Camp, Marion, Morris and Titus Juvenile Board Plan
The Juvenile Board for Camp, Marion, Morris and Titus County, Texas, hereby adopts the following plan and local rules for determination of indigency in juvenile cases; establishing procedures for prompt appointment of Counsel for initial detention hearing to represent indigent juveniles; establishing qualifications for appointment; and setting out uniform schedules of fees for compensation of appointed attorneys.
Prompt Detention Hearings
A. A child taken into custody must either be brought to a juvenile processing office without unnecessary delay where they may not be detained for longer than six hours pursuant to §52.025, Family Code, or another disposition authorized by §52.02, Family Code, including referral to the office designated by the juvenile board as intake for the juvenile court. The intake officer shall process the child according the requirement of §53.01, Family Code, and shall also inform the child and the child’s parents of the right to appointed counsel if they are indigent and provide a form for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment of counsel. If the child is not released by intake, then a Detention Hearing shall be held not later than the second working day after the child is taken into custody unless the child is detained on a Friday, Saturday or listed holiday in which case the detention hearing shall be held on the first working day after the child is taken into custody.
B. Prior to the detention hearing the court shall inform the parties of the child’s right to counsel and to appointed counsel if they are indigent, and of the child’s right to remain silent as to the alleged conduct.
C. The detention hearing may be conducted without the presence of the child’s parent(s) or other responsible adult(s), however, in these cases the court must immediately appoint counsel or a guardian ad litem to represent the child.
D. The court shall provide the attorney for the child access to all written matter to be considered by the Court in making the detention decision.
Indigence Determination Standards
A. Definitions, as used in this rule:
i. “Indigent” means a person who is not financially able to employ counsel.
ii. “Net household income” in the case of a child is the income of the child’s parents or other person determined responsible for the support of the child. Such income shall include: take-home wages and salary (gross income earned minus those deductions required by law or as a condition of employment); net self-employment income (gross income minus business expenses, and those deductions required by law or as a condition of operating the business); regular payments from a governmental income maintenance program, alimony, child support, public or private pensions, or annuities; and income from dividends, interest, rents, royalties, or periodic receipts from estates or trusts. Seasonal or temporary income shall be considered on an annualized basis, averaged together with periods in which the person determined responsible for the support of the child has no income or lesser income.
iii. “Household” means all individuals who are actually dependent on the child’s parent(s) or person(s) deemed responsible for the support of the child, for financial support.
iv. “The cost of obtaining competent private legal representation” includes the reasonable cost of support services such as investigators and expert witnesses as necessary and appropriate given the nature of the case.
B. Eligibility for Appointment
i. A child is presumed indigent if any of the following conditions or factors are present:
1. At the time of requesting appointed counsel, a child is presumed indigent if the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) determined responsible for the support of the child is eligible to receive food stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, or public housing.
2. The net household income of the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) determined responsible for the support of the child does not exceed 125% of the Poverty Guidelines as revised annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Federal Register;
3. The child’s parent(s) or other person(s) determined responsible for the support of the child is currently serving a sentence in a correctional institution, is currently residing in a public mental health facility, or is subject to a proceeding in which admission or commitment to such a mental health facility is sought; or
ii. The child who does not meet any of the standards above shall nevertheless be considered indigent if the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child is unable to retain private counsel without substantial hardship. In considering if obtaining private counsel will create a substantial hardship, the appointing authority shall take into account:
1. the nature of the charge(s);
2. anticipated complexity of the defense;
3. the estimated cost of obtaining competent private legal representation for the matter(s) charged;
4. the amount needed for the support of the child, the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible, and other dependents of the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible;
5. child’s parent(s’) income or the income of other person(s) determined responsible for the support of the child;
6. source of income;
7. assets and property owned by the child, child’s parent(s), or other person(s) determined responsible for support of the child;
8. outstanding obligations;
9. necessary expenses; and
10. the number and ages of any siblings of the child.
iii. Factors NOT to be considered in determining indigence:
1. The resources available to friends or relatives of the child, other than the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) deemed responsible for the child, may not be considered in determining whether the child is indigent.
