Williamson Juvenile Board Plan
Preamble
10/28/2021

In accordance with the Texas Fair Defense Act and §51.101 of the Texas Family Code (Appointment of Counsel Plan), the Juvenile Board of Williamson County adopts the following plan to govern the process of application, appointment, attorney list selection, retention, and removal as it applies to appointing attorneys to represent indigent juveniles.  It is the responsibility of the Juvenile Board to ensure competent representation of indigent juveniles.

The Juvenile Board of Williamson County consists of the County Judge and District Judges of Williamson County.  The board meets no less than quarterly in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act.  The board has elected a chairperson who operates and is responsible for the administrative duties of the board.  The board may impose policies, procedures, and guidelines to implement this plan to guarantee effective representation to juveniles whose families may be indigent.  This Plan supersedes all other plans and standards previously adopted.

 

Prompt Detention Hearings
10/28/2021

Prompt Detention Hearings

It is the policy of the Williamson County Juvenile Services Department to ensure all juveniles referred to the juvenile detention center are processed in a consistent manner concerning the detention of a juvenile.  It is a priority of the Department to keep juveniles in custody only for the minimum amount of time required to resolve the case in a manner that is in the best interest of the community and child.

A.    Detention Hearing Process

  1. Juvenile is brought to detention center for a Class B Misdemeanor or greater along with the following accompanying documentation:
    1. Completed Offense report with probable cause statement
    2. Completed CR43J form - Green & Blue copies.(White original and fingerprint card should have been mailed to DPS.)

  2. Review offense report for following elements:
    1. Offense report shall include a probable cause statement (Texas Family Code 54.01(o) Probable cause must be reviewed by Juvenile Judge and documented within 48 hours of being taken into custody if a detention hearing is not scheduled within 48 hours).
    2. CR43J form is complete.Fingerprints have been taken and sent to DPS. (Texas Family Code 58.102, 58.109)
    3. Juvenile’s age at time of alleged offense is confirmed between the ages of 10 through 16. (Texas Family Code 51.02)
    4. Offense occurred in Williamson County and/or arrest was made in Williamson County.
    5. Check prior referrals and/or current supervision status on Juvenile Case Management System and document that the child meets at least one (1) of the six (6) criteria for detention.(Texas Family Code 53.02)
    6. Make initial decision to detain or release.

  3. Notify parent as soon as possible that juvenile is at the detention center, (Texas Family Code 53.01(c), stating the reason the child was taken into custody, and discuss with parent issues addressed on “Detention Intake Check List”.If decision is made to detain juvenile, inform parent of the following time frames and parameters for required actions.
    1. 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.[Sec. 54.01(a), FC]

  4. 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. Unless the court finds that appointment of counsel is not feasible due to exigent circumstances, the court shall appoint counsel within a reasonable time before the first detention hearing is held to represent the child at that hearing. (Sec 54.01 (b-1), FC)

  5. Parent(s) must be present at scheduled detention hearing. In the event a parent is not present, a guardian ad litem will be appointed by the juvenile judge for the hearing.

  6. Parents will be notified by Probation Officer of date and time of next scheduled hearing (will be no later than 10 working days.

  7. If detained, a petition will be filed by the Juvenile Prosecutor within 10 working days, unless released by the Court within those 10 days.
Indigence Determination Standards
10/28/2021

Indigence Determination Standards

A.    Definitions.

As used in this rule: 

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

  2. “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:
    1. Take-home wages and salary (gross income earned less any deductions required by law or as a condition of employment);
    2. Net self-employment income (gross income minus business expenses and any deductions required by law or as a condition of operating the business);
    3. Regular payments from government 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.
    4. 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.

  3. “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.

  4. “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 of Counsel

  1. Indigence Presumed.
    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

  2. Factors Considered.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.

  3. Factors not to be considered.
    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

  1. Application for Appointment of Counsel.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.

  2. Use of Information.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.

  3. Request for Additional Information.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.

  4. Duration of Indigence Finding.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.

  5. Review of Indigent Status.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:
    1. Evidence of a material change in the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible and the child’s financial circumstances; or
    2. 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.


