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The chair of Missouri's House Judiciary Committee is proposing reductions in the state's public defender system.

Republican State Representative Stanley Cox of Sedalia says public defenders would still handle the most serious cases for indigent defendants, but the more minor cases would be bid out to private attorneys.

Cox says this would address the caseload issues public defenders have long complained about.

The Missouri Supreme Court is soliciting comments and suggestions from residents on how to improve municipal courts statewide.
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The Missouri state auditor released a report Wednesday on the state’s Public Defender system.

Among the findings: public defenders need to better track the hours they spend on each case and update the standards they use to determine what’s the appropriate caseload.

Auditor Tom Schweich says Public Defenders have relied on national standards that are out-of-date.

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The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a judge should not have appointed a public defender to a client after the public defenders alerted the courts they had too many cases.

The court handed down the 4-3 decision Tuesday.

The case goes back to July 2010 when a Christian County judge appointed a public defender despite their "limited availability" status.

Christian County prosecutor Amy Fite says it’s hard on victims and defendants when cases are held up.