2. Only the child's parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child and the child’s financial circumstances as measured by the financial standards stated in this rule shall be used as the basis for determining indigence.
C. Indigence Proceedings:
i. The appointing authority can require the child and the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child to respond to questions about the child’s household financial status, produce documentation supporting financial information provided, and/or order a court official to verify financial information provided.
ii. Information gathered for determining indigence, both in the affidavit of indigence and through oral examination, may not be for any purpose other than:
1. Determining if child is (or is not) indigent; or
2. Impeaching direct testimony of the child or the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible regarding the child’s indigence.
iii. A request by the appointing authority for additional information, documentation, and/or verification cannot delay appointment of counsel beyond the timelines specified in these rules.
iv. A child determined to be indigent is presumed to remain indigent for the remainder of the case unless a material change in the child’s financial circumstances occurs.
1. A child’s status as indigent or not indigent may be reviewed in a formal hearing at any stage of a court. The child’s indigent status will be presumed not to have changed. The presumption can be rebutted in the review proceedings based on the following:
a. Evidence of a material change in the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible and the child’s financial circumstances; or
b. Additional information regarding the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible and the child’s financial circumstances that shows that they do not meet any of the standards for indigence contained in these rules including erroneous or fraudulent information provided at the time counsel was appointed.
2. If a child previously determined to be indigent is subsequently determined not to be indigent, the attorney shall be compensated by the county according to the fee schedule for hours reasonably expended on the case.
v. If the court determines that a child’s parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child has financial resources that enable him to offset in part or in whole the costs of the legal services provided, including any expenses and costs, the court shall order the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child to pay during the pendency of the charges or, if found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or CINS, as court costs the amount that it finds the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child is able to pay.
Minimum Attorney Qualifications
Minimum Attorney Qualifications for Juveniles
A. The Juvenile Board shall establish attorney appointment lists for the following categories of offenses. Attorneys may apply for and be placed on multiple lists. To be eligible for an appointment list, an attorney must meet the following minimum requirements:
I. General Requirements:
1. All attorneys on the appointment list must ensure all information on their application is correct;
2. An attorney must be a licensed practicing attorney and a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas;
3. An attorney shall submit by October 15th each year a statement that describes the percentage of the attorney's practice time that was dedicated to work based on appointments accepted in this county for adult criminal cases and juvenile delinquency cases for the prior 12 months that begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The report must be submitted through the form prescribed by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission to the auditors office in the county. An attorney who fails to comply with this requirement may be removed from the Indigent Juvenile appointment list.
4. An attorney shall complete a minimum of 6 hours of CLE in the area of juvenile law and procedure each year. All attorneys on the appointment list must file a certificate with the court administration office each year attesting to completion of the required CLE or submit documentation showing that the attorney is certified as a specialist in juvenile law. Continuing legal education activity completed with-in a one year period immediately preceding an attorney’s initial reporting period may be used to meet the educational requirements for the initial year. Continuing legal education activity completed during any reporting period in excess of the minimum of 6 hours for such period may be applied to the following period’s requirement. The carryover provision applies to one year only;
5. Must be knowledgeable in juvenile law and be aware of collateral consequences of a juvenile adjudication and disposition;
6. May not have been the recipient of any public disciplinary action by the State Bar of Texas or any other attorney licensing authority of any state or the United States within the last year;
7. An attorney must maintain an office capable of receiving email, fax, and telephone calls;
8. An attorney must have the ability to produce typed motions and orders;
9. An attorney shall notify the Juvenile Board promptly, in writing, of any matter that would disqualify the attorney by law, regulation, rule, or under these guidelines from receiving appointments to represent indigent defendants.
