Hopkins District Court and County Court Plan
Preamble
10/30/2013

Hopkins County Indigent Defense Plan
Senate Bill 7


HOPKINS COUNTY PLAN AND
STANDING RULES AND ORDERS FOR
PROCEDURES FOR TIMELY AND FAIR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
FOR INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS IN

HOPKINS COUNTY, TEXAS

 

    Effective Date - November 1, 2013

 

Be it remembered that on this date the below signed County Court at Law Judge and District Court Judges for Hopkins County, Texas hereby adopts, orders, and establishes these countywide procedures,  rules, and orders for the timely and fair appointment of counsel for indigent accused persons in Hopkins County, Texas.   This document is the Hopkins County Plan to conform with the requirements of S.B. 7 passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law in 2001. 

CRIMINAL COURTS BOARD

The Criminal Courts Board is composed of the judges of the 8th Judicial District Court, the 62nd Judicial District Court, the County Court at Law, and the County Court of Hopkins County, Texas.  The Criminal Courts Board may periodically impose policies, procedures and guidelines to implement this plan and guarantee effective representation of all indigent defendants in Hopkins County, Texas who are entitled to court appointed counsel.

The Court Coordinator for the 8th Judicial District Court will:

1.      Maintain and update the list of Qualified and Second Chair attorneys

2.      Manage arraignment procedures

3.      Track cases and assignments to prevent duplication

4.      Organize and administer waiver of indictment procedures

5.      Receive complaints against appointed attorneys

6.      Maintain the rotation schedule of appointed attorneys

7.      Coordinate with the Office of Court Administration

8.      Assist in the County Reporting Plan

9.      Perform all other duties designated by the Criminal Court’s Board.

 

Prompt Magistration
11/2/2015

 

Conduct Prompt and Accurate Magistration Proceedings

A.    Arresting Officer Responsibilities

                  i.            The arresting officer, or the person having custody of the arrestee, shall ensure that every arrestee shall be brought before a magistrate without

               unnecessary delay, but not later than 48 hours after the person is arrested. 

                ii.            Unless arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant, bench warrant, capias, or other order of a magistrate or judge, necessary forms establishing

               probable cause must be completed and filed at the time an arrestee is booked into jail for any felony or misdemeanor punishable by

               incarceration.

              iii.          Release of defendants arrested without warrant:

                     

                   1.  A person arrested for a misdemeanor without a warrant and who is detained in jail must be released not later than the 24th hour after arrest, on a bond in an amount not to exceed $5,000, if a magistrate has not determined that probable cause exists to believe that the person committed the offense. 

                  

                   2.  A person arrested for a felony without a warrant and who is detained in jail must be released not later than the 48th hour after arrest, on a bond in an amount not to exceed $10,000, if a magistrate has not determined that probable cause exists to believe that the person committed the offense. 

                  

                   3.   If requested by the state, a magistrate may postpone the release of the defendant for not more than 72 hours after the defendant's arrest if a probable cause determination has not been made, in compliance with the procedure set forth in Article 17.033, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

 

B.     Magistrate Duties

                        i.            At the Magistrate’s hearing, the magistrate should determine if accused can speak and understand English, or if the defendant is deaf.

                      ii.            After making such determination, the magistrate shall, in an appropriate manner consistent with Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Articles

                 38.30 and 38.31, do the following:

 

                 1.      Advise the accused of the accusation against him/her and any affidavit filed therewith;

                 2.      Admonish the accused of:

                       a.       The right to retain counsel;

                       b.      The right to remain silent;

                       c.       The right to have an attorney present during any interview with peace officers or attorneys representing the state;

                       d.      The right to terminate an interview at any time;

                       e.       The right not to make a statement and that any statement made by the accused may be used against him/her; and

                       f.       The right to an examining trial.

                 3.   Inform the accused of the right to appointed counsel if the person cannot afford counsel and the procedures for requesting

                      appointment of counsel.

                 4.   Inquire as to whether accused is requesting that counsel be appointed. 

                 5.   Provide accused persons requesting appointed counsel with necessary forms for requesting appointment of counsel and ensure that

                      reasonable assistance in completing required forms is provided to the accused at the time of the magistrate’s hearing.

