August 17, 1977


TO: Chief Judges
FROM: Neal Forney, Assistant Director
RE: Forms to be used Pursuant to Defense of Indigents Act

In several counties of the State magistrates have been assigned to inform indigents of their right to counsel pursuant to the Defense of Indigents Act (S.C. Code Ann. § 17-3-10 et seq.). The statute provides that the right to counsel shall be explained to indigent defendants by the clerk of court or such other persons as the resident circuit judge may designate. In many cases magistrates have been designated by the resident circuit judge to explain the right to counsel to indigent defendants.

For those magistrates who are informing indigent defendants of their right to counsel, there is a need for Forms 1 through 4 prescribed by the Defense of Indigents Act. A copy of these forms has been sent with this memorandum. The forms are normally available from the clerk of court. If you cannot obtain the forms from the clerk of court, I will be glad to send them to you on request.

Please discuss this matter with the magistrates of your county. Instruct those who have been appointed by the resident circuit court judge to explain the right to counsel about the use of the forms and where they can be obtained.