II. If CINS Charges, Delinquent Conduct, and Commitment to TJJD Is Not an Authorized Disposition, the following requirements apply:
1. Meet the General Requirements;
2. Must have a minimum 1 year of work experience in juvenile law;
3. Must have observed or participated in at least:
a. 1 stipulated juvenile adjudications;
b. 1 contested juvenile adjudications;
c. 1 juvenile dispositions; and
d. 1 detention hearings; and
4. Participated in at least 1 criminal or juvenile trial.
III. If Delinquent Conduct, and Commitment to TJJD Without a Determinate Sentence Is an Authorized Disposition, the following requirement apply:
1. Meet General Requirements;
2. Have a minimum 1 years of work experience in juvenile law;
3. Participated in 2 criminal or juvenile cases, of which at least 1 was tried to a jury verdict; and
IV. If Determinate Sentence Proceedings have been Initiated; or Proceedings for Discretionary Transfer to Criminal Court Have Been Initiated, the following requirements apply:
1. Meet General Requirements;
2. Have a minimum 1 years of work experience in juvenile law;
3. Participated in 2 criminal or juvenile cases, of which at least 1 were tried to a jury verdict;
4. Tried at least 2 criminal or juvenile case as lead counsel.
B. Approval for Appointment Lists - An attorney must be approved by a majority of the Judges hearing juvenile cases.
C. Removal from Appointment List - The Judges hearing Juvenile cases will monitor attorney performance on a continuing basis to assure the competency of attorneys on the list. An attorney may be removed or suspended, as appropriate, from one or more appointment lists by a majority vote of the judges.
D. Reinstatement to Appointment Lists
i. An attorney who was removed from the appointment list for non-completion of the required CLE hours may be immediately reinstated upon providing proof that the attorney has completed the required hours so long as the attorney otherwise meets the other qualifications under this Plan.
ii. An attorney who was removed from the appointment list for not submitting the attorney's annual practice time report may be immediately reinstated upon submission of the report so long as the attorney otherwise meets the other qualifications under this Plan.
iii. An attorney who has been removed from the appointment list for any other reason and who wishes to be reinstated must apply through the original application process.
E. Duties of Appointed Counsel - Appointed Counsel shall:
i. Notify the court within 72 hours of the receipt of appointment;
ii. Make every reasonable effort to:
1. Contact the child by the end of the first day after the date on which the attorney is appointed; and
2. Interview the child as soon as practicable after the attorney is appointed;
iii. Represent the child until:
1. The case is terminated;
2. The family retains an attorney;
3. The attorney is relieved of his duties by the court or replaced by other counsel.
iv. Investigate, either by self or through an investigator, the facts of the case and be prepared to present any factual defense that may be reasonably and arguably available to the child;
v. Brief the law of the case and be prepared to present any legal defense that may be reasonably and arguably available to the child;
vi. Be prepared to negotiate with the prosecutor for the most favorable solution of the case as can be achieved through a plea agreement;
vii. Be prepared to try the case to conclusion either with or without a jury;
viii. Be prepared to file post-trial motions, give notice of appeal and appeal the case pursuant to the standards and requirements of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure;
ix. Maintain reasonable communication and keep the child informed of the status of the case; and
x. Advise the child on all matters involving the case and such collateral matters as may reasonably be required to aid the client is making appropriate decisions about the case.
xi. Perform the attorney’s duty owed to the child in accordance with these procedures, the requirements of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Family Code, and applicable rules of ethics.
xii. Manage attorney’s workload to allow for the provision of quality representation and the execution of the responsibilities listed in these rules in every case.