                 6.  If the magistrate has reason to believe the accused is not mentally competent, the magistrate shall enter a request for counsel on behalf of

                      the accused. Such a request will alert the appointing authority that counsel competent to represent mentally ill persons should be

                      appointed.

                    iii.            In cases where the individual was arrested without an arrest warrant, bench warrant, capias, or other order of magistrate or judge, the

                  magistrate shall determine if there is probable cause to believe the person committed the offense.

                 1.      If probable cause has not been determined by a magistrate:

                      a.       A person arrested for a misdemeanor must be released on bond, in an amount not to exceed $5,000, not later than 24 hours after the

                           person's arrest.

                      b.      A person arrested for a felony must be released on bond, in an amount not to exceed $10,000, not later than 48 hours after the

                           person’s arrest.

                      c.      If requested by the state, the magistrate may postpone the release of the defendant for not more than 72 hours after the defendant's

                           arrest, in compliance with the procedure set forth in Article 17.033, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

                      iv.          The magistrate shall set the amount of bail and any conditions of bond for the accused, if bail is allowed by law and has not been set by the

                 court or magistrate issuing a warrant.

                          v.          The magistrate shall record the following:

                 1.      The date and time the accused was arrested and the date and time when he/she was brought before the magistrate.

                 2.      Whether the magistrate informed the accused of the right to request appointment of counsel and asked the accused whether he/she wants

                       to request counsel.

                 3.      Whether the accused requested appointment of counsel

                       vi.           If the magistrate is not authorized to appoint counsel and if the accused requests appointment of counsel, the magistrate shall transmit or

                  cause to be transmitted the magistrate form and any other forms requesting appointment of counsel to the appointing authority.   The forms requesting appointment of counsel shall be transmitted without unnecessary delay, but not later than 24 hours after the

                   person arrested requests appointment of counsel.

                    vii.            If the magistrate is authorized to appoint counsel, the magistrate shall make a determination of indigence and appoint counsel if the

                  defendant is indigent within three working days unless the County has a U.S. Census population over 250,000, in which case counsel

                  shall be appointed within one working day.

                   viii.           If a request for counsel was made at magistration, the appointing authority shall forward the magistrate form and any other forms requesting appointment of counsel to the appropriate clerk to be put into the case file.

                         ix.            If a request for counsel was not made at magistration, the magistrate will forward the magistrate form to the clerk to be put into the case file.

 

QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT

 

Only attorneys who practice criminal law shall be considered for appointment to represent indigent defendants in the courts of Hopkins County on the rotation system established by the Criminal Courts Board.  However, any attorney who resides in Hopkins and practices criminal law in the county must apply for application to represent indigent defendants.  The qualified attorneys’ list will be approved by the Criminal Courts Board. Applications for inclusion on the list must be filed with the Coordinator for the 8th Judicial District Court at least fourteen (14) days prior to receiving criminal appointments.

The qualifications for appointment as qualified counsel are those established by the Criminal Courts Board in a separate document available from the coordinator of the 8th Judicial District Court.

 

Attorneys who do not meet the qualifications for appointment may volunteer to serve as Second Chair counsel.  Second Chair counsel may volunteer to assist qualified attorneys in order to gain experience and meet the appointment qualifications.  Second Chair attorneys may perform any task as long as it is done under the supervision of a qualified attorney.  The Courts will make no payment to any Second Chair counsel.

A Capital Qualified List shall be approved by the Criminal Courts Board.   Such applying attorneys must certify in their application that they meet the capital counsel qualifications requirements of the Criminal Courts Board, the First Administrative Judicial Region, and Texas statutes.  Second Chair counsel shall be appointed in capital cases where the State of Texas has filed its Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty and shall be compensated as provided by the Criminal Courts Board.

 

Appointed attorneys who fail to promptly and professionally follow all of the rules and procedures adopted by the Courts may be removed from the qualified list by majority vote of the Criminal Courts Board and may forfeit all or part of their compensation for services as determined by the judge.  Removed attorneys may reapply for approval after the expiration of one year from the date of removal.  Complaints made against appointed attorneys will be referred to the Criminal Courts Board for investigation.  All complaints will be reviewed periodically and an appointed attorney may be removed from the qualified list by a majority vote of the Criminal Courts Board.  Before any type of removal from the Qualified attorneys list, the attorney must receive written notice and have the opportunity to be heard by the Criminal Courts Board.  Such hearing will be closed and confidential.

