Fla. Stat. § 27.511 - [Effective Until 1/1/2021] Offices of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel; legislative intent; qualifications; appointment; duties

Cite as:Fla. Stat. § 27.511
Currency:Current through Chapter 162 of the 2020 Legislative Session
 
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(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide adequate representation to persons entitled to court-appointed counsel under the Federal or State Constitution or as authorized by general law. It is the further intent of the Legislature to provide adequate representation in a fiscally sound manner, while safeguarding constitutional principles. Therefore, an office of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel is created within the geographic boundaries of each of the five district courts of appeal. The regional counsel shall be appointed as set forth in subsection (3) for each of the five regional offices. [The offices shall commence fulfilling their constitutional and statutory purpose and duties on October 1, 2007.]

(2) Each office of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel shall be assigned to the Justice Administrative Commission for administrative purposes. The commission shall provide administrative support and service to the offices to the extent requested by each regional counsel within the available resources of the commission. The regional counsel and the offices are not subject to control, supervision, or direction by the commission in the performance of their duties, but the employees of the offices shall be governed by the classification plan and the salary and benefits plan for the commission.

(3)

(a) Each regional counsel must be, and must have been for the preceding 5 years, a member in good standing of The Florida Bar. Each regional counsel shall be appointed by the Governor and is subject to confirmation by the Senate. The Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, in addition to the current regional counsel, shall recommend to the Governor not fewer than two or more than five additional qualified candidates for appointment to each of the five regional counsel positions. The Governor shall appoint the regional counsel for the five regions from among the recommendations, or, if it is in the best interest of the fair administration of justice, the Governor may reject the nominations and request that the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission submit three new nominees. The regional counsel shall be appointed to a term of 4 years, the term beginning on October 1, 2015. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner provided in paragraph (b).

(b) If for any reason a regional counsel is unable to complete a full term in office, the Governor may immediately appoint an interim regional counsel who meets the qualifications to be a regional counsel to serve as regional counsel for that district until a new regional counsel is appointed in the manner provided in paragraph (a). The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission shall provide the Governor with a list of nominees for appointment within 6 months after the date of the vacancy. A temporary vacancy in office does not affect the validity of any matters or activities of the office of regional counsel.

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