Court requesting $406K as defense costs skyrocket 

The Superior Court is asking the Board of Supervisors to release $406,665 that was placed on reserve earlier this fiscal year for indigent defense. The court says it now needs that money.

“Given the year-to-date actual and projected expenditures for the rest of the fiscal year, the court expects existing funding to dry up in June, necessitating the release of the reserve,” wrote Claire Williams, Court Executive Officer.

The court is expected to have spent $10,668,169 in defense fees for defendants who cannot afford their own defense by June 30.

The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee meets Wednesday at 11 a.m. at City Hall in Room 250 to vote on releasing the funds.

In fiscal year 2005-06, the court’s indigent defense spending was $7.4 million for 6,868 cases handled, which works out to be an average of $1,085 per case. This fiscal year, those costs will have increased since then by 43.2 percent for a total $10,668,169 for 9,284 cases, which works out to be an average cost of $1,149 per case, according to Budget Analyst Harvey Rose’s report.

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