Rules of the County Court of the Third Judicial District
(November 15, 2000)
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL; INDIGENT PARTIES; STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
Applicability. These rules shall apply in every criminal proceeding in which the laws of the United States or the laws of the State of Nebraska establish a right to be represented by counsel. All parties who have a right to be represented by an attorney, including juveniles, shall have their eligibility for appointment of an attorney at public expense determined in conformance with these rules.
Definition of Terms. The following definitions shall be applied in connection with these rules:
Judicial Advisement of the Right to Counsel. Whenever a party initially appears before the court without an attorney in any criminal proceeding where the right to counsel attaches, the judge shall advise the party, or if the party is a juvenile or is under guardianship, the party and a parent or legal guardian, where appropriate, that:
Waiver of the Right to Counsel. If the court determines that a party has knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily decided to waive the right to be represented by an attorney in the proceeding, the party shall be asked to sign a written waiver of that right, and the judge shall sign a certificate that states that the party effectively waived that right. If the party refuses to sign the waiver, the judge shall note that fact on the certificate. The waiver, if applicable, and the certificate shall be executed on forms consistent with Appendix A and Appendix B of these Rules and shall be filed with the papers in the case.
Affidavit of Indigency. A party who desires to proceed as an indigent with an attorney appointed by the court shall complete an affidavit under oath concerning his or her financial resources on a form consistent with Appendix C of these Rules. The affidavit shall require the party to list all financial resources relevant to a determination of indigency. The party shall be advised of the penalties for perjury.
Determination of Indigency. If the court finds that the party has not effectively waived his or her right to counsel, and the party has not arranged to obtain counsel, the court shall receive the affidavit of indigency and may question the party under oath. After reviewing the information contained in the affidavit and, if applicable, the party's testimony, the court shall determine whether the party is indigent based on § 2(3)(a), indigent based on § 2(3)(b), or not indigent. The court first shall determine whether a party is indigent based on § 2(3)(a). If the court finds that a party is not indigent under § 2(3)(a), the court shall next determine whether the party is indigent under § 2(3)(b). The court shall record its findings, including its comparison of the party's anticipated cost of counsel and available funds when applicable, on a form consistent with Appendix B of this Rule, that is filed with the papers in the case.
Assignment of Counsel/Notice of Assignment. If the court finds that a party is indigent, the court shall appoint an attorney to provide representation for the party. The Clerk of the Court shall promptly complete and transmit a notice of assignment of counsel form consistent with Appendix B of this Rule and shall file a copy in the case file. That form shall include the name of the attorney assigned to represent the party or shall note that the office of the public defender was appointed.
Payment of Cost of Counsel. While determined to be indigent, a party may not be ordered, required, or solicited to make any payment toward the cost of counsel.
Inadmissibility of Information Obtained From a Party. No information provided by a party pursuant to this rule may be used in any criminal or civil proceeding against the party except:
The intent of this rule is to create uniform standards and procedures for the determination of when a party is "indigent" and thus entitled to be represented by court-appointed counsel in criminal cases where the right to counsel applies.