Prompt Appointment of Counsel
A. Appointment of Counsel for Children in Detention
i. Prior to the detention hearing the court shall inform the parties of the child’s right to counsel and to appointed counsel if they are indigent, and of the child’s right to remain silent as to the alleged conduct.
ii. Unless the court finds that the appointment of counsel is not feasible due to exigent circumstances, the court shall appoint counsel within a reasonalbe time to represent the child at the initial detetnion hearing. This provision supersede's any of the provisions herein to the contrary.
iii. Prior to the initial detention hearing, the court shall provide the attorney for the child with access to all written matter to be considered by the court in making the detention decision.
iv. If there is no parent or other responsible adult present, the court must appoint counsel or a guardian ad litem for the child.
v. If the juvenile is detained, the child has an immediate right to counsel. If counsel has not already been appointed, the court must either appoint counsel or direct the juvenile’s parent or other responsible adult to retain an attorney promptly. The court may enforce an order to retain counsel by appointing an attorney to represent the child and requiring that the child’s parent or other responsible adult reimburse the court for attorneys’ fees.
vi. Upon appointment, the Court administrator shall immediately notify the appointed attorney by fax, e-mail, or personal contact of the appointment and the scheduled hearing time and date.
vii. The appointed attorney shall make every reasonable effort to contact a child in detention by the end of the first working day after receiving the notice of appointment or to inform the court that the appointment cannot be accepted. Contacting the child in detention may be by personal visit (including contact during a detention hearing), by phone, or by video teleconference. Contacting the court may be by fax, email, phone or personal visit. A court-appointed attorney shall contact the child, in one of the ways mentioned above, no less than once every ten working days while the child remains in detention.
viii. An attorney appointed for a detention hearing shall continue to represent the child until the case is terminated, the family retains an attorney, or a new attorney is appointed by the juvenile court. Release of the child from detention does not terminate the attorney’s representation.
ix. Court-appointed attorneys shall make every effort to comply with the Texas State Bar Code of Ethics for communication with a client.
B. Appointment of Counsel for Children not Detained at Intake
i. If the child is released from detention and if a petition to adjudicate or a motion to modify is filed, the juvenile court will use the financial forms gathered at intake to make a determination of indigence. If no financial information is available, the juvenile court shall promptly summon the child’s parent/guardian/custodian to the court so that financial information may be gathered for a determination of indigence.
ii. If the court makes a finding of indigence, the court shall appoint an attorney on or before the fifth working day after:
a. The date a petition for adjudication or discretionary transfer hearing has been served on the child; or
b. A motion to modify disposition seeking commitment to TJJD or placing in secure correctional facility has been filed.
iii. If the family does not qualify for appointed counsel or if the parent or guardian is not available, and the family fails to provide an attorney, the juvenile court may appoint an attorney in any case in which it deems representation necessary to protect the interests of the child.
iv. The prosecuting attorney/court clerk shall notify the juvenile court upon the filing of and return of service of a motion to modify or the return of service of a petition for adjudication or discretionary transfer.
C. Appointment of Counsel on Out-Of-County Detention Orders.
i. When a juvenile is detained on an out of county directive to apprehend, referred herin as "detention order," the magistrate must inform the juvenile detainee of the procedures for requesting counsel and must ensure reasonable assistance in completing the necessary forms.
ii. If possible, the magistrate should provide the detainee with the Affidavit of Indigence form from the county where the detention order originates. Affidavit of Indigence form of the individal counties may be obtained from the TIDC website at the end of the respective jurisdictions' indigent defense plan.
iii. A magistrate must transmit request for counsel to the person authorized to appointment of counsel in the detention order issuing county. TIDC maintains a list of the contacts as submitted by each county at http//tidc.tamu.edu/public.net/Reports/outofcountyarrestcontacts.asp.
iv. If Titus, Camp, Marion or Morris County is the issuing county receiving the request for counsel for those determined indigent, counsel will be appointed within three days.
v. If Titus, Camp, Marion or Morris County is the detaining county, counsel will be appointed 11 days after the initial detention date if the juvenile is still detained by Titus, Camp, Marion or Morris County and the juvenile has no counsel in the county issuing the detention order. In any case, counsel will be appointed for the purposes of representation at detention hearings.
vi. Titus, Camp, Marion or Morris County will seek reimbursement from the detention issuing county for the costs paid to appointed counsel.
