State treasurer’s office helps pay legal costs

State treasurer's office helps pay legal costs State Treasurer Vern Larson has announced his office distributed $827,002 to 66 counties in South Dakota to help cover the counties' costs of $6,700,251 for public defenders and court-appointed attorneys.

Larson said the state treasury also sent $137,305 to 46 counties to assist them in legal costs of $541,706 for abused and neglected children. The monies come from court costs assessed statewide in criminal cases.

Funds distributed to Clay County total $9,257.78.

State law allocates $6 from court costs assessed in all criminal cases to a court-appointed attorney and public defender payment fund and $1 to an abused and neglected child defense fund. The state treasurer annually distributes these monies to counties based on the amounts spent by each county for public defenders and court-appointed attorneys and representation of abused and neglected children.

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