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Title 17 - Criminal Procedures
COMMISSION AND OFFICE OF APPELLATE DEFENSE
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Commission" means the Commission on Appellate Defense;
(2) "Office of Appellate Defense" includes all attorneys and employees in the office.
Creation of Commission on Appellate Defense; members; regulations.
The Commission on Appellate Defense is created which consists of the following members:
(1) the Dean of the University of South Carolina Law School;
(2) the President of the South Carolina Public Defender's Association;
(3) a member of the South Carolina Bar Association appointed by the president of the association;
(4) a member of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association appointed by the president of the association;
(5) the Chairman of the South Carolina Judicial Council.
The appointed members of the commission shall serve for a term of three years. The terms for appointments must be staggered.
The commission shall elect a chairman from among its membership to serve a one-year term. The court administrator is executive secretary for the commission.
The commission may adopt an appropriate seal and promulgate regulations consistent with the provisions of this chapter to govern its operations and procedures.
Meetings of Commission.
The Commission shall meet at least semi-annually at a location designated by the chairman and at other times at the call of the chairman or a majority of the members upon three days notice which may be written or given orally.
Duties of Commission.
The Commission shall:
(1) By a vote of a majority of the members appoint a Chief Attorney for a four year term. No person shall be appointed Chief Attorney who is not an attorney licensed to practice law in this State. The Chief Attorney shall devote full time to the duties of his office and shall not engage in the private practice of law. The Commission may discharge the Chief Attorney only for cause and after a hearing.
(2) Advise the Chief Attorney and may, subject to the rules of the Supreme Court, recommend or establish policies for the operation of the Office of Appellate Defense, including the nature and scope of services to be provided and the clientele to be served.
(3) Approve or modify an annual operational budget submitted to it by the Chief Attorney.
(4) Establish criteria to be used in the determination of indigency and qualification for services of the Office of Appellate Defense.
Creation of Office of Appellate Defense; Chief Attorney; staff.
There is created the Office of Appellate Defense which shall be administered by a Chief Attorney. The staff of the Chief Attorney shall consist of additional attorneys and administrative, investigative, secretarial, and clerical employees necessary to discharge the duties of the office. No person shall be hired to serve as an Assistant or Staff Attorney who is not licensed to practice law in this State. Attorneys employed by the Chief Attorney shall devote full time to their duties and may not engage in the private practice of law.
Duties of Chief Attorney.
The Chief Attorney shall:
(a) Submit a budget for the approval of the Commission.
(b) Recommend to the Commission the nature and scope of services to be provided and clientele to be served by the Office of Appellate Defense.
(c) Abide by all regulations and policies established by the Commission insofar as they do not interfere with his duty to provide competent ethical representation to clients.
(d) Establish and supervise training programs for his employees.
(e) Promulgate regulations and orders, consistent with this chapter, further defining the organization of his office and the duties of his employees.
(f) Submit reports to the Commission on the operation of his office at each semi-annual meeting and a comprehensive report to the Commission at the end of each fiscal year. He shall submit such other additional reports on any phase of the operation of his office that may be required by the Commission.
(g) Perform other duties necessary or incidental to the performance of the specific duties herein enumerated.
Duties of Office of Appellate Defense.
The Office of Appellate Defense shall carry out the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) It shall represent any person who the office determines, subject to court review, falls within the guidelines promulgated pursuant to Section 17-4-40(4) who files Notice of Intention to Appeal or desires to appeal a conviction in any trial court, or decision of any proceeding in civil commitment or other voluntary placement in a state, county, or municipal facility. Any person desiring representation by the office shall request a determination of his indigency status in writing from the Supreme Court, the court of appeals, the circuit or family court, or the Office of Appellate Defense. Any court receiving a request for indigent appellate representation shall forward the request to the office who, within ten days of the receipt of the request for representation, shall notify the person requesting representation and the court in which the appeal will be effected of its decision.
(b) Upon a finding that a person requesting representation qualifies as an indigent and after being appointed as counsel for such person by the court in which the appeal will be effected, the Office shall represent such person in his appeal of a conviction in any trial court, or decision of any proceeding in civil commitment or other involuntary placement in a state, county or municipal facility, provided nothing herein requires the Office to pursue any appeal unless the Chief Attorney is first satisfied that there is arguable merit to the appeal.
(c) Represent indigents, other than at trial or commitment proceedings when appointed to do so by the court.
(d) Represent indigents in appeals of convictions in trial courts of this State, or decisions of civil commitment proceedings or other involuntary placement only in courts of this state.
(e) Cooperate and consult with state agencies, professional associations, and other groups concerning the causes of criminal conduct, the rehabilitation and correction of persons charged with and convicted of crimes, the administration of criminal justice, and the improvement and expansion of defender services.
Appointment of counsel for indigent person where Office of Appellate Defense does not provide representation.
The provisions of this chapter shall not restrict any court in which an appeal is to be effected, from appointing counsel for indigent persons where the Office of Appellate Defense is disqualified from representation for reasons of conflict or where the Office deems it advisable that it not provide representation for such indigent person.
The Commission and Office of Appellate Defense shall be funded by appropriations to the Commission in the State General Appropriations Act including such federal funds as may be available.