District Court Seeks Private Counsel for Representation of Indigent Defendants

The Court of Appeals has ruled that indigent defendants have a right to Court-appointed counsel at Initial Appearance before a District Court commissioner. The District Court Administrative Judges have been instructed to compile a list of qualified private attorneys to be called upon to appear at Initial Appearances which occur during times when the Public Defenders are not available. The details have not been finalized at this time. I can tell you that the rate of pay will be $50.00 per hour, but it is not known at this time if the appointment will require the attorney’s physical presence at Central Booking for a set period of time, or if it will be on-call or by telephone. Any attorneys willing to assist the Court and indigent defendants at Initial Appearance should forward their contact information to Administrative Judge Ellinghaus-Jones directly. The judges are meeting this Friday, December 6, 2013, so time is of the essence.

Thank you,

JoAnn Ellinghaus-Jones
Administrative Judge District 10
Carroll and Howard Counties
Carroll County District Court
101 N. Court Street
Westminster, MD  21157
410-871-3517 (fax)