(a) In the trial of a capital case or a case under subdivision (a) of Section 190.05, the indigent defendant, through the defendant’s counsel, may request the court for funds for the specific payment of investigators, experts, and others for the preparation or presentation of the defense. The application for funds shall be by affidavit and shall specify that the funds are reasonably necessary for the preparation or presentation of the defense. The fact that an application has been made shall be confidential and the contents of the application shall be confidential. Upon receipt of an application, a judge of the court, other than the trial judge presiding over the case in question, shall rule on the reasonableness of the request and shall disburse an appropriate amount of money to the defendant’s attorney. The ruling on the reasonableness of the request shall be made at an in camera hearing. In making the ruling, the court shall be guided by the need to provide a complete and full defense for the defendant.
(b) (1) The Controller shall not reimburse any county for costs that exceed Department of General Services’ standards for travel and per diem expenses. The Controller may reimburse extraordinary costs in unusual cases if the county provides sufficient documentation of the need for those expenditures.
(2) At the termination of the proceedings, the attorney shall furnish to the court a complete accounting of all moneys received and disbursed pursuant to this section.
(c) The Controller shall adopt regulations pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, controlling reimbursements under this section. The regulations shall consider compensation for investigators, expert witnesses, and other expenses that may or may not be reimbursable pursuant to this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, the Controller shall follow any regulations adopted until final approval by the Office of Administrative Law.
(d) The confidentiality provided in this section shall not preclude any court from providing the Attorney General with access to documents protected by this section when the defendant raises an issue on appeal or collateral review where the recorded portion of the record, created pursuant to this section, relates to the issue raised. When the defendant raises that issue, the funding records, or relevant portions thereof, shall be provided to the Attorney General at the Attorney General’s request. In this case, the documents shall remain under seal and their use shall be limited solely to the pending proceeding.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 31, Sec. 237. (SB 836) Effective June 27, 2016.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018