[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Mansfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I General Provisions
Article II Public Defender
In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 264, P.L. 1948, as amended, there is hereby established in and for the Township of Mansfield, in the County of Burlington, the Municipal Court of the Township of Mansfield, in the County of Burlington.
Editor's Note: Chapter 264, P.L. 1948, was repealed by Chapter 293, P.L. 1993. See now N.J.S.A. 2B:12-1 et seq.
There shall be appointed to preside over said Court a Magistrate, who shall have the qualifications provided by law and shall hold office for a term of three years from the date of appointment and until a successor shall be appointed and qualified. Said Magistrate shall be paid an annual salary as set forth in the Salary Ordinance in Chapter 42 at the same time and the same manner as the salaries of other officials of said Township shall be paid, and which salary shall be in lieu of any and all fees.
Said Magistrate shall have the jurisdiction, duties, powers and obligations as are now or may hereafter be provided by law.
The Township Committee shall provide said Magistrate with the necessary accommodations and supplies for the operation of said Court.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with the provisions of this article be and the same are hereby repealed.
This article shall take effect January 1, 1949, after final passage, approval and publication as provided by law.
[Added 12-5-1949; amended 8-6-1951; 6-13-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-16]
There shall be a Municipal Court Administrator, appointed by the Township Committee, who shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of appointment and until a successor shall be appointed. Said Administrator shall be paid an annual salary as set forth in the Salary Ordinance in Chapter 42 at the same time and in the same manner as the salaries of other officers of said Township shall be paid, and which salary shall be in lieu of any and all fees. The Municipal Court Administrator shall be deemed a "municipal officer" as that term is defined in P.L. 1991, c. 29, the Local Government Ethics Law.
[Added 6-13-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-16]
There shall be a Deputy Administrator of the Municipal Court, appointed by the Township Committee, who shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of appointment and until a successor shall be appointed. Said Deputy Administrator shall be paid an annual salary as set forth in the Salary Ordinance in Chapter 42 at the same time and in the same manner as the salaries of other officers of said Township shall be paid, and which salary shall be in lieu of any and all fees. The Deputy Court Administrator shall be deemed a "municipal officer" as that term is defined in P.L. 1991, c. 29, the Local Government Ethics Law.
[Adopted 5-11-1994 by Ord. No. 1994-6; amended in its entirety 5-27-1998 by Ord. No. 1998-5]
The Legislature has enacted N.J.S.A. 2B:24-1 et seq., which is popularly known as the "Municipal Public Defender Law." Among other things, the Legislature has found and declared that municipal public defenders are a critical component of New Jersey's system for the administration of justice and the effective, fair and equal representation of the poor, and that the appointment of municipal public defenders increases the efficiency and the effectiveness of the system and the professionalism of the municipal courts. All of the provisions of N.J S.A. 2B:24-1 are hereby incorporated by reference and made a part of this ordinance as though set forth in detail herein.
There is hereby established the office of the Municipal Public Defender, and said Public Defender shall be an attorney at law of the state in good standing and shall be appointed by the governing body for a term of one year from the date of his or her appointment, but he or she may continue to serve in office pending reappointment or appointment of a successor.
The Municipal Public Defender shall receive compensation based on an annual salary as determined by the governing body at its reorganization meeting each year and as thereafter established by salary ordinance, and the compensation of the Municipal Public Defender for services rendered in accordance with the enabling act shall be in lieu of any and all other compensation by the municipality; provided, however, that the governing body reserves the right to establish additional compensation by separate resolution in the event of interlocutory appeals to the Superior Court or other extraordinary services rendered by said Public Defender.
It shall be the duty of the Municipal Public Defender to represent, except in the case of temporary unavailability or conflict of interest, any defendant charged with an offense in municipal court who is an indigent municipal defendant, as defined in N.J.S.A. 2B:24-2, and who is entitled to representation pursuant to said statute. At the end of one year after the effective date of N.J.S.A. 2B:24-1 et seq., all necessary services and facilities of representation, including both expert and lay investigation and testimony as well as other preparations, shall be provided in every case, and the municipality shall be responsible for payment for those services.
The factors of need and real value to a defendant may be weighed against the financial constraints of the municipality in determining the necessary services and facilities of representation.
The Municipal Public Defender shall be responsible for handling all phases of the defense, including but not limited to discovery, pretrial and post-trial hearings (except for de novo appeals to Superior Court), motions, removals to federal district court and other collateral functions reasonably related to the defense.
The Municipal Public Defender shall represent an indigent defendant charged in Municipal Court with a crime as specified in N.J.S.A. 2B:12-18 or if in the opinion of the Municipal Judge there is a likelihood that the defendant, if convicted of any other offense, will be subject to imprisonment or other consequence of magnitude.
Eligibility for services of the Municipal Public Defender shall be determined by the Municipal Judge on the basis of the need of the defendant, which shall be measured according to N.J.S.A. 2A:158A-14 and guidelines promulgated by the New Jersey Supreme Court. In the event that eligibility cannot be determined before the time when the first services are to be rendered, or if an initial determination is found to be erroneous, the Municipal Judge shall refer the defendant to the Public Defender provisionally, and if subsequently it is determined that the defendant is ineligible the Municipal Judge shall inform the defendant, and the defendant shall be obliged to engage his own counsel and to reimburse the municipality for the cost of the services rendered to that time.
The Municipal Court shall make an investigation of the financial status of each defendant seeking representation pursuant to this article and shall have the authority to require a defendant to execute and deliver written requests or authorizations required under applicable law to provide the court with access to records of public or private sources, otherwise confidential, as may be of aid in evaluating eligibility.
Whenever a person entitled to representation by the Public Defender is under the age of 18 years, the eligibility for services shall be determined on the basis of the financial circumstances of the individual and the financial circumstances of the individual's parents or legal guardians. The municipality invokes the protection provided in N.J.S.A. 2B:24-11 and 2B:24-16 concerning the recovery of costs of legal services rendered pursuant to this article.
Any person applying for representation by the Municipal Public Defender or court-approved counsel must pay an application fee of not more than $200 or less than $50, which amount shall be set by the Municipal Judge after review of the applicant's financial ability and any other relevant factors; provided, however, that the Municipal Judge may waive the application fee, in whole or in part, if he determines, in his discretion, upon a clear and convincing showing by the applicant that the fee represents an unreasonable burden on the person seeking representation. The Municipal Judge may also permit a person to pay the application fee over a specific period of time not to exceed four months.