• Background

Monroe County Indigent Defense

Monroe County Indigent Defense


Monroe County MIDC Compliance Plan

          As part of the Standards set forth by the MIDC Act, every court system in Michigan was tasked with completing a compliance plan to govern how they would put into place the guidelines set forth by the MIDC Act.

         In Monroe County, we are proud to say we are in full compliance with all 4 of the standards currently approved by LARA (Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) and set forth by the commission.

            Standard 1-Education and Training of Defense Counsel- Court Appointed Attorneys are required to complete 12 hours of Continuing Education Credits per year. Once complete, they must be submitted to the County MIDC Coordinator. Once submitted, the attorneys are eligible for the next step pay increase.  In Monroe County, we offer attorneys an online training hub that offers many relevant online courses for our attorneys to choose from.

           Standard 2-Initial Interview- This standard requires that defense counsel meet with a jailed client within 3 business days of appointment. For a non-jailed client, it recommends that the meeting take place within 3 days. The standard also states that all client interviews be conducted in a private and confidential setting.

          According to a recent audit of a random selection of attorneys in Monroe County, 100% of the time, Court Appointed Attorneys are meeting with their jailed clients within the 3 business day window. Also, 95% of the time, attorneys are meeting with non-jailed clients within 3 days, and all within 4 days.

           Standard 3- Investigation and Experts-This standard provides that counsel shall conduct investigations of the charges and offense as practical, and retain an independent investigator and request funds if necessary to do so. Monroe County is in compliance with this standard.

           Standard 4- Counsel at First Appearance-(CAFA)-This standard states that all adults except those with retained counsel or those who have signed an informed waiver of counsel shall be screened for eligibility, and that counsel should be assigned as soon as the defendant is determined to be eligible. 

          Here in Monroe County, a CAFA will be provided to anyone who requests one, unless they have retained counsel or have signed a form to waive counsel. If a defendant waives counsel at arraignment, they are still entitled to request counsel throughout the process.

 Standards 5-8 –As of February 2020, the MIDC Commission has approved these standards for submission to Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), but they have not yet been approved for implementation.

Standard 5- Independence From The Judiciary

Standard 6-Indigent Defense Workloads

Standard 7-Qualification and Review

Standard 8-Attorney Compensation