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The Noble County Public Defenders’ Agency is an independently operated Governmental Agency providing representation in Criminal, Juvenile, Children in Need of Services, Parental Termination, and Commitment proceedings along with Appeals associated with these types of cases.  The Agency is directed by a three-member board who are Noble County residents and who can neither be elected nor public officials nor have any association with law enforcement.

The Board, assisted by the Chief Public Defender, sets office and operational procedures. Distinguished Noble County Attorney, John C. Thrapp served as Chairman and President of the Agency from its creation until his death in 2010. Mr. Andy Bell now serves as Chairman and President of the Agency. James J. Abbs has served as Chief Public Defender since 2002.

Presently, the Noble County Public Defenders’ Agency employs eight attorneys and three support staff members along with the ability to hire Investigators. There are three full-time public defenders and six deputy public defenders who are part-time. The nine attorneys have over 175 years of legal experience and all of the attorneys are experienced trial practitioners.  Supporting these attorneys are three legal assistants.  Presently, the Noble County Public Defenders’ Agency is housed in a building located at 109 N. York St. Suite 2800, Albion, Indiana.  The office consists of six offices, a conference room with video conferencing, and four workstations for support staff members.

The Public Defenders’ Agency handles approximately 70% of all major felony cases filed in Noble County and 90% of all juvenile cases.  The agency also handles nearly all of the CHINS cases filed in Noble County along with mental health commitments.  Since the agency was formally formed in 2000 and it has gone full time, it has saved the county approximately five million dollars by bringing reimbursement money from the State of over three million dollars.

Public Defender Board Meeting

The Public Defender Board holds its quarterly meetings the third Monday of January, April, July and October at 3:00 pm in the Public Defender Office.

Agenda: Financial, Personnel, Policy

Facts and Figures

The Noble County Public Defender Agency handles 70% of all level 1 thru 5 Felonies; 60% of all level 6 Felonies and 50% of all Misdemeanors filed in Noble County. They also handle approximately 90% of all Juvenile cases, nearly all of the CHINS/TPR cases filed in Noble County. Overall, they are presently handling nearly 50% of all Criminal and Juvenile cases filed in Noble County.

Facts and Figures

During this period of time, they have brought back savings to the County of over approximately five Million Dollars. They have also brought back over a three Million Dollars in reimbursement money to the County general fund while operating at nearly the same budget they did prior to becoming involved in the reimbursement program in the year 2000. The present staff includes 9 attorneys with over 175 years of legal experience and 3 staff members.