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(Argus Leader)   You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed and we will bill you. If you do not pay the bill, you will go to a maximum-security jail   (argusleader.com) divider line 59
    More: Asinine, attorney-in-fact, supermax, incarceration, jail  
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12696 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Feb 2013 at 4:48 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-03 01:46:53 PM
I only skimmed it, but what does that headline have to do with programs designed to lower the number of inmates?
 
2013-02-03 02:29:17 PM
I'm missing it, subby, and the Modmin who greenlighted this.

Is there other information relating to billing individuals for a state-furnished attorney?
 
2013-02-03 02:56:26 PM
Looks like the site replaced the story going to that link, but I can't find any article even close to the headline.
 
2013-02-03 02:58:13 PM
This headline is shiat. Turnitoffturnitoffturnitoff.
 
2013-02-03 04:27:58 PM
It appears that the article has changed since the headline was written. Using the site's search engine to find any references to court appointed lawyers gives me this blurb:

"Minnehaha County public defender, cites examples of locking up people who don't pay court-appointed lawyer fees or for sitting out fines. "The county doesn't incarcerate people for ..."

But clicking through gives an article that does not have the quoted line anywhere in it.
 
2013-02-03 04:51:37 PM
You will promptly escape from the maximum security jail and survive as soldiers of fortune...
 
2013-02-03 04:53:04 PM
It's all on page five of the five page article.
 
2013-02-03 04:53:48 PM
the fark do you expect when you have for profit prisons with lobbyists calling for more laws, and harsher punishments under the banner of "tough on crime" ?
 
2013-02-03 04:54:13 PM
Don't go to a maximum-security jail...

Switch to Directv
 
2013-02-03 04:54:41 PM
"It's Not News"

But it does get a Green.
 
2013-02-03 04:54:43 PM

TheOmni: It appears that the article has changed since the headline was written. Using the site's search engine to find any references to court appointed lawyers gives me this blurb:

"Minnehaha County public defender, cites examples of locking up people who don't pay court-appointed lawyer fees or for sitting out fines. "The county doesn't incarcerate people for ..."

But clicking through gives an article that does not have the quoted line anywhere in it.


Page 4:

"The county doesn't incarcerate people for requesting housing assistance or heating assistance," Smith said. "But if people can't afford attorney fees and ask for assistance, the fees are always ordered as part of the sentence. If they are not able to pay, a warrant is issued for their arrest. They sit in jail until their court appearance, and the county is paying $80 a day to house somebody who can't afford to pay for an attorney they couldn't afford to pay for in the beginning."
 
2013-02-03 04:55:18 PM
page 4

The county doesn't incarcerate people for requesting housing assistance or heating assistance," Smith said. "But if people can't afford attorney fees and ask for assistance, the fees are always ordered as part of the sentence. If they are not able to pay, a warrant is issued for their arrest. They sit in jail until their court appearance, and the county is paying $80 a day to house somebody who can't afford to pay for an attorney they couldn't afford to pay for in the beginning."
 
2013-02-03 05:01:10 PM
This is sick.
 
2013-02-03 05:04:51 PM
Perhaps they could transfer all the pot smokers to a minimum security facility, where they could eat Cheetos and watch cartoons all day. Then, they'd have enough room to house the people who do actual harm to our society.
 
2013-02-03 05:05:56 PM

namegoeshere: TheOmni: It appears that the article has changed since the headline was written. Using the site's search engine to find any references to court appointed lawyers gives me this blurb:

"Minnehaha County public defender, cites examples of locking up people who don't pay court-appointed lawyer fees or for sitting out fines. "The county doesn't incarcerate people for ..."

But clicking through gives an article that does not have the quoted line anywhere in it.

Page 4:

"The county doesn't incarcerate people for requesting housing assistance or heating assistance," Smith said. "But if people can't afford attorney fees and ask for assistance, the fees are always ordered as part of the sentence. If they are not able to pay, a warrant is issued for their arrest. They sit in jail until their court appearance, and the county is paying $80 a day to house somebody who can't afford to pay for an attorney they couldn't afford to pay for in the beginning."