Attorney Selection Process
Selection and Appointment of Counsel
(A) The appointing Judge will identify which one of the appointment lists specified below best correspond to the known information about the accusations against each indigent child.
(B) The appointing Judge will appoint the lawyer whose name appears next in order on the list so identified unless:
(1) The child does not understand English, in which case the Judge will appoint the next lawyer who both appears next in order on the list and speaks the child’s language (if one is available);
(2) In a case where a trial court is required to change counsel for good cause shown of written record;
(3) Judge exercises discretionary authority to appoint one of the attorneys whose name is among the next five names on the list; or
(4) In unusual circumstances, the appointing Judge enters a written finding of good cause on the notice appointing any qualified willing attorney regardless of whether the attorney’s name is on the list.
(C) Each time a lawyer is appointed out of order under the preceding paragraph, the lawyer who is appointed out of order shall not be appointed to a new case until all other eligible lawyers on that wheel have received an equal number of appointments.
(D) Each attorney appointed under this rule is to represent the child through trial and appeal or including habeas corpus, until removed or replaced by court order or the child’s family retains an attorney.
(E) Where a child has had an attorney appointed in a pending delinquency matter, the same lawyer appointed on the prior pending case shall be appointed on the new case, if the child then qualifies for appointment. If any attorney is appointed under this rule, and that
attorney is not qualified for the new case, the Judge shall appoint either a second attorney who is qualified or appoint proper qualified counsel to the new case.
(F) The Chief Juvenile Probation Officer shall maintain a list of qualified attorneys by alphabetical order. Upon a child being found indigent, the Administrator shall inform the appointing court of the next name on the list.
Notice of Appointment Decisions
(A) If the appointing Judge finds that a child is not indigent, the appointing Judge will enter that finding on the form, cause it to be returned to the person, and cause a copy to be filed by the Clerk.
(B) If the appointing Judge finds that a child is indigent, the Judge will give notice of appointment attached as an Order of Appointment to be issued to both the child and the appointed attorney, and to be filed with the District Clerk.
(C) Notice to appoint counsel will be provided by telephone, facsimile, electronic mail, or some other similarly immediate means of communication.
(D) When formal charges are filed against a child, the District Clerk shall file a copy of the application and order appointing the attorney.
The list for Titus County shall consist of the name of all licensed attorneys residing or having an office for the practice of law in Morris, Camp, or Titus County, Texas, except:
(1) Those attorneys who have filed an Affidavit on the form approved by the District Judges, swearing that they do not desire any criminal court appointments in Titus County;
(2) Those attorneys who have retired from or no longer engage in the practice of law;
(3) Those attorneys who are employed with a governmental entity and whose employment is a disqualification from their being appointed to represent defendants in county or state criminal proceedings; and
(4) Those attorneys who the District Judges have found to not be qualified to represent respondents in juvenile cases before the District Courts of Morris, Camp, or Titus County, Texas or for good cause should not be included on the list.
The list for Marion County shall consist of the name of all licensed attorneys with whom the Commissioner’s Court of Marion County, Texas, has entered into a contract for representation of indigent defendants in Marion County, Texas pursuant to the provisions on Senate Bill 7.
The list for Morris County shall consist of the name of all licensed attorneys with whom the Commissioner’s Court of Morris County, Texas, has entered into a contract for representation of indigent defendants in Morris County, Texas pursuant to the provisions on Senate Bill 7.
The list for Camp County shall consist of the name of all licensed attorneys with whom the Commissioner’s Court of Camp County, Texas, has entered into a contract for representation of indigent defendants in Camp County, Texas pursuant to the provisions on Senate Bill 7.
Fee and Expense Payment Process
A. Court appointed counsel shall be compensated for all reasonable and appropriate services rendered in representing the accused. Compensation shall be reasonable for time and effort expended and will be in accordance with a fee schedule adopted and approved by the Juvenile Board and Judges hearing juvenile cases.
