Monday, April 11, 2016

New York State overhauls assigned counsel eligibility rules

New York State officials have announced new Criteria and Procedures for Determining Assigned Counsel Eligibility.

These criteria and procedures are an important step toward the goal of having a uniform and legally acceptable eligibility standard in New York for people who are entitled by law to the assistance of counsel but who are financially unable to obtain counsel.

The criteria and procedures respond to decades of criticism of the state’s failure to have a consistent set of criteria and procedures for determining eligibility for assigned counsel, under which a defendant may be deemed eligible for the appointment of counsel in one county and ineligible in a neighboring county or even in a different court within the same county.

Their effective date is October 3, 2016. During this six-month period, judges and eligibility screeners will receive training in their implementation.

For more information, click here.