Council appropriates pauper counsel funding

From Local Sources

JASPER — The Dubois County Council appropriated $20,000 to Dubois Superior Court’s pauper counsel fund last week.

They also heard from Auditor Sandy Morton that Dubois Circuit Court will soon request an additional $250,000 in pauper counsel funding, which could be submitted to the council by its June 24 meeting, Morton said.

For certain types of cases, the courts must assign an attorney for a defendant who cannot afford legal representation. By law, the cost of that public defender is paid for by the court.

Over the years, the cost for pauper counsel has become more costly for the courts.

The number of cases that call for a public defender have increased. Also, each court now has only one law firm under contract, having lost their second one to other positions. That means, the courts, at times, must hire an attorney who is not under a contract to step in as a public defender, which costs more.

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