All data is current as of 2013, unless otherwise noted.
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How the right to counsel is administered and structured
Branch of government: executive
The Office of the Public Defender (OPD) is an executive branch agency located on the main island of Saipan that provides representation to indigent people throughout the Northern Mariana Islands commonwealth. The governor appoints the OPD chief public defender with advice and consent of the Senate.
The judiciary is responsible for the provision of counsel where OPD has a conflict of interest.
How the right to counsel is funded
Percentage of local funding: 0%
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%
The methods used to provide public counsel
The commonwealth’s Office of the Public Defender (OPD) provides right to counsel services in all superior courts with a staff of three assistant attorneys, one investigator, and one legal secretary. The majority of cases are heard on Saipan, though proceedings are also held occasionally in courtrooms on the islands of Rota and Tinian.
The judiciary maintains a list of attorneys and appoints counsel directly in cases where OPD has a conflict of interest.
Northern Mariana Islands Constitution, art. I, § 4(a)
Northern Mariana Islands Code, 1 CMC §§ 2201 through 2205
Source of data: original research conducted by Sixth Amendment Center staff.