Local Public Defender Board Information & Open Positions
Current Open County Public Defender Board Positions:
The Commission is currently seeking nominations for appointment or re-appointment of County Public Defender Board members in the following counties:
- Harrison County
- Hendricks County
- LaPorte County
- Owen County
- Rush County
- Washington County
NOMINATIONS/COMMENTS DUE: Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Upcoming Commission Meeting (when the appointments will be considered): Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Nominees must reside in the county and meet all other requirements listed below under "Requirements for board members".
If you have any comments for the Commission, are interested in being considered to become a board member, or would like to make a nomination, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A member of the Commission staff will follow-up with you. All emailed comments may be shared with all appointed members of the Commission.
Commission meetings begin at 2 p.m. Eastern and comply with The Indiana Open Door Law (IC § 5-14-1.5). Meetings are held at the Commission Office (309 W. Washington Street, Suite 501, Indianapolis, IN, 46204), unless otherwise stated on the meeting notice and agenda. The public is invited to attend in person or via electronic means permitted under IC § 5-14-1.5-3.6, excluding any Executive Sessions that may be scheduled as permitted under IC § 5-14-1.5-6.1. To view the Commission’s Electronic Meeting Policy, click here.
Notice of Executive Sessions & meetings will be posted at the entrance to the Commission Office (309 W. Washington Street, Suite 501, Indianapolis, IN, 46204) and posted on this site at least 48 hours in advance. Meeting materials and agendas will be posted at least 24 hours in advance.
Indiana Code 33-40-7 governs the membership of non-exempt county public defender boards.
The boards consist of three (3) members:
- 1 appointment by the County Judges who exercise criminal and juvenile jurisdiction
- 1 appointment by the Board of County Commissioners
- 1 appointment by the Indiana Public Defender Commission (effective upon the first expiration of a current judicial appointment prior to July 1, 2019)
The Commission's STANDARD A also provides additional guidance for the operation of County Public Defender Boards.
Requirements for board members:
The statute requires that members "shall be persons who have demonstrated an interest in high quality legal representation for indigent persons."
Indiana law prohibits the following individuals from serving on a board:
- a city, town, or county attorney
- a law enforcement officer
- a judge
- a court employee
- an employee of the department of child services
- an attorney who provides representation to indigent persons in the county managed by the board, or
- an employee of any individuals listed above
Term of Service:
- Three (3) years, beginning on the date of the member's appointment to the board.
- If a successor has not been appointed before the end of a member's three (3) year term, the current member shall continue the member's service until a successor has been appointed.
Meeting & Chair Requirements:
- The members shall, by a majority vote, elect one member to serve as a chairperson.
- The board shall meet, at least, on a quarterly basis.
- The board may convene additional meetings upon the request of the chairperson, or two (2) serving members of the board
In cases of an unexpected vacancy, the Commission Chair is authorized to make an interim appointment if a consensus candidate is identified. The individual would serve until the next scheduled Commission meeting, when the appointment will be considered.