Methinks this will end up in a Federal court somewhere soon, and the county in question will end up with a rather large bill to pay.
 
2013-02-03 05:06:21 PM

misanthropicsob: It's all on page five of the five page article.


I didn't even realize there were five pages. So, shiatty page layout.
 
2013-02-03 05:06:59 PM

mknight: If they are not able to pay, a warrant is issued for their arrest. They sit in jail until their court appearance, and the county is paying $80 a day to house somebody who can't afford to pay for an attorney they couldn't afford to pay for in the beginning."


You;d think they'd just garnish the guys wages and be done with it. Or allow them work it off via community service. I swear it's been unamusing to watch the country over the last forty years act like tossing people in jail is the solution to everything. At least it seem now a more people seem to realize such is very spensive.
 
2013-02-03 05:07:15 PM
How is this different from debtors prisons and workhouses used in the 19th Century?

///other than the legalistic/bureaucratic language used to rationalize it
 
2013-02-03 05:08:31 PM

Kumana Wanalaia: This is sick.


I got sick right at TFA's subheadline:

"Less incarceration can free space for outside inmates, raise profits"
 
2013-02-03 05:14:26 PM
Yay capitalism....
 
2013-02-03 05:15:24 PM

gibbon1: mknight: If they are not able to pay, a warrant is issued for their arrest. They sit in jail until their court appearance, and the county is paying $80 a day to house somebody who can't afford to pay for an attorney they couldn't afford to pay for in the beginning."

You;d think they'd just garnish the guys wages and be done with it. Or allow them work it off via community service. I swear it's been unamusing to watch the country over the last forty years act like tossing people in jail is the solution to everything. At least it seem now a more people seem to realize such is very spensive.


Or the state could simply pay the public defence attorney's wages and simply not charge at all for the service.
 
2013-02-03 05:18:22 PM
FTA is full of mealy mouth, but it seems likely that charging people for being charged will be the ultimate result

/Can't get funding for a control unit?!
//Can't otherwise afford to keep all the possession charges in prison for 20 years
///Pay for your state provided representation and on an on for the rest of forever, including your kids if we can figure out how to word it, maybe proceeds of crime.

SICK
 
2013-02-03 05:18:38 PM

Tymast: the fark do you expect when you have for profit prisons with lobbyists calling for more laws, and harsher punishments under the banner of "tough on crime" ?


the rich and powerful do not give a damn how they control the masses as long as there is control. if our fearless leaders gave a damn about mankind recidivists, junkies and double digit IQ humans would not be reproducing to begin with. the country is flooded with people too stupid to guide themselves making good decisions.
 
2013-02-03 05:19:58 PM

ClavellBCMI: namegoeshere: TheOmni: It appears that the article has changed since the headline was written. Using the site's search engine to find any references to court appointed lawyers gives me this blurb:

"Minnehaha County public defender, cites examples of locking up people who don't pay court-appointed lawyer fees or for sitting out fines. "The county doesn't incarcerate people for ..."

But clicking through gives an article that does not have the quoted line anywhere in it.

Page 4:

"The county doesn't incarcerate people for requesting housing assistance or heating assistance," Smith said. "But if people can't afford attorney fees and ask for assistance, the fees are always ordered as part of the sentence. If they are not able to pay, a warrant is issued for their arrest. They sit in jail until their court appearance, and the county is paying $80 a day to house somebody who can't afford to pay for an attorney they couldn't afford to pay for in the beginning."

Methinks this will end up in a Federal court somewhere soon, and the county in question will end up with a rather large bill to pay.


From the way it's written, this doesn't seem to be something they're proposing, but rather something that's been in place for a while. There's no hint as to how long, but it's presented rather matter-of-factly, as if it's a normal thing.
 
2013-02-03 05:22:21 PM

NutWrench: Perhaps they could transfer all the pot smokers to a minimum security facility, where they could eat Cheetos and watch cartoons all day. Then, they'd have enough room to house the people who do actual harm to our society.




