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Counsel – Right to – Defendant Must Cooperate With SPD 1st

State v. Alvernest Floyd Kennedy, 2008 WI App 186
Pro se


¶27      We emphasize that the procedures set forth in Dean by this court suggest that the inherent power of the circuit court shall be exercised to cover situations where a defendant cooperated with the SPD’s financial analysis, was found not to be indigent under the legislative criteria, but based on the individual circumstances of the case, public justice, and sound policy is in fact “indigent.” Id. at 512-14. A defendant may be found ineligible by the SPD, but still demonstrate he/she is unable to retain and pay for private counsel. If that is the case, the circuit court shall consider all relevant information submitted, on a case-by-case basis, to decide whether the defendant truly is indigent and whether counsel should be appointed at county expense. Id. at 514.¶28      The inherent power of the court should not be invoked when a defendant fails to seek SPD appointment, fails to cooperate with the SPD for the indigency assessment, or fails to submit the required information to make a proper assessment. In other words, the first step for a defendant in seeking appointment of counsel based on inability to pay must be with the SPD. A defendant must fully and timely cooperate with the SPD so that it can make an accurate determination of eligibility. The inherent authority of the circuit court is not intended to replace the SPD appointments. Rather, it is intended to cover those circumstances where a defendant does not satisfy the legislatively created SPD criteria for appointment, but still demonstrates indigency.


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