revisions to rules or forms previously submitted to the office of court administration under this section; or

(3)  verification that rules and forms previously submitted to the office of court administration under this section still remain in effect.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c):

(1)  the local administrative district judge in each county, or the person designated by the judge, shall perform the action required by Subsection (a) with respect to all rules and forms adopted by the judges of the district courts trying felony cases in the county; and

(2)  the local administrative statutory county court judge in each county, or the person designated by the judge, shall perform the action required by Subsection (a) with respect to all rules and forms adopted by the judges of the county courts and statutory county courts trying misdemeanor cases in the county.

(c)  If the judges of two or more levels of courts described by Subsection (b) adopt the same formal and informal rules and forms, the local administrative judge serving the courts having jurisdiction over offenses with the highest classification of punishment, or the person designated by the judge, shall perform the action required by Subsection (a).

(d)  The chair of the juvenile board in each county, or the person designated by the chair, shall perform the action required by Subsection (a) with respect to all rules and forms adopted by the juvenile board.

(e)  In each county, the county auditor, or the person designated by the commissioners court if the county does not have a county auditor, shall prepare and send to the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System in the form and manner prescribed by the Task Force on Indigent Defense and on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, with respect to legal services provided in the county to indigent defendants during each fiscal year, information showing the total amount expended by the county to provide indigent defense services and an analysis of the amount expended by the county:

(1)  in each district, county, statutory county, and appellate court;

(2)  in cases for which a private attorney is appointed for an indigent defendant;

(3)  in cases for which a public defender is appointed for an indigent defendant;

(4)  in cases for which counsel is appointed for an indigent juvenile under Section 51.10(f), Family Code; and

(5)  for investigation expenses, expert witness expenses, or other litigation expenses.

(f)  As a duty of office, each district and county clerk shall cooperate with the county auditor or the person designated by the commissioners court and the commissioners court in retrieving information required to be sent to the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System under this section and under a reporting plan developed by the Task Force on Indigent Defense under Section 71.061(a).

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 13, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 965, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  71.0352.  Juvenile Date: Justice, Municipal, And Juvenile Courts.

As a component of the official monthly report submitted to the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System:

(1)  justice and municipal courts shall report the number of cases filed for the following offenses:

(A)  failure to attend school under Section 25.094, Education Code;

(B)  parent contributing to nonattendance under Section 25.093, Education Code; and

(C)  violation of a local daytime curfew ordinance adopted under Section 341.905 or 351.903, Local Government Code; and

(2)  in cases in which a child fails to obey an order of a justice or municipal court under circumstances that would constitute contempt of court, the justice or municipal court shall report the number of incidents in which the child is:

(A)  referred to the appropriate juvenile court for delinquent conduct as provided by Article 45.050(c)(1), Code of Criminal Procedure, and Section 51.03(a)(2), Family Code; or

(B)  held in contempt, fined, or denied driving privileges as provided by Article 45.050(c)(2), Code of Criminal Procedure.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 43, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  71.036.  Public Hearings.

(a) The council may appoint a committee of at least three members to hold a public hearing.

(b)  The committee may:

(1)  order the production of books or other documents;

(2)  require a report from a state court, including a court that is not a court of record;

(3)  administer oaths; or

(4)  take testimony.

(c)  An officer of the council, either prior to or while sitting at a hearing, or a member of the council sitting at a hearing may issue a subpoena or similar order to a prospective witness under his official signature.

(d)  The subpoena or similar order may be served by registered or certified mail or by an adult person.

(e)  If a witness fails to comply with a subpoena or similar order issued as provided by this section, the council or its committee holding the hearing may request in writing that a district judge of the county of residence of the witness enforce its subpoena or similar order. When requested to enforce a subpoena or order as provided by this section, the district judge shall order compliance with the council's order by the same means that the judge may compel the appearance and testimony of witnesses in a trial in his own court.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Subchapter D. Task Force On Indigent Defense

Section  71.051.  Establishment Of Task Force; Composition.

The Task Force on Indigent Defense is established as a standing committee of the council and is composed of eight ex officio members and five appointive members.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section  71.052.  Ex Officio Members.

