Grimes District Court and County Court Plan
Preamble
10/8/2015
GRIMES COUNTY FAIR DEFENSE ACT PLAN

 

STANDARDS AND PROCEDURE

 

Local law enforcement agencies shall ensure that persons arrested are taken before a Magistrate without unnecessary delay and not more than 48 hours after arrest unless the defendant bonds out of jail prior to said 48 hours.  If a person is in jail after being arrested with a warrant and the Magistrate has not determined probable cause within the time limits set forth in Art. 17.033, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, local law enforcement personnel shall comply with the requirements of that provision. 
 
The Board of Judges for the District Courts and County Court shall manage the appointment system. The Board will ensure that all indigents in need of appointed counsel are assigned an attorney in a timely manner and that the attorney establishes contact with the defendant. Records will be maintained on all attorneys in the system by the Board of Judges.  The Board of Judges will monitor compliance with the requirements and regulations of the court appointment system.
Prompt Magistration
3/15/2017

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 shall 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. Indicate on the magistration form the accused’s request concerning the appointment of counsel.

5.         At the time of magistration, provide the accused person requesting appointed counsel with necessary forms, including a Financial Assessment Form (Affidavit of Indigence), 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. Jail personnel shall be available to assist the magistrate in this process.

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.

7.         The magistrate shall insure that jail personnel promptly transmit the request for appointment of counsel, as well as the Financial Assessment Form, to the trial court with jurisdiction for the alleged underlying offense.

 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.       While the magistrate is authorized to appoint counsel, the preferred procedure is to forward the Financial Assessment Form along with the form requesting appointment of counsel to the trial court with jurisdiction of the alleged offense. In appropriate situations, the magistrate may make the determination of indigence and appoint counsel if the defendant is indigent, using the current attorneys appointment list. Any defendant requesting court-appointed counsel must complete a Financial Assessment Form. This form is to be promptly provided by the magistrate or jail personnel and must be sworn under oath or subject to penalties of perjury.

 vii.      If a request for counsel was made at magistration, the magistrate shall insure that the jail personnel forward the magistrate form and any other forms requesting appointment of counsel to the appropriate clerk to be put into the case file.

 viii.     Whether a a request for counsel was made or not made at magistration, the magistrate shall insure that the jail personnel forward the magistrate form to the appropriate trial court clerk to be put into the case file.

ix.        OUT OF COUNTY ARRESTS: 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, as provided above. 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 after the date of the arrest.

a.         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.

b.         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.

 

Indigence Determination Standards
8/10/2010

Criteria and Procedures for Determining Indigence

 

a.         Indigence Standards:

 

            1.         A defendant is considered indigent if the defendant’s household income does not exceed 150% of the Poverty Guidelines as established and revised annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the difference between the defendants’ monthly net income and reasonable necessary expenditures is less than $500. 

 

            2.         A defendant is considered indigent if, at the time of requesting appointed counsel, the defendant, or the defendant’s dependents have been determined to be eligible to receive Food Stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, or public housing.

 

            3.         A defendant is considered indigent if the defendant is currently serving a sentence in a correctional institution, is currently residing in a public mental health facility, or is the subject of a proceeding in which admission or commitment to such a mental health facility is sought, and has no assets or property in excess of the amounts specified above.

 

            4.         A defendant who does not meet any of the financial standards above shall nevertheless be determined indigent if the defendant is otherwise unable to retain private counsel without substantial hardship to the defendant or the defendant’s dependents, taking into account the nature of the criminal charges, the anticipated complexity of the defense, the estimated cost of obtaining competent private legal representation for the matter charged, and the amount needed for the support of the defendant and the defendant’s dependents. 

 

If a defendant does not request an appointed attorney, the person will sign and date the Indigence Form at the appropriate top section indicating counsel is not requested. 

 

Minimum Attorney Qualifications
10/8/2015

III.      Minimum Attorney Qualifications for Adults (Small Sized Counties)

A.    The Judges hearing criminal cases 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.            Misdemeanor Qualification 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 online form to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission/form prescribed by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission to the court administration office in the county.