How about some good gaming rigs and licenses to a bunch of great games. Lan-party Jail!
 
2013-02-03 05:23:45 PM

ClavellBCMI: namegoeshere: TheOmni: It appears that the article has changed since the headline was written. Using the site's search engine to find any references to court appointed lawyers gives me this blurb:

"Minnehaha County public defender, cites examples of locking up people who don't pay court-appointed lawyer fees or for sitting out fines. "The county doesn't incarcerate people for ..."

But clicking through gives an article that does not have the quoted line anywhere in it.

Page 4:

"The county doesn't incarcerate people for requesting housing assistance or heating assistance," Smith said. "But if people can't afford attorney fees and ask for assistance, the fees are always ordered as part of the sentence. If they are not able to pay, a warrant is issued for their arrest. They sit in jail until their court appearance, and the county is paying $80 a day to house somebody who can't afford to pay for an attorney they couldn't afford to pay for in the beginning."

Methinks this will end up in a Federal court somewhere soon, and the county in question will end up with a rather large bill to pay.


The Roberts Court will uphold it.
 
2013-02-03 05:25:31 PM

Pert: You will promptly escape from the maximum security jail and survive as soldiers of fortune...


In the Los Angeles Underground?
 
2013-02-03 05:27:50 PM
When regular people do something awful, it's a crime.

When governments do awful things, it's called law enforcement.
 
2013-02-03 05:28:35 PM

ClavellBCMI: namegoeshere: TheOmni: It appears that the article has changed since the headline was written. Using the site's search engine to find any references to court appointed lawyers gives me this blurb:

"Minnehaha County public defender, cites examples of locking up people who don't pay court-appointed lawyer fees or for sitting out fines. "The county doesn't incarcerate people for ..."

But clicking through gives an article that does not have the quoted line anywhere in it.

Page 4:

"The county doesn't incarcerate people for requesting housing assistance or heating assistance," Smith said. "But if people can't afford attorney fees and ask for assistance, the fees are always ordered as part of the sentence. If they are not able to pay, a warrant is issued for their arrest. They sit in jail until their court appearance, and the county is paying $80 a day to house somebody who can't afford to pay for an attorney they couldn't afford to pay for in the beginning."

Methinks this will end up in a Federal court somewhere soon, and the county in question will end up with a rather large bill to pay.


Probably not.  Thanks to Republican strategies over the last decades of witholding appointments when a Dem is in office, the fed judiciary upholds stuff like this all the time.

Gotta stay tough on crime, doncha know.
 
2013-02-03 05:32:39 PM
geek_mars:
From the way it's written, this doesn't seem to be something they're proposing, but rather something that's been in place for a while. There's no hint as to how long, but it's presented rather matter-of-factly, as if it's a normal thing.

Yeah, from what I can piece together from the article and the bizarre caption/list/whatever it is on the left side of page 1, it looks like the goal may actually be to get rid of this practice. The list on the left talks about creating a collection agency within the court system, and eliminating some preliminary hearings (which is presumably the point where some people start to fall into the "I can't afford a lawyer" hole).
 
2013-02-03 05:33:00 PM
MASSIVE HEADLINE FAIL
 
2013-02-03 05:34:47 PM
California is definitely turning to the model of charging for everything.

My friend got arrested for possession of some prescription ativan that wasn't his. Forced to go to drug classes- $500. Several hundred $ more for court fees/fines, multiple thousands of $ more for informal probation (unsupervised, which means they do nothing, as far as I can tell). Formal probation costs like 12k a year. Hard to afford as a felon.

He asked to serve time instead of paying the fees he didn't have money for. He's disabled and lives on 1k a month. They told him he could spend a year in jail instead.

Its a racket and it traps people in a bind when they add more and more fines for nonpayment on top of the original fines.

Another friend got a public defender for her dui. Cost her $5k. And she didn't even get a better deal than if she had just pled guilty.
 
2013-02-03 05:35:03 PM
um... isn't the right to an attorney kind of like... a RIGHT?
 
