Q In light of the $200.00 State-mandated compensation for appointed counsel, may a landowner be considered indigent for the purposes of appointment of counsel on a misdemeanor charge?

A Determination of indigency is a factual matter that must be determined by a court. The procedure to follow is set forth in detail in Rule 7.3 of the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Comment thereunder. Ownership of property is one factor a court can consider. Other factors mentioned in the Comment are the defendantís income and sources of income, employment status, outstanding obligations, and the number and age(s) of any dependent(s). According to the Comment to Rule 7.3, the court shall not consider, ďthe fact that the defendant has legally been released on bond or the financial ability of friends or relatives not legally responsible for the defendant.Ē (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Brown, May 11, 2018)