Counties receive funds to defray court costs

Counties receive funds to defray court costs State Treasurer Richard Butler has announced that the South Dakota treasury allocated $542,600 among the state's 66 counties to help defray costs the county governments incur for court appointed attorneys, public defenders, and the representation of abused and neglected children.

"The state of South Dakota this year allocated to county governments a record amount of monies equaling 34 percent of the annual statewide costs counties incurred last year for representing abused and neglected children. These payments are distributed pro rata among counties each year from available state funds. These funds reimburse counties in part for their yearly costs in defending indigent persons and representing abused and neglected children," Butler said.

By law the State Treasurer annually determines eligible counties' allocations from funds the state received of law enforcement liquidated costs in criminal penalties, assessments and fines. Sixty-five counties will share $407,095 of the total distribution for costs with court appointed attorneys and public defenders and 47 counties will split $135,505 to cover expenses relating to abused and neglected children.

Butler said the record payment resulted from annual costs in the counties for representing abused and neglected children declining 20.89 percent statewide as collections increased by 2.79 percent from the previous year. Butler said, "Counties may deposit their allocation into their general fund. This distribution assists county efforts to advance the interests of abused and neglected children while helping to cover indigent legal defense costs."

Clay County received $3,567.26 from the fund. Union and Yankton counties received $12,308.41 and $13,117.33 respectively.

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