2017 ORS 135.050¹
Eligibility for court-appointed counsel
  • financial statement
  • termination
  • civil liability

(1) Suitable counsel for a defendant shall be appointed by a municipal, county or justice court if:

(a) The defendant is before a court on a matter described in subsection (5) of this section;

(b) The defendant requests aid of counsel;

(c) The defendant provides to the court a written and verified financial statement; and

(d) It appears to the court that the defendant is financially unable to retain adequate representation without substantial hardship in providing basic economic necessities to the defendant or the defendant’s dependent family.

(2) Suitable counsel for a defendant shall be appointed by a circuit court if:

(a) The defendant is before the court on a matter described in subsection (5) of this section;

(b) The defendant requests aid of counsel;

(c) The defendant provides to the court a written and verified financial statement; and

(d)(A) The defendant is determined to be financially eligible under ORS 151.485 (Financial eligibility) and the standards established by the Public Defense Services Commission under ORS 151.216 (Duties); or

(B) The court finds, on the record, substantial and compelling reasons why the defendant is financially unable to retain adequate representation without substantial hardship in providing basic economic necessities to the defendant or the defendant’s dependent family despite the fact that the defendant does not meet the financial eligibility standards established by the commission.

(3) Appointed counsel may not be denied to any defendant merely because the defendant’s friends or relatives have resources adequate to retain counsel or because the defendant has deposited or is capable of depositing security for release. However, appointed counsel may be denied to a defendant if the defendant’s spouse has adequate resources which the court determines should be made available to retain counsel.

(4) The defendant’s financial statement under subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) A list of bank accounts in the name of defendant or defendant’s spouse, and the balance in each;

(b) A list of defendant’s interests in real property and those of defendant’s spouse;

(c) A list of automobiles and other personal property of significant value belonging to defendant or defendant’s spouse;

(d) A list of debts in the name of defendant or defendant’s spouse, and the total of each; and

(e) A record of earnings and other sources of income in the name of defendant or defendant’s spouse, and the total of each.

(5) Counsel must be appointed for a defendant who meets the requirements of subsection (1) or (2) of this section and who is before a court on any of the following matters:

(a) Charged with a crime.

(b) For a hearing to determine whether an enhanced sentence should be imposed when such proceedings may result in the imposition of a felony sentence.

(c) For extradition proceedings under the provisions of the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act.

(d) For any proceeding concerning an order of probation, including but not limited to the revoking or amending thereof.

(6) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the appointment of counsel under this section shall continue during all criminal proceedings resulting from the defendant’s arrest through acquittal or the imposition of punishment. The court having jurisdiction of the case may not substitute one appointed counsel for another except pursuant to the policies, procedures, standards and guidelines of the Public Defense Services Commission under ORS 151.216 (Duties).

(7) If, at any time after the appointment of counsel, the court having jurisdiction of the case finds that the defendant is financially able to obtain counsel, the court may terminate the appointment of counsel. If, at any time during criminal proceedings, the court having jurisdiction of the case finds that the defendant is financially unable to pay counsel whom the defendant has retained, the court may appoint counsel as provided in this section.

(8) The court may order the defendant in a circuit court to pay to the Public Defense Services Account established by ORS 151.225 (Public Defense Services Account), through the clerk of the court, in full or in part the administrative costs of determining the eligibility of the defendant for appointed counsel and the costs of the legal and other services that are related to the provision of appointed counsel under ORS 151.487 (Ability to pay).

(9) In addition to any criminal prosecution, a civil proceeding may be initiated by any public body which has expended moneys for the defendant’s legal assistance within two years of judgment if the defendant was not qualified in accordance with subsection (1) or (2) of this section for legal assistance.

(10) The civil proceeding shall be subject to the exemptions from execution as provided for by law.

(11) As used in this section unless the context requires otherwise, “counsel” includes a legal advisor appointed under ORS 135.045 (Court appointment of counsel). [Formerly 133.625; 1981 c.3 §118; 1985 c.710 §1; 1989 c.1053 §1b; 1997 c.761 §8; 2001 c.472 §4; 2001 c.962 §25; 2003 c.449 §49; 2012 c.107 §41]

See also annota­tions under ORS 133.625 in permanent edi­tion.