4.      An attorney shall complete a minimum of 8 hours of CLE in the area of criminal 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 criminal 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 8 hours for such period may be applied to the following period’s requirement. The carryover provision applies to one year only;

5.      An attorney must have a minimum One (1) year experience in criminal law;

6.      An attorney 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 five years;

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 court administration office 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.            Felony Case Qualification Requirements

1.      An attorney must meet general requirements for misdemeanor appointments;

2.      An attorney must have a minimum three (3) years experience in criminal law;

                            iii.            Capital Case Qualification Requirements:

1.      Lead trial counsel must be on the list of attorneys approved by the local selection committee of this Administrative Judicial Region for appointment as lead counsel in death penalty cases, as provided in Article 26.052, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

2.      Second chair counsel must be on the list of attorneys approved by the local selection committee of this administrative judicial region for appointment as lead trial counsel or second chair counsel in death penalty cases, as provided in Article 26.052, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

3.      Appellate counsel must be on the list of attorneys approved by the local selection committee of this administrative judicial region for appointment as appellate counsel in death penalty cases, as provided in Article 26.052, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

                              v.            Appeal Qualification Requirements - An attorney must meet at least one of the following criteria:

1.      Be currently board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization; or

2.      Have personally authored and filed at least three criminal appellate briefs or post-conviction writs of habeas corpus; or

3.      Have submitted an appellate writing sample approved by a majority of the judges; or

4.      Have worked as a briefing clerk of an appellate court for a period of at least one year.

B.     Approval for Appointment Lists

                                i.            Misdemeanor List – An attorney must be approved by a majority of the Board of Judges hearing criminal cases.

                              ii.            Felony List, Capital Case List, and Appeal List  - An attorney must be approved for each list by a majority of the District Court Judges hearing criminal cases.

C.     Removal from Appointment List - The judges 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 defendant by the end of the first working day after the date on which the attorney is appointed; and

2.      Interview the defendant as soon as practicable after the attorney is appointed;

                            iii.            Represent the defendant until:

1.      Charges are dismissed;

2.      The defendant is acquitted;

3.       Appeals through the Court of Appeals are exhausted; or

4.      The attorney is relieved of his duties by the court or replaced by other counsel after a finding of good cause entered on the record.

                            iv.            Investigate, either by self or through an investigator, the facts of the case and be prepared to present any factual defense(s) that may be reasonably and arguably available to the defendant;

                              v.            Brief the law of the case and be prepared to present any legal defense(s) that may be reasonably and arguably available to the defendant;

                            vi.            Be prepared to negotiate with the prosecutor for the most favorable resolution 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 contact with the client at all times and keep the client informed of the status of the case; and

                              x.            Advise the client 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; and

                            xi.            Perform the attorney’s duty owed to the defendant in accordance with these procedures, the requirements of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 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.

 

Attorney Reporting Requirements

 

Every year, a contracting attorney shall submit a practice-time statement to Waller County in an adult criminal or juvenile delinquency case during a fiscal year period that begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The statement is due no later than October 15 immediately following the close of each fiscal year. For example, if, during the fiscal year that begins on October 1, 2013 and ends on September 30, 2014, an attorney who accepts appointments in County A and County B must submit separate practice-time statements to County A and to County B by October 15, 2014.

The statement submitted to Waller County must describe (1) the percentage of an attorney’s total practice time (time spent in legal practice in all jurisdictions) that was dedicated to work on trial and appeal appointments in adult criminal cases in that county’s district and county courts during the fiscal year beginning on the preceding October 1; and (2) the percentage of an attorney’s total practice time that was dedicated to work on trial and appeal appointments in juvenile delinquency cases (cases alleging delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision) in that county’s district and county courts during the fiscal year beginning on the preceding October 1.

The percentages reported in the practice-time statement submitted to each county should not include time dedicated to work on appointments to cases (such as CPS cases and guardianship cases) that are not adult criminal or juvenile delinquency cases, and should not include time dedicated to federal criminal appointments.

The attorney may submit the practice-time statement via the Commission’s electronic attorney reporting portal, on the attached Commission reporting form, or on any other physical or electronic form specified by Waller County that captures all of the information requested on the Commission form. Waller County may require attorneys who accept appointments to use a specific method to submit their practice-time statements.

The Commission recognizes that attorneys who accept criminal appointments use a variety of case management systems, and attorneys are not required to use any single methodology to complete the practice-time statement. However, the statement should provide percentages that are as accurate as possible given the attorney’s chosen case management system.

The Commission will also work with the criminal defense community to promulgate a worksheet that may help attorneys calculate the percentages that must be included in the practice-time statement submitted to each county. Attorneys are not required to use or submit the worksheet to the county or to the Commission.

Attorneys who keep time records for all or a portion of their caseload may use those records to calculate their practice-time percentages or, in the case of partial records, to complete some of the lines on the worksheet. Time records will provide the most accurate method for calculating practice-time percentages.

Attorneys who do not keep time records may consider using a case-counting methodology to calculate practice-time percentages. This methodology involves looking at the number and types of cases in an attorney’s total caseload, and calculating practice time percentages based on the number of cases in different case type categories. An attorney may keep track of the number and types of different cases the attorney handles during an entire fiscal year, or may choose to base the calculation on the number of cases the attorney has open at a specific point in time.

