Category Archives: Michigan

Muskegon County, MI, creating new public defender system

Muskegon County, Michigan, has decided to create a new county public defender office. According to the Muskegon Legal Times:

The newly created Muskegon County Department will be similar to the prosecutor’s department, and will somewhat mirror that office’s set-up. The public defender will be one of the department heads under Hammersley. The new department will consist of a staff of 16 — the County Public Defender (1), Assistant Public Defender III (2), Assistant Public Defender II (2), Assistant Public Defender I (8), Court Services Clerk (2), and Paralegal (1).

The move is apparently an attempt to get ahead of expected statewide reforms; the state has been studying its indigent defense systems for some time now, largely in response to an ongoing ACLU lawsuit charging the state has failed to provide adequate indigent defense services.

County in Michigan Revamps Public Defender System

I would like to note that this post is brought to you by Gideon  telling me I needed to do a post. He is bossy like that.

From Michigan Live:

Muskegon County’s much-criticized system of providing attorneys for p.or criminal defendants and families with child-neglect cases is about to be scrapped.

Replacing it will be something completely new for West Michigan and rare in the state: a county Public Defender Department, with staff attorneys on the county payroll devoted full time to public defense work…

The proposed system, modeled after Washtenaw County’s, will replace a hodgepodge of contracts with private attorneys. The contracted attorneys also do other work for paying clients, making their public defender work in theory a part-time job, though most devote long hours to the work.