COMPENSATION

Court appointed counsel shall receive such reasonable compensation as established by Standing Order of the Criminal Courts Board for Hopkins County, Texas. 

The fee schedule adopted by formal action of the Criminal Courts Board for Hopkins County, Texas shall comply with the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 26.05 and all applicable law and shall be submitted to the Hopkins County Commissioner’s Court.

DEATH PENALTY CASES

Once a capital indictment is returned only a Capital Qualified List attorney approved to provide representation in a capital case will be appointed.  If an attorney from the Qualified list has been representing the defendant pre-indictment and is not qualified on the Capital Qualified List, that attorney must immediately file a Motion to Withdraw and obtain a hearing on said motion.

APPOINTMENTS PLAN AND PROCEDURES

The law enforcement agency having custody must take a defendant before a magistrate not later than forty-eight (48) hours after arrest for a magistrate to hold a probable cause hearing and set bail and inform the accused person of their rights including the right to court appointed counsel if indigent.

The magistrate shall inform the defendant of the right to request appointment of counsel and the procedures for requesting appointment of counsel.

At the Magistrate Probable Cause hearing the responsible judge shall comply with Senate Bill 7 by:

1.      admonishing the accused of the magistrate and Miranda warnings as provided by law;

2.      giving notification of indigent representation rights;

3.      giving the magistrate warnings and right to court appointed counsel for indigent accused persons;

4.      notification of the right to counsel and right to court appointed counsel if indigent;

5.      inquiry as to whether the defendant is requesting court appointed counsel;

6.      providing defendant with an Affidavit of Indigence and reasonable assistance in completing said forms; and to refer immediately to the appropriate designated judge for appointment of counsel within twenty-four (24) hours after request.

If the defendant does not speak and/or understand the English language or is deaf, the magistrate shall inform the person in a manner consistent with Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Articles 38.30 and 38.31.


For persons arrested on out-of-county warrants, the magistrate will ask the defendant if he/she would like to request appointed counsel. The magistrate will record the response, and if counsel is requested, the magistrate will provide the arrestee with the appropriate forms for requesting counsel. The magistrate will ensure assistance in completing the forms at the same time. The forms will be transmitted to the appointing authority in the county issuing the warrant within 24 hours of the request being made. Regarding the appointment of counsel, persons arrested in other counties on local warrants must be appointed counsel in the county that issued the warrant within 3 working days of receipt of the request. Persons arrested on out-of-county warrants must be appointed counsel in the county of arrest if the person has not been transferred or released to the custody of the county issuing the warrant before the 11th day of the arrest.

Indigence Determination Standards
10/18/2011

A.    Definitions, as used in this rule:

                                i.           “Indigent” means a person who is not financially able to employ counsel.

                              ii.        “Net household income” means all income of the accused and spousal income actually available to the accused. 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 accused has no income or lesser income.

                            iii.          “Household” means all individuals who are actually dependent on the accused 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.            An accused is presumed indigent if any of the following conditions or factors are present:

1.      At the time of requesting appointed counsel, the accused or accused’s dependents are eligible to receive food stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, or public housing;

2.      The accused’s net household income does not exceed 100% of the Poverty Guidelines as revised annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Federal Register; or

3.      The accused 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.

ii.              An accused who does not meet any of the standards above shall nevertheless be considered indigent if the accused is unable to retain private counsel without substantial hardship to the accused or the accused’s dependents. In considering if obtaining private counsel will create a substantial hardship, the appointing authority shall take into account:

1.      the nature of the criminal 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 accused and the accused’s dependents; 

5.      accused’s income,

6.      source of income,

7.      assets and property owned,

8.      outstanding obligations,

9.      necessary expenses,

10.  the number and ages of dependents, and

11.  spousal income that is available to the accused.

iii.            Factors  NOT to be considered in determining indigence:

1.      The accused’s posting of bail or ability to post bail may not be considered in determining whether the accused is indigent.

