California Code, Government Code - GOV § 27706




The public defender shall perform the following duties:

(a) Upon request of the defendant or upon order of the court, the public defender shall defend, without expense to the defendant, except as provided by Section 987.8 of the Penal Code , any person who is not financially able to employ counsel and who is charged with the commission of any contempt or offense triable in the superior courts at all stages of the proceedings, including the preliminary examination.  The public defender shall, upon request, give counsel and advice to such person about any charge against the person upon which the public defender is conducting the defense, and shall prosecute all appeals to a higher court or courts of any person who has been convicted, where, in the opinion of the public defender, the appeal will or might reasonably be expected to result in the reversal or modification of the judgment of conviction.

(b) Upon request, the public defender shall prosecute actions for the collection of wages and other demands of any person who is not financially able to employ counsel, where the sum involved does not exceed one hundred dollars ($100), and where, in the judgment of the public defender, the claim urged is valid and enforceable in the courts.

(c) Upon request, the public defender shall defend any person who is not financially able to employ counsel in any civil litigation in which, in the judgment of the public defender, the person is being persecuted or unjustly harassed.

(d) Upon request, or upon order of the court, the public defender shall represent any person who is not financially able to employ counsel in proceedings under Division 4 (commencing with Section 1400) of the Probate Code and Part 1 (commencing with Section 5000) of Division 5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code .

(e) Upon order of the court, the public defender shall represent any person who is entitled to be represented by counsel but is not financially able to employ counsel in proceedings under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 500) of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code .

(f) Upon order of the court the public defender shall represent any person who is required to have counsel pursuant to Section 686.1 of the Penal Code .

(g) Upon the order of the court or upon the request of the person involved, the public defender may represent any person who is not financially able to employ counsel in a proceeding of any nature relating to the nature or conditions of detention, of other restrictions prior to adjudication, of treatment, or of punishment resulting from criminal or juvenile proceedings.





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