State transfers indigent counsel authority

Posted June 29, 2010, at 11:30 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:36 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is transferring administration of legal representation for low income people from the court system to a separate commission as of Thursday.

The Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services will assume responsibility for regulating and paying for court appointed counsel.

The commission was created by the Legislature in 2009 to be responsible for providing legal services to people who are constitutionally entitled to counsel at state expense.

Indigent individuals are generally entitled to counsel in criminal proceedings when there is a risk of jail, in child protection cases where loss of custody is at issue, and in mental health cases involving involuntary commitment.

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