2.      The resources available to friends or relatives of the accused may not be considered in determining whether the accused is indigent.

iv.    Only the accused'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 accused to respond to questions about the accused’s 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 accused is (or is not) indigent; or

2.      Impeaching direct testimony of accused regarding the accused’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 Parts I and IV of these rules and contained in Code of Criminal Procedure article 1.051.

                            iv.            An accused determined to be indigent is presumed to remain indigent for the remainder of the case unless a material change in the accused’s financial circumstances occurs.

1.      An accused’s status as indigent or not indigent may be reviewed in a formal hearing at any stage of court proceedings, on a motion for reconsideration by the accused, the accused’s attorney, or the attorney representing the state. The accused’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 accused’s financial circumstances, as a result of which the accused does not meet any of the standards for indigence contained in these rules; or

b.      Additional information regarding the accused’s financial circumstances that shows that the accused does not meet any of the standards for indigence contained in these rules.

2.      If an accused 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 defendant 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 defendant to pay during the pendency of the charges or, if convicted, as court costs the amount that it finds the defendant is able to pay.

Minimum Attorney Qualifications
11/1/2017

QUALIFICATIONS FOR ATTORNEYS TO BE PLACED ON THE PUBLIC APPOINTMENT LIST AND TO BE COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL

 

Court appointed counsel shall comply with all laws, rules, procedures, and ethical provisions for providing reasonable assistance of counsel to their client.

 

Court appointed counsel shall maintain a high standard of ethical conduct and always be completely candid with the trial court.

 

Court appointed counsel shall timely inform their client of matters relating to the preparation, trial, and disposition of the case; appellate and writ rights, deadlines, and procedures for proper processing, and such other matters as necessary to provide reasonable assistance of counsel.

 

Court appointed counsel shall meet the following standards:

 

1)      Be a member in good standing with the State Bar of Texas; 

 

2)      Professionally perform duties and responsibilities of a licensed attorney for the State of Texas; and

 

3)      Complete at least 6 hours per year of State Bar of Texas-approved continuing legal education in criminal law, criminal procedure, and/or rules of evidence. 

 

4)  An attorney shall submit by October 15th each year, pursuant to Article 26.04 (j)(4), a statement that describes the percentage of the attorney's practice time that was dedicated to work based on appointments accepted in Hopkins County for adult criminal cases for the prior 12 months that begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.  The report must be submitted either to the Court Coordinator for the 8th Judicial District Court or directly online to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. If done online to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, written verification of compliance must be provided to the Court Coordinator for the 8th Judicial District Court.

 

A court may replace an attorney if the appointed attorney does not make an effort to contact the defendant by the end of the first working day after receiving notice or does not interview the defendant as soon as possible, or may sanction said attorney for violation of those provisions. See, Article 26.04(k) Texas Code of Criminal Procedures.

 

A majority of the appointing judges trying criminal cases in the county may remove an attorney from consideration for appointments, if the attorney intentionally or repeatedly does not fulfill the duties required by law, rules, local rules, or provisions for providing reasonable assistance of counsel or complying with the requirements for inclusion on the public appointment list for counsel for indigent accused persons. Article 26.04 (k) Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.


Prompt Appointment of Counsel
8/26/2016

A.    Prompt Appointment of Counsel

                                i.            Counsel shall be appointed as soon as possible to indigent defendants, but no later than the end of the third working day after the date on which the appointing authority receives the defendant’s request for court appointed counsel. Working day means Monday through Friday, excluding official state holidays.  Counsel must be appointed whether or not a case has been filed in the trial court.

                              ii.            If the defendant is released from custody prior to the appointment of counsel, appointment of counsel is not required until the defendant’s first court appearance or when adversarial judicial proceedings are initiated, whichever comes first.

                            iii.      If a defendant wishes to request counsel prior to the initial appearance, the forms required to request counsel may be obtained at the Texas Indigent Defense Commission’s website at http://tidc.tamu.edu/public.net/ or from: Regina Collins, Court Coordinator, 118 Church Street, Sulphur Springs, Texas  75482; (903) 438-4022. The defendant may submit these forms to: Regina Collins,


                        118 Church Street, Sulphur Springs, Texas  75482.

      iv.      Appointment Authority

1.      If no case has been filed in the trial court, the appointing authority for misdemeanors is the County Judge or County Court at Law Judge.

