In 2013, the Michigan legislature created the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) after an advisory commission recommended improvements to the state’s legal system. The MIDC works to ensure the state’s public defense system is fair, cost-effective and constitutional while simultaneously protecting public safety and accountability.
At the end of 2017, each Michigan county was required to submit to the MIDC a plan for compliance with the first four approved minimum standards for indigent criminal defense services. A final plan for Ottawa County was approved in June 2018. Until the approved plan is funded, the 20th Circuit Court will continue to operate under Local Administrative Order 2015-04J: Public Defender Plan. It is anticipated funding will become available by October 2018 and a new Public Defender Office will become operational by April 2019.MIDC website.