Date Requested:March 22, 2005
Time Requested:03:27 PM
Agency: Public Defender Services
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2005R404 Intro SB727
CBD Subject: Public Defender Application Fee
FUND(S)
0226
Sources of Revenue
General Fund
Legislation creates:
A New Program

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

    
    
    This bill imposes what appears to be a mandatory administrative fee on clients for whom counsel has been appointed due to their indigent status. However, the bill allows for the fee to be waived upon a finding that the client is unable to pay.
    
    Fees collected are to be remitted to the general revenue fund, minus a 5% "commission" allowed the Circuit Clerk who is mandated to collect the fee.
    
    Assuming a rather generous 25% collection rate, the bill may bring in as much as $250,000 to the general revenue fund. However, no change to Public Defender Services fund is mandated by this bill. All funds, minus the "commission" go to the general revenue fund.

Fiscal Note Detail
Over-all effect
Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2005
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2006
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 0 0
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 250,000 250,000
3. Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):
    
    
    
    Fees of this nature are extremely problematic in collection. Clients do not have money, else they would not have had counsel appointed to represent them. In theory, some small amount should be collectible, but without actual collections experience, it is difficult to say what amount may result.
    
    Other states' experience is dismal to put it mildly. It is important to note that the obligation of representation exists upon appointment; whether or not the client pays, the lawyer appointed must represent him or her.
    
    Again, the funds of this agency are not affected regardless of collections.
    
    For discussion of this issue and others affecting Public Defender Services, see the Performance Evaluation and Research Division's third performance review, issued June, 2004.


Memorandum
Person submitting Fiscal Note:
Jack Rogers
Email Address:
jrogers@wvpds.org