A09522 Summary:

COSPNSRLentol, Abinanti, Ortiz, Walker, Gottfried, Blake
Add 380.55, CP L
Authorizes a sentencing court to consider an application for poor person relief on appeal.
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A09522 Actions:

03/10/2016referred to codes
03/24/2016advanced to third reading cal.466
03/28/2016passed assembly
03/28/2016delivered to senate
06/15/2016SUBSTITUTED FOR S7246
06/15/20163RD READING CAL.1580
11/16/2016delivered to governor
11/25/2016signed chap.459
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A09522 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A9522         REVISED MEMO 04/15/2016
SPONSOR: Richardson
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to granting a defendant poor person relief on appeal This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of the Chief Administrative Judge upon the recommendation of his Advisory Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure. This measure would add a new section 380.55 to the Criminal Procedure Law that would authorize a trial court to grant poor person status for assignment of appellate counsel at the time of sentence. The authority to assign specific counsel will continue to reside in the appellate court. Where the trial court declines to grant an application, the defendant would still be permitted to make a traditional application for poor person relief to the appellate court. Under current law, the application for poor person relief must be made to the court where the appeal is to be taken (See e.g., CPLR 1101). There are several notable exceptions. For instance, where a sex offender has been granted poor person status for SORA proceedings, the Correction Law provides that the assignment of counsel continues through any appeal (Correction Law § 168-n). Moreover, in Family Court cases. where a respondent has assigned counsel, so long as respondent continues to be indigent, no motion for assignment of counsel for any appeal is required (FCA § 1118). In federal appeals, the motion for assigned counsel on appeal is made to the trial court (Fed. R. App. Proc. Rule 24). Our Advisory Committee believes that the trial judge is ordinarily in the best position to know whether a defendant is eligible for poor person status, having already ruled-on the issue in many cases for purposes of assigning trial counsel. As a practical matter, a criminal defendant's financial condition rarely improves between arrest and conviction, and thus he or she is rarely able to hire appellate counsel after being convicted and sentenced. Moreover, by entertaining the application at the time of sentence. the trial court can eliminate need- less delay and institutional expense caused by requiring defendant to make a subsequent application for poor person relief in the appellate court. Although by this measure the trial court would not be required to hear the application for poor person relief. if a defendant is repres- ented by assigned counsel at the time of conviction, the court would have the discretion to entertain the application. This measure will help streamline the delivery of indigency services in New York. Under current rules, assigned trial counsel is not authorized to represent a convicted defendant on appeal, except to the extent of filing a notice of appeal. Therefore, it falls on the defendant, acting pro se, to file the application for poor person relief with the appro- priate appellate court, using the correct forms and following the correct procedures. Indigent defendants usually have no legal training, are often homeless and may have significant mental health issues. As a result, initial applications by indigent defendants are often deficient. After review, the appellate court must return the application to the pro se defendant with an explanation of the deficiency. This leads to repeated applications that are frequently rejected several times before submission of an application that can be properly considered. The current process therefore needlessly consumes scarce court resources and ultimately adds significant delay to many appeals. This measure adds a new section 380.55 to the Criminal Procedure Law and provides the trial court with discretion to hear an application for poor person relief at the time of sentencing a defendant. The authority is limited to cases where defendant is already represented by assigned counsel and the application requires assigned counsel to represent to the court that defendant has insufficient funds to retain counsel on appeal. If the trial court grants the application, it is required to issue a written order that must be sent to the appropriate appellate court. Finally, the measure provides that if the trial court denies the application, the defendant would have the option to make a formal appli- cation to the appropriate appellate court under current procedures. This measure, which would streamline the process and save court resources, would take effect immediately. 2016 Legislative History: Senate 7246 (Senator DeFrancisco) (ref to Codes) Assembly 9522 (M. of A. Richardson) (PASSED)
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A09522 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 10, 2016
        Introduced  by  M. of A. RICHARDSON, LENTOL -- (at request of the Office
          of Court Administration) -- read once and referred to the Committee on
        AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation  to  granting  a
          defendant poor person relief on appeal
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. The criminal procedure law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
     2  section 380.55 to read as follows:
     3  § 380.55 Application for poor person relief on appeal.
     4    Where  counsel  has been assigned to represent a defendant at trial on
     5  the ground that the defendant is financially unable to  retain  counsel,
     6  the  court  may in its discretion at the time of sentencing entertain an
     7  application to grant the defendant poor person relief on appeal. As part
     8  of an application for such relief, assigned counsel must represent  that
     9  the  defendant  continues  to  be eligible for assignment of counsel and
    10  that granting the application will expedite the  appeal.  If  the  court
    11  grants  the application, it shall file a written order and shall provide
    12  a copy of the order to the appropriate appellate court. The denial of an
    13  application shall not preclude the  defendant  from  making  a  de  novo
    14  application for poor person relief to the appropriate appellate court.
    15    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
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