B. Payment Process - No payment of attorney’s fees will be made other than in accordance with the rules set forth below.
i. An appointed attorney shall fill out and submit a fee voucher to the court for services rendered.
ii. The trial judge presiding over the proceedings shall review the request for compensation and either approve or disapprove of the amount requested.
1. If a judge disapproves a request for compensation, the judge shall make written findings, stating the amount of payment that the judge approves and each reason for approving an amount different from the requested amount.
2. An attorney whose request for payment is disapproved or is not otherwise acted on by the 60th day after the date the request for payment is submitted may appeal the disapproval or failure to act by filing a motion with the presiding judge of this administrative judicial region.
C. Payment of Expenses:
i. Court appointed counsel will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred, including expenses for investigation and for mental health and other experts. Expenses incurred with and without prior approval shall be paid according to the procedures set forth below. Whenever possible prior court approval should be obtained before expenses are incurred.
ii. Procedure With Prior Court Approval:
1. Appointed Counsel may file with the trial court a pretrial ex parte confidential request for advance payment of investigative and expert expenses. The request for expenses must state the below, as applicable:
a. The type of investigation to be conducted or the type of expert to be retained;
b. Specific facts that suggest the investigation will result in admissible evidence or that the services of an expert are reasonably necessary to assist in the preparation of a potential defense; and
c. An itemized list of anticipated expenses for each investigation and/or each expert.
2. The court shall grant the request for advance payment of expenses in whole or in part if the request is reasonable. If the court denies in whole or in part the request for expenses, the court shall:
a. State the reasons for the denial in writing;
b. Attach the denial to the confidential request; and
c. Submit the request and denial as a sealed exhibit to the record.
iii. Procedure Without Prior Court Approval:
1. Appointed counsel may incur investigative or expert expenses without prior approval of the court. On presentation of a claim for reimbursement, the court shall order reimbursement of counsel for the expenses, if the expenses are reasonably necessary and reasonably incurred. Unreasonable or unnecessary expenses will not be approved.
The foregoing plan and local rules for the timely and fair appointment of counsel for indigent juveniles in Camp, Marion, Morris, and Titus County, Texas, are hereby adopted by the Juvenile Board of Titus County, Texas, in accordance with the provisions of the Texas Fair Defense Act (S.B. 7 & H.B. 1318 83rd Leg.)and the Texas Family Code, Section 51.101. This plan and local rules are subject to amendment from time to time by the Juvenile Board.
SIGNED AND ORDERED this the 19th day of October, 2017 to be effective November 1, 2017.
Hon. Lex Jones, Juvenile Board Chairman
Judge, County Court of Marion County, Texas
Hon. A. J. Mason, Juvenile Board Vice-Chairman
Judge, County Court of Camp County, Texas
Hon. Danny Woodson
Judge, 76th Judicial District
Hon. Lynda Munkres
Judge, County Court of Morris County, Texas
Camp Marion Morris Titus Juvenile Board Affidavit of Indigence.pdf (10/17/2013 9:34:13 AM) view
Camp Marion Morris Titus Juvenile Board Attorney Application for Appointment.doc (10/30/2009 9:16:37 AM) view
Camp Marion Morris Titus Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Schedule.docx (10/14/2015 5:01:19 PM) view
Camp Marion Morris Titus Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Voucher.doc (10/30/2009 9:18:22 AM) view
Camp Marion Morris Titus Juvenile Board Camp Marion Morris Titus Juvenile Board Contracts for Indigent Defense Services.pdf (12/3/2018 1:33:31 PM) view
Camp Marion Morris Titus Juvenile Board Contract Extension for Indigent Defense Services.pdf (7/10/2018 4:04:03 PM) view
Camp Marion Morris Titus Juvenile Board Contracts for Indigent Defense Services.pdf (1/30/2018 9:35:34 AM) view
Camp Marion Morris Titus Juvenile Board Magistrates Warning Form.doc (11/2/2009 10:23:53 AM) view