2013-02-03 05:35:43 PM
From the Minnehaha County public Defender's website:

Will I have to pay to be represented by the Public Defender's Office?

"Yes.  Under S.D. law, every person represented by a court-appointed attorney is responsible for the repayment of the costs to the county for providing the service.  Parents and legal guardians are responsible for the repayment of legal services provided to juveniles up to a statutory limit.  The hourly rate is set by the S.D. Supreme Court, not by the county, or the public defender's office.  The current rate is set at $82.00 per hour.  The Judge may order the repayment of the fee as a condition of the sentence, or the county may bill you for the service at the conclusion of your case.   Either way, you will be financially obligated to pay the amount owed regardless of the outcome of the case.  However, both the county and the court will be more inclined to assist you by authorizing additional time to get everything paid, if you can show a good faith attempt to meet your financial obligation before the final due date by making regular payments.  Neither the Chief Public Defender, nor the actual attorney who handled the case, have the discretion to forgive or write off unpaid attorney fees."



Not surprisingly, studies have shown that the states that charge people for public defenders have the highest prison populations and the highest rate of defendants waiving the right to counsel. And while $82/hour is cheap for a lawyer, it is more than the hourly rate paid by New York State to private attorneys who are contracted to accept court-appointed cases.
 
2013-02-03 05:57:35 PM

mknight: page 4

The county doesn't incarcerate people for requesting housing assistance or heating assistance," Smith said. "But if people can't afford attorney fees and ask for assistance, the fees are always ordered as part of the sentence. If they are not able to pay, a warrant is issued for their arrest. They sit in jail until their court appearance, and the county is paying $80 a day to house somebody who can't afford to pay for an attorney they couldn't afford to pay for in the beginning."


So what this is is merely a bookkeeping and billing issue, and not an intent to deprive anyone of their constitutional rights. It's just the County wanting/needing to make extra $$$, which is actually costing them more (because they're ultimately paying more to keep someone in jail indefinitely than to just write off the cost of the PD), and no bean-counter has caught it till now.

So what will happen is the Appellate Court will have to appoint an oversight commission to put them back on track which the county will appeal and it will take another ten years to sort out.
 
2013-02-03 06:00:33 PM
s4.postimage.org HA HA!
 
2013-02-03 06:18:20 PM

PunGent: ClavellBCMI: namegoeshere: TheOmni: It appears that the article has changed since the headline was written. Using the site's search engine to find any references to court appointed lawyers gives me this blurb:

"Minnehaha County public defender, cites examples of locking up people who don't pay court-appointed lawyer fees or for sitting out fines. "The county doesn't incarcerate people for ..."

But clicking through gives an article that does not have the quoted line anywhere in it.

Page 4:

"The county doesn't incarcerate people for requesting housing assistance or heating assistance," Smith said. "But if people can't afford attorney fees and ask for assistance, the fees are always ordered as part of the sentence. If they are not able to pay, a warrant is issued for their arrest. They sit in jail until their court appearance, and the county is paying $80 a day to house somebody who can't afford to pay for an attorney they couldn't afford to pay for in the beginning."

Methinks this will end up in a Federal court somewhere soon, and the county in question will end up with a rather large bill to pay.

Probably not.  Thanks to Republican strategies over the last decades of witholding appointments when a Dem is in office, the fed judiciary upholds stuff like this all the time.

Gotta stay tough on crime, doncha know.


Pick up the wrong guy for a crime he wasn't there for, he defends his innocence and wins before going to jail for the lawyer he can't afford.  I don't believe that is what "a lawyer will be provided if you cannot afford one" means.  Do they give you a menu of lawyers that show their specialties, win/loss ratio and how much time you will do for hiring them?
 
2013-02-03 06:24:37 PM
  Okay..but how 'bout if your attorney is already in a maximum security prison?
 
2013-02-03 06:27:07 PM
This is how it works in many states; if you get a public defender and loose, the bill for the attorney is often appended to the sentence.

