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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

State Board of Public Defense

Also known as:
Public Defense Board
Active dates:1981-

Approves and recommends a budget to the Minnesota legislature and establishes procedures for distribution of state funding for the board, the office of state public defender, the judicial district public defenders, and the public defense corporations. The board approves standards for the offices of the state and district public defenders and for the conduct of all appointed counsel systems as established by the state public defender. Appoints the state public defender (see Minn. Stat. 611.22,.23) and all judicial district public defenders


In 1963, the United States Supreme Court in Gideon v. Wainright recognized that the fundamental right to a fair trial requires an indigent person accused of a crime to have the assistance of counsel.

Minnesota has responded to this Constitutional mandate in a practical and cost-effective manner. Coordinated and funded by the Board of Public Defense, Minnesota Public Defenders represent indigent accused people in each of Minnesota's 87 counties. The state is divided into ten judicial districts; each of these districts has at least one full time Public Defender office. Each district's activities are supervised by a Chief Public Defender who is appointed by the Board. Additionally, state and federal appeals are brought by the lawyers in our appellate office.
(Paragraphs above taken from Board website 12/11/12)


7 members (2 public members appointed by the governor; 4 attorneys and a district court judge, appointed by the supreme court); appointed by governor, Supreme Court; 4-year terms; per diem and expenses.

Agency heads:

Public defender; term, 4 years

Record last updated: 02/06/2019

Additional print information on this group may be available in the Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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