      Reimbursement for Cost of Legal Services Provided

      A.    Provisions Governing Reimbursement

      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
10/28/2021

Minimum Attorney Qualifications & Inclusion on Appointment Lists

A.    Appointment Lists

This plan recognizes two lists which are based on severity of allegations against the juvenile and possible outcomes of the case.  Attorneys are appointed to the list based on their experience and qualifications. 

  1. The “A List” shall encompass cases concerning:
    1. Delinquency cases with the possibility of commitment to TJJD, including motions to modify probation;
    2. Cases with the possibility of a Determinate Sentence;
    3. Cases involving discretionary transfer into adult court.

  2. The “B List” shall encompass cases concerning:
    1. Conduct in Need of Supervision (CINS) allegations;
    2. Delinquency cases without the possibility of commitment to TJJD

A.    Application to Serve on Appointment Lists & Approval for Inclusion on Appointment Lists

Any new attorney requesting to be added to the appointment list may submit a letter and resume outlining their experience and qualifications.  Applications for inclusion on an appointment list will be forwarded to the Juvenile Court Judge, who may make a preliminary appointment to the appropriate list.  The Juvenile Court Judge shall forward the information to the Director of Juvenile Services, who will place the application as a discussion item at the next Juvenile Board Meeting.  Official placement on the appointment list shall be made by majority vote of the Juvenile Board during a Board meeting in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

B.     General Qualifications for All Lists

  1. An attorney on the appointment list must ensure all information on their application is current.

  2. 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 3 years.

  3. An attorney must be a licensed practicing attorney and a member in good standing with the State Bar of Texas and the Williamson County Bar Association.

  4. An attorney must have the ability to produce typed motions and orders and access/use the state eFiling Portal, and the Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS).

  5. An attorney may not have been found to have provided ineffective representation by an appellate court, bar disciplinary committee, or Juvenile Board.An attorney who has been so found may only be eligible to receive appointments with the approval of a majority vote of the Juvenile Board during a Board meeting in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

  6. An attorney on the appointment list must be a resident of Williamson County or maintain an office in Williamson County.

  7. An attorney must be knowledgeable in juvenile law and be aware of collateral consequences of juvenile adjudication and disposition.

  8. An attorney on the appointment list must have attended the Behavioral Health in the Legal and Justice Systems Conference provided by Williamson County.

  9. An attorney shall provide proof of completing a minimum of 6 hours of Continuing Legal Education in the area of juvenile law during each 12-month reporting period.A minimum of 3 of the 6 hours must be completed through the Juvenile Services Department Continuing Education Program.An attorney not current on CLE requirements will be suspended from receiving new appointments until the CLE requirement is met.

  10. All attorneys on the appointment list shall file by October 15th of each year the “Certificate of Compliance” with the designated County Staff attesting to completion of the required CLE or submit documentation showing that the attorney is certified as a specialist in juvenile law;
    1. The designated reporting period shall be from October 1st to September 30th;
    2. Continuing legal education completed within the one-year period immediately preceding an attorney’s initial reporting period may be used to meet the educational requirements for the initial year;
    3. Continuing legal education completed during any reporting period in excess of the minimum of six hours required for such period may be applied to the following period’s requirement – this carryover provision applies to one year only.

  11. An attorney shall comply with annual reporting requirement by submitting online the “TIDC Attorney Reporting Form” 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 12 month reporting period that begins October 1 and ends September 30.This form shall be submitted to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission (https://tidc.tamu.edu/AttorneyReporting/) by October 15th of each year, and an attorney who fails to comply with this requirement shall be removed from any list to which they are admitted until the requirement is met.

  12. An attorney shall notify the Director of Juvenile Services promptly, in writing, of any criminal arrests, charges, or indictments other than Class C offenses, convictions, protective orders, bar disciplinary action, professional sanctions, allegations of professional misconduct, negligence or findings of ineffective assistance of counsel, or instances where they have been removed from any other court appointment list to the Board of Judges.