2.      If no case has been filed in the trial court, the appointing authority for felonies is the District Judge.

3.      If the case has been filed in the trial court, the appointing authority is the Judge of the Court in which it was filed.

B.     Defendants Appearing Without Counsel - If a defendant appears without counsel in any adversary judicial proceeding that may result in punishment by confinement:

                                i.            The court may not direct or encourage the defendant to communicate with the attorney representing the state until the court advises the defendant of the right to counsel and the procedure for requesting appointed counsel and the defendant has been given a reasonable opportunity to request appointed counsel.

                              ii.            If the defendant has requested appointed counsel, the court may not direct or encourage the defendant to communicate with the attorney representing the state unless the appointing authority has denied the request and, subsequent to the denial, the defendant:

1.      Has been given a reasonable opportunity to retain and has failed to retain appointed counsel; or

2.      Waived or has waived the opportunity to retain private counsel.

                            iii.            The attorney representing the state may not:

1.      Initiate or encourage an attempt to obtain from the defendant a waiver of the right to counsel; or

2.      Communicate with a defendant who has requested the appointment of counsel, unless the appointing authority has denied the request and subsequent to the denial, the defendant:

a.       Has been given a reasonable opportunity to retain counsel; or

b.      Waives or has waived the opportunity to retain private counsel.

C.     Waiver of the Right to Counsel

                                i.            A defendant may voluntarily and intelligently waive the right to counsel.

                              ii.            A waiver obtained in violation of section IV.B above is presumed invalid.

                            iii.            If a defendant wishes to waive the right to counsel for purposes of entering a guilty plea or proceeding to trial, the court shall advise the defendant of the nature of the charges against the defendant and, if the defendant is proceeding to trial, the dangers and disadvantages of self-representation.  If the court determines that the waiver is voluntarily and intelligently waived, the court shall provide the defendant with a statement substantially in the following form, which, if signed by the defendant, shall be filed with and become part of the record of the proceedings.

“I have been advised this ___ day of ____, 2___, by the (name of court) Court of my right to representation by counsel in the case pending against me.  I have been further advised that if I am unable to afford counsel, one will be appointed for me free of charge.  Understanding my right to have counsel appointed for me free of charge if I am not financially able to employ counsel, I wish to waive that right and request the court to proceed with my case without an attorney being appointed for me.  I hereby waive my right to counsel. (signature of defendant)”

                            iv.            A defendant may withdraw a waiver of the right to counsel at any time but is not entitled to repeat a proceeding previously held or waived solely on the grounds of the subsequent appointment or retention of counsel.  If the defendant withdraws a waiver, the trial court, in its discretion, may provide the appointed counsel 10 days to prepare.


OUT-OF-COUNTY ARRESTS ON LOCAL WARRANTS

If an indigent defendant is arrested in another county based on this county’s warrant, counsel

will be appointed within 3 working days of this county’s receipt of the request for counsel.  If

a defendant is arrested in this county based on another county’s warrant, counsel will be

appointed for the defendant if, on the eleventh day after the arrest, the defendant is still in

this county’s custody.

 

REQUESTING ATTORNEY AFTER INITIAL APPEARANCE

If an indigent defendant is arrested in another county based on this county’s warrant, counsel

will be appointed within 3 working days of this county’s receipt of the request for counsel.  If

a defendant is arrested in this county based on another county’s warrant, counsel will be

appointed for the defendant if, on the eleventh day after the arrest, the defendant is still in

this county’s custody.