/ how else do you suppose that service gets paid for?
 
2013-02-03 06:28:37 PM

here to help: um... isn't the right to an attorney kind of like... a RIGHT?


Yup... they are knowingly violating Federal law by doing that.
Right to Counsel

6th Amendment... plus existing case law.

/GED in law...
 
2013-02-03 06:32:40 PM

iheartscotch: This is how it works in many states; if you get a public defender and loose, the bill for the attorney is often appended to the sentence.

/ how else do you suppose that service gets paid for?


And every single state using this practice needs to be brought up on charges by the Fed for violating 6th Amendment rights.

/taxpayers are supposed to foot the bill
 
2013-02-03 06:42:48 PM
What state is this again?  Because I'm going to sell all my stock in that state.
 
2013-02-03 06:52:00 PM
I have a partial solution:

<b>STOP PUTTING SO MANY DAMN PEOPLE IN JAIL!</b>
 
2013-02-03 06:53:05 PM

HindiDiscoMonster: here to help: um... isn't the right to an attorney kind of like... a RIGHT?

Yup... they are knowingly violating Federal law by doing that.
Right to Counsel

6th Amendment... plus existing case law.

/GED in law...


Where the hell is the ACLU on this? Isn't this the type of thing they're supposed to fight against?

Seriously... this is making me sick to my stomach.
 
2013-02-03 07:18:58 PM

KrispyKritter: Tymast: the fark do you expect when you have for profit prisons with lobbyists calling for more laws, and harsher punishments under the banner of "tough on crime" ?

the rich and powerful do not give a damn how they control the masses as long as there is control. if our fearless leaders gave a damn about mankind recidivists, junkies and double digit IQ humans would not be reproducing to begin with. the country is flooded with people too stupid to guide themselves making good decisions.


This is the county jail, not state prison.  It's not privately run.
 
2013-02-03 07:58:03 PM

StoPPeRmobile: NutWrench: Perhaps they could transfer all the pot smokers to a minimum security facility, where they could eat Cheetos and watch cartoons all day. Then, they'd have enough room to house the people who do actual harm to our society.

How about some good gaming rigs and licenses to a bunch of great games. Lan-party Jail!


Like Canadian jails? Heard they took smoking away from the boys. But at least there's hockey eh?
 
2013-02-03 07:58:07 PM

BarkingUnicorn: This is the county jail, not state prison. It's not privately run.


FTA: "..it wants to preserve its ability to house prisoners from other counties and the federal system at the 400-bed facility. That has become an important money-maker.."

It's not privately run, but IMO it's edging right up to the line of for-profit.
 
2013-02-03 08:17:08 PM

here to help: HindiDiscoMonster: here to help: um... isn't the right to an attorney kind of like... a RIGHT?

Yup... they are knowingly violating Federal law by doing that.
Right to Counsel

6th Amendment... plus existing case law.

/GED in law...

Where the hell is the ACLU on this? Isn't this the type of thing they're supposed to fight against?

Seriously... this is making me sick to my stomach.


It's kind of a sneaky end run around the 6th Amendment. The people are getting an attorney for their criminal charges--whatever they were arrested for--but there is no right to an attorney for purely CIVIL matters, which is what the judgment for fines is, and which they can't pay. So they don't necessarily have a right to have an attorney present to appeal their warrant arrest for failure to pay the fines, since that's not a criminal charge, if you follow. The 6th only attaches for criminal charges, the 7th, for civil matters, has no guarantee for attorney representation and there is no case law on point.

It's dumb, stupid, and costly, as the county here is finding out (the price of keeping someone in jail at $80 for a $60 fine is asinine), but technically quite legal.
 
2013-02-03 08:22:01 PM
Apparently, stopping the enforcement of victimless crimes is not an option.
 
2013-02-03 08:24:20 PM
NutWrench: Perhaps they could transfer stop arresting all the pot smokers to a minimum security facility, where they could eat Cheetos and watch cartoons all day. Then, they'd have enough room to house the people who do actual harm to our society.
 
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