C.     Appointment to the “A List” 

To be appointed to the “A List”, an attorney shall:

  1. Meet General Qualifications for All Lists (see V(C) above).

  2. Have a minimum of five (5) years experience practicing criminal law; and

  3. Have prior experience representing a juvenile as counsel (or co-counsel) in 3 cases involving either determinate sentencing, transfer/certification to adult court, or contested disposition;

OR

  1. Meet General Qualifications for All Lists (see V(C) above); and

  2. Have received Board Certification by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Juvenile or Criminal Law.

An attorney with credentials and experience placing them on the “A List” may represent a juvenile in any case.

D.    Appointment to the “B List” 

To be appointed to the “A List”, an attorney shall:

  1. Meet General Qualifications for All Lists (see V(C) above).

  2. Have a minimum of three (3) years experience practicing criminal law;

  3. Have prior experience representing a juvenile as lead counsel in at least 20 juvenile cases

If an attorney has less than 3 years of experience or has not handled 20 juvenile cases, the attorney may enter the Mentoring Program and serve as co-counsel on 5 juvenile matters and may then be considered for appointment to the "B List."

E.     Emergency Appointment

If there is no attorney available who meets these continuing legal education or board certification requirements by the time an attorney must be appointed in a case, another attorney may be appointed. The person making an appointment shall give priority to an attorney with experience in juvenile law.

F.     Exceptions to Qualification Requirements

The Juvenile Court Judge may make an exception for good cause shown based on similar criminal court experience or specialized training and experience sufficient to demonstrate the ability to handle “A List” or “B List” level matters. 

Additionally, exceptions to the above requirements may be made for attorneys with specialized skills or training, such as:

  1. Fluency in a foreign language or sign language;

  2. Specialized training or experience with Mental Health cases;

  3. Experience with appellate law;

  4. Other specialized qualifications as deemed necessary by the Juvenile Court Judge.

G.    Qualifications to Handle Appellate Cases

An attorney with credentials and experience qualifying for the “A List” or attorneys who are Board Certified in Appellate Law are eligible to handle Juvenile Appeals.

Prompt Appointment of Counsel
10/28/2021

Appointment of Counsel

A.    Timing of Application

  1. In accordance with §51.10 (D) of the Texas Family Code, a juvenile and his or her parent/guardian shall be informed by the Juvenile Court of their responsibility to obtain counsel.They shall be informed that a determination of indigence is based on the income and assets of the parent or other person responsible for the Juvenile. They will be given instructions for formally requesting appointment of counsel along with the form necessary to make such request at each of the following stages of the juvenile’s case:
  1. Parents will be notified of their responsibility to complete and turn in the application for appointed counsel to the Juvenile Court within 3 days of service date by the summons officer.

  2. Appointment of counsel shall not be made without cooperation from the parent/guardian in completing the required application unless waived by the Juvenile Court Judge.The application form shall be completed and sworn to under oath by the parent/guardian who completed the form.The completed application form shall be delivered to the Juvenile Court by the parent/guardian in order for the Juvenile Court Judge to make a determination as to their eligibility for appointed counsel at the earliest practicable moment.The Juvenile Court Judge shall make the determination of whether the juvenile’s family is financially able to employ an attorney to represent the child within the following time frames and through the use of the Indigence Determination Standards included in this plan:

B.     Timing of Appointment

Counsel will be appointed at the initial detention hearing unless the juvenile is represented by retained counsel.  That attorney will represent the juvenile until the family retains counsel or another attorney is appointed at a later stage in the case. 

If the juvenile is released administratively, an appointment of counsel determination must be made on or before 5th working day after the date the petition for adjudication, motion to modify, or discretionary transfer hearing was served. [Sec. 51.101(c)-(d), FC]

C.     Appointment of Counsel for Children in Detention

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. If there is no parent or other responsible adult present, the court must appoint counsel or a guardian ad litem for the child.

  4. 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.

  5. Upon appointment, the court administrator shall notify the appointed attorney by fax, e-mail, or personal contact of the appointment and the scheduled hearing time and date.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Court-appointed attorneys shall make every effort to comply with the Texas State Bar Code of Ethics for communication with a client.

D.    Appointment of Counsel for Children not Detained at Intake

  1. If a child was released at the initial detention hearing, or was released by intake, or referred to the juvenile court without being taken into custody, and a petition is then filed, the Juvenile Court, upon making a finding of indigence, shall appoint an attorney on or before the 5th working day after the date a petition has been served on the child.