Notes of Decisions

The Oregon recoup­ment scheme does not violate the Equal Protec­tion Clause of the Fourteenth Amend­ment of the U.S. Constitu­tion. Fuller v. Oregon, 417 US 40, 40 L Ed 2d 642, 94 S Ct 2116 (1973)

Where indigent defendant was provided witness fees to insure testimony of out-of-state psychiatrist who had examined him, denial of his mo­tion for appoint­ment of addi­tional psychiatrist was not viola­tion of constitu­tional due process. State v. Glover, 33 Or App 553, 577 P2d 91 (1978)

Under this sec­tion, interests of justice did not require substitu­tion of an­oth­er appointed counsel for public defender where defendant rejected public defender because public defender represented all crim­i­nal defendants and allegedly would not have time to devote to his case. State v. Reid, 36 Or App 417, 585 P2d 411 (1978)

Under this sec­tion, appoint­ment of counsel in extradi­tion cases continues through appellate stages within this state. State ex rel Roby v. Mason, 284 Or 427, 587 P2d 94 (1978)

Where financial state­ment revealed that defendant had $750 in salable assets, no outstanding debts and no disabilities which would prevent him from obtaining work, it was not error for court to conclude that defendant had sufficient means to obtain counsel without undue hardship. State v. Gordon, 43 Or App 511, 603 P2d 511 (1979), Sup Ct review denied

Where, on hearing of mo­tion for removal of appointed counsel, counsel stated he had researched case, was familiar with the evidence and was pursuing defendant’s best interests, record supported trial court’s finding that it was not in best interest of justice to appoint new counsel under this sec­tion. State v. Williams, 43 Or App 949, 607 P2d 740 (1979)

Where trial court was confronted with choice of either continuing trial for two months or replacing defendant’s attorney, both over defendant’s objec­tion, substitu­tion of attorney was re­quired in interest of justice. State v. White, 53 Or App 856, 632 P2d 1363 (1981)

Where case against defendant was 20 months old and had already been postponed four times and defendant had been advised by four attorneys and thought himself more competent than any of them and waived his right to assistance of counsel, trial court did not err in not appointing an­oth­er counsel. State v. Pagan, 80 Or App 65, 721 P2d 859 (1986), Sup Ct review denied

This sec­tion, interpreted in light of Article I, sec­tion 11 of Oregon Constitu­tion, requires that indigent defendant who requests counsel have aid of court-appointed counsel in DUII diversion termina­tion hearing. State v. Vest, 88 Or App 101, 744 P2d 288 (1987)

Court erred in denying defendant’s request for counsel solely on basis of defendant’s failure to list his income on affidavit of indigency, and should have made further inquiry based on attached note concerning defendant’s bankruptcy filing. State v. Foster, 95 Or App 452, 769 P2d 790 (1989)

Record was insufficient to support trial court’s denial of court-appointed counsel where only in­for­ma­­tion in record concerning defendant’s financial condi­tion indicated he had no income and that his liabilities exceeded his assets. State v. Freeman, 96 Or App 70, 771 P2d 304 (1989)

Where defendant became dissatisfied with counsel’s strategy, trial court did not abuse discre­tion by denying defendant’s mo­tion for substitu­tion of counsel. State v. Langley, 314 Or 247, 839 P2d 692 (1992), on reconsidera­tion 318 Or 28, 861 P2d 1012 (1993)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Appoint­ment of counsel for defendant, (1974) Vol 36, p 1038

Law Review Cita­tions

53 OLR 426 (1974); 11 WLJ 288, 289 (1975)

Notes of Decisions

Public Defender lacked standing to prosecute ap­peal of con­vic­­tion for driving under influence of intoxicants obtained in absentia and without defendant’s authoriza­tion. State v. Lyon, 36 Or App 255, 584 P2d 345 (1978)

Law Review Cita­tions

11 WLJ 284 (1975)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 135—Arraignment and Pretrial Provisions, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors135.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 135, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano135.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.