[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Readington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Municipal Court
Article II Public Defender
Under the power and authority granted to the governing body by N.J.S.A. 2B:12-1 et seq. and any amendments thereof or supplements thereto, a Municipal Court is hereby established in the Township of Readington, County of Hunterdon, to be known as the "Readington Township Municipal Court."
This Municipal Court shall have a Judge having the qualifications required by law, who shall be appointed by the members of the Township Committee and who, when thus appointed and confirmed, shall serve for a term of three years from the date of his appointment or until such successor is appointed and qualified.
The salary of such Municipal Judge shall be as set by wage and salary ordinances adopted by the Township Committee from time to time.
[Adopted 4-6-1998 by Ord. No. 6-98]
Pursuant to P.L. 1997 c. 256, of the Public Laws of the State of New Jersey, there is hereby established in the Township of Readington the position of Municipal Public Defender, whose duty it shall be to represent eligible, indigent defendants 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 Court, there is a likelihood that the defendant, if convicted of any other offense, will be subject to imprisonment or other consequence of magnitude.
The Municipal Public Defender shall be appointed by the Township Committee and shall be an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey, duly licensed and in good standing before the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
The Municipal Public Defender shall serve for a term of one year from the date of his/her appointment and may continue to serve in office pending reappointment or appointment of a successor, normally accomplished at the reorganization meeting of the township.
The Municipal Public Defender need not be a resident of the Township of Readington.
The Municipal Public Defender may represent private clients in any municipality, including the Township of Readington, where the Public Defender serves as the Municipal Public Defender, subject to the Rules of Court Governing the Conduct of Lawyers, Judges and Court Personnel.
The salary range of the Municipal Public Defender shall be established in the Salary Ordinance of the township, and the actual rate of compensation shall be established by yearly resolution. The amount payable to the Municipal Public Defender shall be for handling all phases of the defense of an indigent defendant's matter before the Municipal Court and including any interlocutory appeals filed during the pendency of the matter before the Municipal Court.
A defendant's eligibility for services of the Municipal Public Defender shall be determined by the Municipal Court on the basis of the need of said defendant, or if the defendant is under the age of 18 years the eligibility for services shall be determined on the basis of the financial circumstances of the individual defendant and the financial circumstances of the individual's parents or legal guardians.
A person applying to the Court for representation by the Municipal Public Defender shall pay simultaneously with said application an application fee to the municipality of $200. The Municipal Court may waive the required application fee, in whole or in part, and in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the Supreme Court only if the Court determines, in its discretion, upon clear and convincing showing by the applicant, that the application fee represents an unreasonable burden on the person seeking representation.
The position of Municipal Public Defender and the providing of legal services to indigent defendants before the Readington Township Municipal Court shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of P.L. 1997, c. 256, of the Public Laws of the State of New Jersey and this article.