Delaware General Assembly



Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Title 29, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new Chapter to read:


§ 2601. Office of Public Defender

There is created the office of public defender.

§ 2602. Appointment; representation of defendants

(a) The public defender shall be a qualified attorney licensed to practice in this State selected by the Governor. He shall represent, without charge, each indigent person who is under arrest or charged with a crime, if:

(1) The defendant requests it; or

(2) The court, on its own motion or otherwise, so orders and the defendant does not affirmatively reject of record the opportunity to be so represented.

(b) Before arraignment the determination of indigency may be made by the public defender. At or after arraignment the determination shall be made by the court.

§ 2603. Term of office; compensation; assistants

(a) The public defender shall serve for a term of six years from the date of appointment. He shall receive $10,000 per year as compensation.

(b) The public defender may appoint as many assistant attorneys, clerks, investigators, stenographers, and other employees as he considers necessary to enable him to carry out his responsibilities. An assistant attorney must be a qualified attorney licensed to practice in this State.

(c) The compensation of persons appointed under subsection (b) shall be fixed by the public defender.

§ 2604. Representation of indigent persons

When representing an indigent person, the public defender shall (1) counsel and defend him, whether he is held in custody without commitment or charged with a criminal offense, at every stage of the proceedings following arrest; and (2) prosecute any appeals or other remedies before or after conviction that he considers to be in the interest of justice.

§ 2605. Appointment of additional counsel

For cause, the court may, on its own motion or upon the application of the public defender or the indigent person, appoint an attorney other than the public defender to represent him at any stage of the proceedings or on appeal. The attorney shall be awarded reasonable compensation and reimbursement for expenses necessarily incurred, to be fixed by the court and paid by the county.

§ 2606. Annual reports

The public defender shall make an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly covering all cases handled by his office during the preceding year.

§ 2607. Short Title

This act may be cited as the Model Defender Act.

Section 2. The provisions of this Act shall not become effective until July 1, 1964.

Section 3. The budget report, as prepared by the Governor, for the fiscal year next after this act becomes law, shall contain a recommended appropriation to defray the costs of administering this act.

Approved January 7, 1964.