For example, an attorney who is appointed to 50 adult criminal cases in County A and is retained by 50 individual clients may calculate that 50% of the attorney’s practice time is dedicated to adult criminal appointments in County A, if the appointed cases and retained cases are similar in complexity. The attorney may adjust the percentages as necessary to account for any significant difference in the degree of complexity of cases in each category.

Attorneys who do not keep time records or use the case counting methodology will be encouraged to use the worksheet to help them consider all of the types of cases they handle when calculating their practice-time percentages. The worksheet will be designed to help attorneys avoid over- or under-estimating the percentage of time they spend on appointments and report to the county.

Penalties for failing to submit a required practice-time statement by the October 15 due date may be prescribed by the judges trying criminal cases in each county. Penalties may include an attorney’s removal from the list of attorneys eligible to receive future court appointments.

 

TEXAS INDIGENT DEFENSE COMMISSION
ATTORNEY REPORTING FORM

Waller County, Texas

Under Article 26.04(j), Code of Criminal Procedure, attorneys are required to report to each county in which they accept appointments the percentage of their total practice time that is dedicated to appointed adult criminal cases and juvenile delinquency cases in that county. This form must be submitted annually to each county no later than October 15. Please see the Attorney Reporting Instructions published by the Commission for additional information about this form.

1. During the preceding fiscal year (October 1 – September 30), _____% of my total practice time was dedicated to work on adult criminal cases in which I was appointed to represent the defendant in Waller County, Texas.

2. During the preceding fiscal year (October 1 – September 30), _____% of my total practice time was dedicated to work on juvenile delinquency cases (cases alleging delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision) in which I was appointed to represent the juvenile in Waller County, Texas.

 

______________________________________        ____________________
Attorney Name                                                           State Bar of Texas No.

 

______________________________________        ____________________
Attorney Signature                                                     Date

 

 

Prompt Appointment of Counsel
1/28/2019

Judges shall appoint counsel no later than the end of the third working day after the date on which the appointing judge receives the defendant’s request for counsel. The judge making the appointment shall transmit the completed Order Appointing Attorney Form to the appointed attorney and defendant no later than 24 hours after the appointment is made. If a defendant is released on bond prior to appointment of counsel, an attorney shall be appointed during the first court appearance of the defendant or when adversarial judicial proceedings are initiated, whichever comes first. 

 Duties of Newly Appointed Attorney

a.         Court-appointed attorneys will be notified of their appointment by fax, email or other expeditious means of notification. The attorney shall make a reasonable effort to contact the defendant by the end of the first working day after the date of the appointment.  Reasonable effort includes mailing a letter, fax, phone, or personal visit.

b.         Court appointed attorneys shall visit appointed clients incarcerated at the Grimes County jail in person at the earliest reasonable time and in no case later than five days from notification of assignment. In the event schedules and conflicts prevent such visit, attorneys shall mail a letter to the incarcerated defendant advising the client of those matters pertinent to the representation.

c.        Unrepresented defendants will be advised of the right to counsel and procedures for obtaining counsel.

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/upblic.net/ or from the Waller County District Clerk. The defendant may submit these forms to the District Court Coordinator at admin@court506.com. The court will rule on all requests for counsel submitted in this manner.

Attorney Selection Process
10/10/2013

A.    The appointing authority will identify which of the appointment lists, discussed in the Section III (attorney qualifications), is most appropriate based on the accusations against the defendant and will appoint the attorney whose name is first on the list, unless the court makes a finding of good cause on the record for appointing an attorney out of order. Good cause may include:

                                i.            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;

                              ii.            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

                            iii.            Other good cause exists for varying from the list.

B.     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.

C.     Judicial Removal from Case:

                                i.            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.

                              ii.            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.

A.    The appointing authority will identify which of the appointment lists, discussed in the Section III (attorney qualifications), is most appropriate based on the accusations against the defendant and will appoint the attorney whose name is first on the list, unless the court makes a finding of good cause on the record for appointing an attorney out of order. Good cause may include:

                                i.            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;

                              ii.            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

                            iii.            Other good cause exists for varying from the list.

B.     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.

C.     Judicial Removal from Case:

                                i.            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.

                              ii.            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.

Attorney Appointment Method

 

a.         Applications for felony appointments by attorneys shall be filed with the Local Administrative Judge.  Applications for misdemeanor appointments will be filed with the judge of the County Court.

 

b.         Appointments shall be made using a rotation system listing the names of the eligible attorneys.

 

c.         A judge may elect to appoint an attorney without using the rotation system when the judge finds it is in the best interests of the defendant.

 

d.         The Local Administrative Judge will maintain records on the qualifications of and disciplinary actions on attorneys in the appointment system.