The ex officio members are:

(1)  the following six members of the council:

(A)  the chief justice of the supreme court;

(B)  the presiding judge of the court of criminal appeals;

(C)  one of the members of the senate serving on the council who is designated by the lieutenant governor to serve on the Task Force on Indigent Defense;

(D)  the member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house;

(E)  one of the courts of appeals justices serving on the council who is designated by the governor to serve on the Task Force on Indigent Defense; and

(F)  one of the county court or statutory county court judges serving on the council who is designated by the governor to serve on the Task Force on Indigent Defense or, if a county court or statutory county court judge is not serving on the council, one of the statutory probate court judges serving on the council who is designated by the governor to serve on the task force;

(2)  one other member of the senate appointed by the lieutenant governor; and

(3)  the chair of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1328, Sec. 3, eff. June 21, 2003.



Section  71.053.  Appointments.

(a) The governor shall appoint with the advice and consent of the senate five members of the Task Force on Indigent Defense as follows:

(1)  one member who is a district judge serving as a presiding judge of an administrative judicial region;

(2)  one member who is a judge of a constitutional county court or who is a county commissioner;

(3)  one member who is a practicing criminal defense attorney;

(4)  one member who is a public defender or who is employed by a public defender; and

(5)  one member who is a judge of a constitutional county court or who is a county commissioner of a county with a population of 250,000 or more.

(b)  The members serve staggered terms of two years, with two members' terms expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered year and three members' terms expiring February 1 of each even-numbered year.

(c)  In making appointments to the Task Force on Indigent Defense, the governor shall attempt to reflect the geographic and demographic diversity of the state.

(d)  A person may not be appointed to the Task Force on Indigent Defense if the person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305 because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the task force or the council.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 965, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  71.054.  Vacancies.

A vacancy on the Task Force on Indigent Defense must be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment. An appointment to fill a vacancy shall be made not later than the 90th day after the date the vacancy occurs.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section  71.055.  Meetings; Quorum; Voting.

(a) The Task Force on Indigent Defense shall meet at least four times each year and at such other times as it deems necessary or convenient to perform its duties.

(b)  Six members of the Task Force on Indigent Defense constitute a quorum for purposes of transacting task force business. The task force may act only on the concurrence of five task force members or a majority of the task force members present, whichever number is greater. The task force may develop policies and standards under Section 71.060 only on the concurrence of seven task force members.

(c)  A Task Force on Indigent Defense member is entitled to vote on any matter before the task force, except as otherwise provided by rules adopted by the task force and ratified by the council.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 855, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  71.056.  Compensation.

A Task Force on Indigent Defense member may not receive compensation for services on the task force but is entitled to be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in discharging the member's duties as a task force member. The expenses are paid from funds appropriated to the task force.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section  71.057.  Budget.

(a) The Task Force on Indigent Defense budget shall be a part of the budget for the council. In preparing a budget and presenting the budget to the legislature, the task force shall consult with the executive director of the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System.

(b)  The Task Force on Indigent Defense budget may include funds for personnel who are employees of the council but who are assigned to assist the task force in performing its duties.

(c)  The executive director of the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System may not reduce or modify the Task Force on Indigent Defense budget or use funds appropriated to the task force without the approval of the task force.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section 71.058.  Fair Defense Account.

The fair defense account is an account in the general revenue fund that may be appropriated only to:

(1)  the Task Force on Indigent Defense for the purpose of implementing this subchapter; and

(2)  the office of capital writs for the purpose of implementing Subchapter B, Chapter 78.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 781, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  71.059.  Acceptance Of Gifts, Grants, And Other Funds; State Grants Team.

(a) The Task Force on Indigent Defense may accept gifts, grants, and other funds from any public or private source to pay expenses incurred in performing its duties under this subchapter.

(b)  The State Grants Team of the Governor's Office of Budget, Planning, and Policy may assist the Task Force on Indigent Defense in identifying grants and other resources available for use by the task force in performing its duties under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 965, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  71.060.  Policies And Standards.