Attorney Selection Process
10/20/2020

ATTORNEY SELECTION PROCESS 

  1. Misdemeanor and Non-Capital Felony Cases
    1. The appointing authority will appoint the attorney whose name is first on the rotation list of attorneys available for appointment, unless the court makes a finding of good cause on the record for appointing an attorney out of order.
    2. Good cause may include:
      1. The defendant requesting counsel does not understand English, in which case the judge will appoint the lawyer whose name appears next in order and speaks the clients’ language, if one is available;
      2. The defendant has an attorney already appointed on a prior pending or concluded matter. The same attorney will be appointed to the new matter, unless the attorney is not on the list for the type of offense involved in the current case; or
      3. Other good cause exists for varying from the list.
    3. Once appointed, an attorney’s name will be moved to the bottom of the appointment list. An attorney who is not appointed in the order in which the attorney’s name appears on the list shall remain next in order on the list.
  2. Capital Felony Cases
    1. The Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases shall be appointed to all capital felony cases unless the court makes a finding of good cause on the record to appoint private counsel.
      1. If a co-defendant requests appointment of counsel and is determined to be indigent, the Appointing Authority shall appoint counsel pursuant to the standards and procedures stated in this Section. 
      2. If private counsel is appointed to a co-defendant, rather the Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases, co-counsel will be appointed using the standards and procedures stated in this Section, provided they are on the list of qualified attorneys in capital cases.
    2. The Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases may refuse to accept appointment to a case if:
      1. A conflict of interest exists;
      2. The Office has insufficient resources to provide adequate representation;
      3. The Office is incapable of providing representation in accordance with the rules of professional conduct; or
      4. The Office shows other good cause for refusing appointment.
    3. The Appointing Authority shall immediately contact the attorneys appointed by phone, fax, e-mail or in person and notify the attorneys of the appointment and the last known location of the defendant.
  3. Judicial Removal from Case:
    1. The judge presiding over a criminal case may remove appointed counsel upon entering a written order showing good cause for such removal, including without limitation, the following:
      1. Counsel’s failure to appear at a court hearing;
      2. Counsel’s failure to comply with the requirements imposed upon counsel by this plan;
      3. Current information about the defendant and the charges against the defendant indicate that another qualified attorney is more appropriate for the defendant under these rules;
      4. Replacement of appointed counsel in a death penalty case is required under Article 26.052(e), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure;
      5. The appointed counsel shows good cause for being removed, such as illness, workload or scheduling difficulties;
      6. The defendant requests an attorney, other than trial counsel, for appeal; or
      7. The defendant shows good cause for removal of counsel, including counsel’s persistent or prolonged failure to communicate with the defendant.
    2. Appointment of Replacement Counsel - Whenever appointed counsel is removed under this section, replacement counsel shall immediately be selected and appointed in accordance with the procedures described in this plan.
Fee and Expense Payment Process
10/23/2020

On the 31st day of December, 2019, the Criminal Courts Board, did unanimously adopt this schedule of fees concerning compensation of court-appointed counsel for indigent defendants and related expenses made pursuant to Article 26.05, Texas Rules of Criminal Procedure; therefore, it is ORDERED that compensation of court-appointed counsel and related expenses, made pursuant to a motion in the format prescribed by the appointing court, shall be as set out below on a case-by-case basis as determined by the judge.  Due to the wide variety of circumstances that may be encountered in cases, total compensation for all pre-trial, trial, post-trial, and appellate court appointed counsel services shall be determined by the judge upon the circumstances and complexity of each case.  The fees set out below may be adjusted as reasonably determined by the judge.


  MISDEMEANOR CASES
   

Trial (Bench or Jury)               $ 300.00 per day in trial

Up to an additional $300.00 for trial preparation at the rate of $40.00 per hour when approved by the trial judge. The claim must be supported by detailed documentation showing the necessity and reasonableness of the claim.
   

Non Trial Disposition:    $250.00 for plea/revocation/dismissal of a case     

 

            If more than one case, $50.00 payment for each additional case.

 

Appeal:    $750.00 for appeal of a case

 

  FELONY CASES

 

Guilty Plea - State Jail            $ 300.00
Guilty Plea - Felony 3rd          $ 350.00

Guilty Plea – Felony 2nd         $ 350.00
Guilty Plea – Felony 1st          $ 400.00

Dismissal of Case                   Equal to amount provided for as a plea disposition

Amendments/Modification

of Probation                            $ 300.00

 

If more than one case is disposed of $50.00 payment for each additional case.

 

Trial (Bench or Jury)               $ 500.00 per day in trial

Up to an additional $500.00 for trial preparation at the rate of $50.00 per hour when approved by the trial judge. The claim must be supported by detailed documentation showing the necessity and reasonableness of the claim.