 

e.         The Board of Judges shall solicit applications for new attorneys at least annually by posting the solicitation in the offices of the Grimes County District Clerk and County Clerk.  The Local Administrative Judge shall receive requests from lawyers who wish to handle more serious cases, screen all of these new requests, and assist the Board of Judges in making decisions regarding the attorneys who will be allowed to receive court appointments.  The Board of Judges shall approve new applicants to the respective court appointment lists by majority vote.

 

f.          The County Judge shall solicit applications for new attorneys to the Mental Health court appointed attorney list on an as needed basis.

 

g.         Each District Judge and the County Court Judge shall maintain an Appointment List for his or her respective court and shall make appointments from the Appointment List.  The District Judges shall from time-to-time reconcile the Appointment Lists between the courts to ensure continuity.

 

h.         The Board of Judges will conduct studies of the system as needed, plan for future needs, and include in the respective annual court budgets for the court appointed attorney function and related expenses (e.g., investigators, psychiatric evaluations, expert witnesses...).

  

Distribution of Cases

 

a.         An attorney will receive one defendant appointment per rotation on the appointment list.

 

b.         Appointments will be made from a rotating list of the names of eligible attorneys.

 

c.         In felony cases, an attorney may receive an appointment for the highest level of offense for which the attorney is qualified and for any lower level offense in which the attorney has chosen to participate.

 

d.         Assignment of felony cases based on Category:

 

            1.         Capital attorneys may be assigned to all cases.

            2.         Category A attorneys may be assigned to all cases (except capital cases).

            3.         Category B attorneys may be assigned to all cases in which the maximum sentence does not exceed 20 years, unless otherwise determined by the trial judge.

            4.         Category C attorneys will be assigned to state jail felonies and motions to revoke community supervision, unless otherwise determined by the trial judge.

            5.         Appellate attorneys will be assigned to appeals.

 

e.         In mental health cases involving misdemeanors, state jail felonies and 3rd degree felony offenses, attorneys will be appointed from the mental health attorney appointment list.

 

 

 

Fee and Expense Payment Process
8/1/2016

In consideration of reasonable compensation for court appointed counsel, taking into account necessary overhead costs and availability of qualified attorneys willing to accept the stated rates, the following guidelines shall be used to claim attorney’s fees for court appointed counsel in Felony and Misdemeanor Criminal cases effective January 1, 2010, pursuant to the Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 26.05.

            a.         Court appointed counsel will be compensated for necessary expenses, such as investigators and expert witnesses.  Cumulative expenses in excess of $250 will require written approval by the Court prior to the expense being incurred.

            b.         Appointed counsel may incur investigative or expert expenses without prior court approval of the court, in an amount up to and including $750.00. On presentation of a claim for reimbursement, the court shall order reimbursement of counsel for the expenses, up to that amount, if the expenses are reasonably necessary and reasonably incurred. Unreasonable or unnecessary expenses will not be approved. Investigative or expert expenses above $750.00 require prior court approval through an in-camera hearing.

            c.         An attorney whose request for payment is disapproved is entitled to a copy of the judge’s findings for approving an amount different from the requested amount. The attorney may appeal the disapproval by filing a motion with the presiding judge of the Second Administrative Judicial Region, as provided in Article 26.05(c) Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

            d.         Fee Guidelines are provided in Appendix F, for misdemeanor matters, and Appendix G for felony matters.  The guidelines may be modified by the Court as required by the circumstances and facts of each case.

 

Miscellaneous
10/27/2017

 Plan amended and approved this the 6th day of October, 2014, and is effective on October 6, 2014.

 

_______________________________                    ____________________________________

DONALD L. KRAEMER                                           ALBERT M. McCAIG, JR.

District Judge, 12th Judicial District                               District Judge, 506th Judicial District

                                                                                    Local Administrative Judge

 

 

 

________________________________

TUCK M. McLAIN, Judge

County Court at Law, Grimes County, Texas

 

 

 

Plan Documents
Grimes District and County Court 2010 Income Eligibility Guidelines.docx (8/10/2010 10:47:51 AM) view
Grimes District and County Court Affidavit of Indigence - Adult - Spanish.docx (10/27/2017 9:03:27 AM) view
Grimes District and County Court Affidavit of Indigence.docx (10/27/2017 8:54:08 AM) view
Grimes District and County Court Attorney Fee Schedule.docx (8/10/2010 10:49:09 AM) view
Grimes District and County Court Attorney Fee Voucher.doc (8/10/2010 10:49:42 AM) view
Grimes District and County Court Magistrate’s Warning Form.docx (8/10/2010 10:43:04 AM) view
Grimes District and County Court Order Appointing Attorney.docx (8/10/2010 10:48:46 AM) view
Grimes District and County Court Request For Court Appointed Attorney.docx (8/10/2010 10:44:17 AM) view