  2. Forms to request a court appointed attorney and to determine eligibility, Parent/ Guardian Application for Court Appointed Attorney and Acknowledgement Form, shall be provided to the juvenile and/ or the juvenile’s parents at the time of service. These forms will also notify the child and child’s parent that the forms must be returned to the Intake and Court Services Administrator at 200 Wilco Way Georgetown, TX 78626 within 2 working days, if they intend to apply for a court appointed attorney. The Intake and Court Services Administrator will immediately forward the forms to the Juvenile Court Judge for a decision.
Attorney Selection Process
10/28/2021

Attorney Assignment Process

A.    Selection of Attorneys

  1. The appointing authority will identify which of the appointment lists, discussed in the attorney qualifications section, is most appropriate based on the accusations against the child 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:
    1. The child 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 child 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;
    3. An initial detention hearing is scheduled and the first attorney on the list is unavailable; or
    4. Other good cause exists for varying from the list.

  2. 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.

B.     Appointment of Replacement Counsel

Whenever appointed counsel is removed pursuant to the provisions of VII (B), above, replacement counsel shall immediately be selected and appointed in accordance with the procedures described in this plan.

 

Fee and Expense Payment Process
10/28/2021

Fee and Expense Payment Process

A.    Attorney Fee Schedule and Compensation of Appointed Attorneys

  1. In Compliance with Tx. Family Code 51.10 (Right to Assistance of Attorney; Compensation) and with Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 26.04 (Court shall appoint counsel), attorneys shall be compensated according to the Juvenile Fee Schedule, approved by the Juvenile Board, for time reasonably necessary for adequate representation of the accused.

  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.

  3. Court appointed counsel are not allowed to solicit or accept remuneration from the client on the appointed case.If a client is charged with new offenses or is in need of other legal services during the pendency of his appointed case, the appointed attorney cannot accept remuneration for representation in those matters without prior approval by the Court.

  4. Request for payment by court appointed attorneys will be submitted electronically on the Court’s approved form within 60 days of the end of the attorney’s involvement in the case.  No payment shall be made for such services until the form has been submitted to the judge, and the judge has approved the payment.
    1. If the judge disapproves the requested amount of payment, the judge shall make written findings stating the amount 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 acted upon within 60 days of submission may appeal the disapproval or failure to act by filing a motion with the presiding judge of the administrative judicial region.

B.     Investigative and Expert Expenses:

  1. Expenses not Approved for Reimbursement.Administrative or secretarial work whether performed by a secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, or attorney shall not be approved for reimbursement.Such work includes but is not limited to preparing and submitting forms and invoices for payment, file set up, file maintenance, and file review.

  2. Expenses Approved for Reimbursement.Court appointed counsel will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred, including for investigation and experts. Prior court approval should be obtained before expenses are incurred through filing of an ex parte motion.See Ake v. Oklahoma, 400 US 68 (1985).   Expenses shall be paid according to the procedures set forth below.

  3. Procedure with Prior Court Approval
    1. Appointed Counsel may file with the trial court an ex parte confidential request for advance payment of investigative and expert expenses. The request for expenses must state, as applicable:
      1. The type of investigation to be conducted or the type of expert to be retained;
      2. 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,
      3. An itemized list of anticipated expenses for each investigation 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:
      1. State the reasons for the denial in writing;
      2. Attach the denial to the confidential request; and
      3. Submit the request and denial as a sealed exhibit to the record

  4. Procedure without Prior Court Approval
    1. Appointed counsel should not incur investigative or expert expenses without prior approval of the Court.In an emergency situation, counsel may find need to incur expenses without authorization in advance.Such situations should be rare, and, on presentation of a claim for reimbursement, the Court shall order reimbursement of counsel for such expenses if the expenses are found to be reasonably necessary and reasonably incurred.
    2. Unreasonable or unnecessary expenses will not be approved.

 

 

Miscellaneous
10/28/2021

Standards and Responsibilities for Attorney

A.    Duties of Detention Attorney

Attorneys serving as the Detention Attorney shall have contact with the child as soon as practicable after receiving notice of child being detained but no later than one hour prior to the first detention hearing.