(a) The Task Force on Indigent Defense shall develop policies and standards for providing legal representation and other defense services to indigent defendants at trial, on appeal, and in postconviction proceedings.  The policies and standards may include:

(1)  performance standards for counsel appointed to represent indigent defendants;

(2)  qualification standards under which attorneys may qualify for appointment to represent indigent defendants, including:

(A)  qualifications commensurate with the seriousness of the nature of the proceeding;

(B)  qualifications appropriate for representation of mentally ill defendants and noncitizen defendants;

(C)  successful completion of relevant continuing legal education programs approved by the council;  and

(D)  testing and certification standards;

(3)  standards for ensuring appropriate appointed caseloads for counsel appointed to represent indigent defendants;

(4)  standards for determining whether a person accused of a crime or juvenile offense is indigent;

(5)  policies and standards governing the organization and operation of an assigned counsel program;

(6)  policies and standards governing the organization and operation of a public defender consistent with recognized national policies and standards;

(7)  standards for providing indigent defense services under a contract defender program consistent with recognized national policies and standards;

(8)  standards governing the reasonable compensation of counsel appointed to represent indigent defendants;

(9)  standards governing the availability and reasonable compensation of providers of indigent defense support services for counsel appointed to represent indigent defendants;

(10)  standards governing the operation of a legal clinic or program that provides legal services to indigent defendants and is sponsored by a law school approved by the supreme court;

(11)  policies and standards governing the appointment of attorneys to represent children in proceedings under Title 3, Family Code; and

(12)  other policies and standards for providing indigent defense services as determined by the task force to be appropriate.

(b)  The Task Force on Indigent Defense shall submit policies and standards developed under Subsection (a) to the council for ratification.

(c)  Any qualification standards adopted by the Task Force on Indigent Defense under Subsection (a) that relate to the appointment of counsel in a death penalty case must be consistent with the standards specified under Article 26.052(d), Code of Criminal Procedure. An attorney who is identified by the task force as not satisfying performance or qualification standards adopted by the task force under Subsection (a) may not accept an appointment in a capital case.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 855, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  71.061.  County Reporting Plan; Task Force Reports.

(a) The Task Force on Indigent Defense shall develop a plan that establishes statewide requirements for counties relating to reporting indigent defense information. The plan must include provisions designed to reduce redundant reporting by counties and provisions that take into consideration the costs to counties of implementing the plan statewide. The task force shall use the information reported by a county to monitor the effectiveness of the county's indigent defense policies, standards, and procedures and to ensure compliance by the county with the requirements of state law relating to indigent defense. The task force may revise the plan as necessary to improve monitoring of indigent defense policies, standards, and procedures in this state.

(b)  The Task Force on Indigent Defense shall annually submit to the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of representatives, and council and shall publish in written and electronic form a report:

(1)  containing the information submitted under Section 71.0351; and

(2)  regarding:

(A)  the quality of legal representation provided by counsel appointed to represent indigent defendants;

(B)  current indigent defense practices in the state as compared to state and national standards;

(C)  efforts made by the task force to improve indigent defense practices in the state; and

(D)  recommendations made by the task force for improving indigent defense practices in the state.

(c)  The Task Force on Indigent Defense shall annually submit to the Legislative Budget Board and council and shall publish in written and electronic form a detailed report of all expenditures made under this subchapter, including distributions under Section 71.062.

(d)  The Task Force on Indigent Defense may issue other reports relating to indigent defense as determined to be appropriate by the task force.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 965, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  71.062.  Technical Support; Grants.

(a) The Task Force on Indigent Defense shall:

(1)  provide technical support to:

(A)  assist counties in improving their indigent defense systems; and

(B)  promote compliance by counties with the requirements of state law relating to indigent defense;

(2)  direct the comptroller to distribute funds, including grants, to counties to provide indigent defense services in the county; and

(3)  monitor each county that receives a grant and enforce compliance by the county with the conditions of the grant, including enforcement by directing the comptroller to:

(A)  withdraw grant funds; or

(B)  require reimbursement of grant funds by the county.

(b)  The Task Force on Indigent Defense shall direct the comptroller to distribute funds as required by Subsection (a)(2) based on a county's compliance with standards developed by the task force and the county's demonstrated commitment to compliance with the requirements of state law relating to indigent defense.

(c)  The Task Force on Indigent Defense shall develop policies to ensure that funds under Subsection (a)(2) are allocated and distributed to counties in a fair manner.

(d)  A county may not reduce the amount of funds provided for indigent defense services in the county because of funds provided by the Task Force on Indigent Defense under this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section  71.063.  Immunity From Liability.

The Task Force on Indigent Defense or a member of the task force performing duties on behalf of the task force is not liable for damages arising from an act or omission within the scope of the duties of the task force.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.


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