Northern Mariana Islands

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At a Glance (as of 2013)

Percentage of territorial funding: 100%
Percentage of local funding: 0%
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%
State commission: none
Branch of government: executive

Structure & Funding of Indigent Defense Services

The Office of the Northern Mariana Islands Public Defender (ONMIPD) is an executive branch agency located on the main island of Saipan. The governor appoints the ONMIPD chief public defender with advice and consent of the Senate. ONMIPD covers all superior courts with a staff of three assistant attorneys, one investigator and one legal secretary. The majority of cases are heard on Saipan, thought proceedings are also held occasionally in courtrooms on the islands of Rota and Tinian. Statutory language gives exclusive discretion to the judiciary to make determinations of indigency prior to appointing the public defender in all criminal, juvenile and traffic cases. Eligibility determinations are made at the initial appearance. The judiciary maintains a list of attorneys and appoints counsel directly in cases where ONMIPD has a conflict of interest.

Statutory Authority

1 CMC 2204

Source of data: original research conducted by Sixth Amendment Center staff.