B.     Duties of Appointed Counsel

Attorneys included on an Appointment List and who are appointed to a case shall:

  1. Visit the child no less than once every ten working days while the child remains in detention;
  2. Have contact, either by phone or personal visit with the child no less than once between each court setting if the child is not in detention; and
  3. Have contact with the child’s probation officer no less than once between each court setting;
  4. 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.
  5. 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;
  6. Brief the law of the case and be prepared to present any legal defense that may be reasonably and arguably available to the child;
  7. Be prepared to negotiate with the prosecutor for the most favorable solution of the case as can be achieved through a plea agreement;
  8. Be prepared to try the case to conclusion either with or without a jury;
  9. 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;
  10. Maintain reasonable communication and keep the child informed of the status of the case; and
  11. Advise the child on all matters involving the case and such collateral matters as may reasonably be required to aid the client in making appropriate decisions about the case;
  12. 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; and
  13. Manage attorney’s workload to allow for the provision of quality representation and the execution of responsibilities listed in these rules in every case.


Retention, Removal, and Reinstatement

A.    Retention

An attorney will remain on the appointed counsel list until a letter is submitted to the Juvenile Board stating the reason(s) why they wish to be removed from the list or until they are no longer eligible to serve on the list due to failure to comply with the requirements of this plan.

B.     Removal from Individual Cases 

  1. The judge presiding over a case involving a child 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 child and the charges against the child indicate that another qualified attorney is more appropriate for the child under these rules;
    4. The appointed counsel shows good cause for being removed, such as illness, workload or scheduling difficulties;
    5. The child requests an attorney, other than trial counsel, for appeal; or
    6. The child shows good cause for removal of counsel, including counsel’s persistent or prolonged failure to communicate with the child.
  2. Replacement counsel shall be selected and appointed immediately following removal of counsel as described below.

C.     Temporary Inactive Status

  1. Attorneys on a juvenile list may request to be placed on inactive status for a defined period (being placed “on hold”), where no new appointments will be made for up to 90 days by submitting such a request in writing to the Juvenile Court Administrator or her designee.This request must include a start and end date for the inactive status and is subject to approval by the Court.
  2. Attorneys on a court appointment list shall comply with Williamson County Local Rules regarding providing vacation notifications to the Court (see Williamson Co. Loc. R. pg. 7), and shall arrange for counsel to cover any required appearances when on vacation.

D.    Removal from Appointment Lists

  1. The Juvenile Board will monitor attorney performance on a continuing basis to assure the competency of attorneys on the list.
  2. Attorneys who fail to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner or who demonstrate an inability to effectively handle juvenile matters as required by the juvenile board may be subject to removal from the appointment list.
  3. A Juvenile Board member may request an attorney be removed from the list by arranging a closed and confidential hearing before the Juvenile Board.The attorney who is sought for removal shall have the right to notice of the hearing and opportunity to be heard and present evidence and testimony.The Board will by majority vote determine whether or not to remove an attorney from the appointment list following the request and hearing procedure stated above.

E.     Reinstatement to Appointment Lists

  1. 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 meets the other qualifications under this plan.
  2. An attorney who was removed from the appointment list for not submitting the attorney's annual TIDC Attorney Reporting Form may be immediately reinstated upon submission of the form, so long as the attorney meets the other qualifications under this plan.
  3. Appointed attorneys who become ineligible for appointment for any other reason will be removed from the appointment list by the Juvenile Court Judge and may only be reinstated by a majority vote of the Juvenile Board.The Juvenile Court Judge will provide notice to the attorney removed from the list within 3 working days of the date of removal.The attorney removed shall have the right to seek reinstatement at a closed and confidential hearing before the Juvenile Board.
Plan Documents
Williamson Juvenile Board Affidavit of Indigence.docx (10/29/2021 11:28:10 AM) view
Williamson Juvenile Board Attorney Application for Appointment.pdf (10/29/2021 11:28:28 AM) view
Williamson Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Schedule.pdf (10/29/2021 11:28:45 AM) view
Williamson Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Voucher.pdf (10/29/2021 11:29:02 AM) view
Williamson Juvenile Board Court Appointed Attorney on Record Form.docx (11/12/2009 3:36:57 PM) view