Appeal                                    $ 1,250.00

Revocations                            $ 300.00

         

Writs of Habeas Corpus          $150.00

            Shock Probation Hearings - $150.00

 

MENTAL HEALTH COMMITMENT PROCEEDINGS   

 

            Non-jury hearing                     $200.00

            Jury trial                                  $500.00

 

Expenses Incurred and Expenses for Investigative and Expert Services

 

Appointed counsel shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred upon a showing of necessity and good cause. On presentation of a claim for reimbursement, the Court shall order the reimbursement of counsel for the expenses if the expenses are reasonably necessary and reasonably incurred.

Procedure Without Prior Court Approval 

Expenses incurred without prior approval shall be reimbursed if expenses are reasonably necessary and reasonably incurred.

 

DEATH PENALTY - CAPITAL CASE COMPENSATION

The County has contracted for legal representation to be provided by the Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases.

For capital murder cases where the state elects to seek the death penalty which are not covered by the County’s contract with the Regional Public Defender’s Office for Capital Cases:

            Trial:   Lead counsel: $100.00 per hour in trial

Second Chair: $ 75.00 per hour in trial


Lead counsel:  Up to an additional $5,000.00 for trial preparation when approved by the trial judge at the rate of $75.00 per hour.


Second Chair: Up to an additional $3,000.00 for trial preparation when approved by the trial judge at the rate of $50.00 per hour.

 

Total compensation for lead counsel shall not exceed $30,000.00 without prior court authorization. Total compensation for second chair shall not exceed $20,000.00 without prior court authorization. The claim for compensation must be supported by detailed documentation showing the necessity and reasonableness of the claim.


Non-Trial
Disposition:    Lead counsel:  Up to $4,000.00 for plea/dismissal of a case
                        Second Chair:  Up to $2,000.00 for plea/dismissal of a case

Appeal:    $100.00 per hour for a maximum of $5,000 for appeal of a case            

REIMBURSEMENT FOR REASONABLE AND NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR PURPOSES OF INVESTIGATION AND EXPERT TESTIMONY — CAPITAL CASES

In capital felony criminal cases appointed counsel will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses that are incurred provided prior court approval has been granted upon motion and application and hearing held on said motion.  Reasonable expenses upon prior court approval and after motion and application may include expenses incurred or expected to be incurred for investigation and expert testimony.

 REQUEST FOR PAYMENT OF ATTORNEY'S FEES AND EXPENSES

Any payment request must be submitted on the form approved by the respective court. Any request submitted six months or more from the date of the last reasonable and necessary action on the case is subject to being denied by the Court

Each attorney shall prepare a detailed statement of the nature of the services performed, the date of such performance, the actual time spent on each such date and service, and shall submit said statement with a verified affidavit to the trial judge.

If the trial judge disapproves the requested amount, the judge shall make written findings stating the amount of payment approved and the reasons for approving an amount different from the requested amount.  The attorney whose request for payment has been disapproved may, by written motion, file an appeal with the presiding judge of the administrative region.


THIS ORDER IS SIGNED AND EFFECTIVE ON THIS THE 31ST DAY OF December, 2019.

 

 

_______________________________                      _______________________________

Honorable Eddie Northcutt                                         Honorable Will Biard

8th Judicial District Court                                            62nd Judicial District Court

 

 

 

_______________________________                      _______________________________

Honorable Clay Harrison                                            Honorable Robert E. Newsom

County Court at Law                                                   Hopkins County Judge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

Plan Documents
Hopkins District and County Court Affidavit of Indigence.pdf (10/31/2019 11:29:24 AM) view
Hopkins District and County Court Attorney Application for Appointment.doc (10/30/2013 3:59:35 PM) view
Hopkins District and County Court Attorney Fee Schedule.pdf (6/22/2020 2:28:11 PM) view
Hopkins District and County Court Attorney Fee Voucher - Felony (District Court).pdf (6/22/2020 2:06:31 PM) view
Hopkins District and County Court Attorney Fee Voucher - Misdemeanor (County Court At Law).pdf (6/22/2020 1:59:43 PM) view
Hopkins District and County Court Attorney Fee Voucher.doc (10/30/2013 4:00:13 PM) view
Hopkins District and County Court Attorney Reporting Form Percentage of Caseload.docx (10/29/2013 3:13:56 PM) view
Hopkins District and County Court Waiver of Counsel.doc (10/8/2010 9:56:58 AM) view