600.090. 1. (1) If a person is determined to be eligible for the services provided by the state public defender system and if, at the time such determination is made, he is able to provide a limited cash contribution toward the cost of his representation without imposing a substantial hardship upon himself or his dependents, such contribution shall be required as a condition of his representation by the state public defender system.
(2) If at any time, either during or after the disposition of his case, such defendant becomes financially able to meet all or some part of the cost of services rendered to him, he shall be required to reimburse the commission in such amounts as he can reasonably pay, either by a single payment or by installments of reasonable amounts, in accordance with a schedule of charges for public defender services prepared by the commission.
(3) No difficulty or failure in the making of such payment shall reduce or in any way affect the rendering of public defender services to such persons.
2. (1) The reasonable value of the services rendered to a defendant pursuant to sections 600.011 to 600.048 and 600.086 to 600.096 may in all cases be a lien on any and all property to which the defendant shall have or acquire an interest. The public defender shall effectuate such lien whenever the reasonable value of the services rendered to a defendant appears to exceed one hundred fifty dollars and may effectuate such lien where the reasonable value of those services appears to be less than one hundred fifty dollars.
(2) To effectuate such a lien, the public defender shall, prior to the final disposition of the case or within ten days thereafter, file a notice of lien setting forth the services rendered to the defendant and a claim for the reasonable value of such services with the clerk of the circuit court. The defendant shall be personally served with a copy of such notice of lien. The court shall rule on whether all or any part of the claim shall be allowed. The portion of the claim approved by the court as the value of defender services which has been provided to the defendant shall be a judgment at law. The public defender shall not be required to pay filing or recording fees for or relating to such claim.
(3) Such judgment shall be enforceable in the name of the state on behalf of the commission by the prosecuting attorney of the circuit in which the judgment was entered.
(4) The prosecuting attorney may compromise and make settlement of, or, with the concurrence of the director, forego any claims for services performed for any person pursuant to this chapter whenever the financial circumstances of such person are such that the best interests of the state will be served by such action.
3. The commission may contract with private attorneys for the collection and enforcement of liens and other judgments owed to the state for services rendered by the state public defender system.
4. The lien created by this section shall be from the time filed in the court by the defender a charge or claim against any assets of the defendant; provided further that the same shall be served upon the person in possession of the assets or shall be recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds in the county in which the person resides or in which the assets are located.
5. Funds collected pursuant to this section and section 600.093 shall be credited to the "Legal Defense and Defender Fund" which is hereby created. The moneys credited to the legal defense and defender fund shall be used for the purpose of training public defenders, assistant public defenders, deputy public defenders and other personnel pursuant to subdivision (7) of subsection 1 of section 600.042, and may be used to pay for expert witness fees, the costs of depositions, travel expenses incurred by witnesses in case preparation and trial, expenses incurred for changes of venue and for other lawful expenses as authorized by the public defender commission.
6. The state treasurer shall be the custodian of the legal defense and defender fund, moneys in the legal defense and defender fund shall be deposited the same as are other state funds, and any interest accruing to the legal defense and defender fund shall be added to the legal defense and defender fund. The legal defense and defender fund shall be subject to audit, the same as other state funds and accounts, and shall be protected by the general bond given by the state treasurer.
7. Upon the request of the director of the office of state public defender, the commissioner of administration shall approve disbursements from the legal defense and defender fund. The legal defense and defender fund shall be funded annually by appropriation, but any unexpended balance in the fund at the end of the appropriation period not in excess of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars shall be exempt from the provisions of section 33.080, specifically as they relate to the transfer of fund balances to the general revenue, and shall be the amount of the fund at the beginning of the appropriation period next immediately following.
(L. 1976 H.B. 1095 § 600.053, A.L. 1982 H.B. 1169, A.L. 1986 S.B. 451)
Missouri General Assembly