Hill Juvenile Board Plan
Prompt Detention Hearings
Juvenile Conduct Prompt Detention Hearing
A. A child taken into custody must either be brought to a juvenile processing office without unnecessary delay where they may not be detained for longer than six hours pursuant to §52.025, Family Code, or another disposition authorized by §52.02, Family Code, including referral to the office designated by the juvenile board as intake for the juvenile court. The intake officer shall process the child according the requirement of §53.01, Family Code, and shall also inform the child and the child’s parents of the right to appointed counsel if they are indigent and provide a form for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment of counsel. If the child is not released by intake, then a Detention Hearing shall be held not later than the second working day after the child is taken into custody unless the child is detained on a Friday, Saturday or listed holiday in which case the detention hearing shall be held on the first working day after the child is taken into custody.
B. Prior to the detention hearing the court shall inform the parties of the child’s right to counsel and to appointed counsel if they are indigent, and of the child’s right to remain silent as to the alleged conduct.
C. The detention hearing may be conducted without the presence of the child’s parent(s) or other responsible adult(s), however, in these cases the court must immediately appoint counsel or a guardian ad litem to represent the child following same.
D. The court shall provide the attorney for the child access to all written matter to be considered by the Court in making the detention decision.
Indigence Determination Standards
PROCEDURES AND FINANCIAL STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING INDIGENT STATUS
At the Magistrate’s Probable Cause Hearing, each defendant shall be provided an opportunity to request court appointed counsel, if indigent. Each requesting defendant shall complete and file a sworn Application for Legal Counsel, on a form approved by the Council of Judges of Hill County, with the Magistrate. The Magistrate will ensure that reasonable assistance is furnished in completing the necessary forms for requesting appointment of counsel. 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. The Application may be sworn before a Magistrate, the Clerk or a Notary Public.
The Magistrate shall transmit, not later than one working day after the request is made, the Application for Legal Counsel to the County Judge in misdemeanor cases and to the District Judge in felony cases. If the Defendant has both misdemeanor and felony cases, both requests shall be sent to the District Judge. The District Court Judge shall appoint an attorney who will represent the defendant in all such misdemeanor and felony charges.
The judge making court appointments of counsel for indigents shall review the Application for Legal Counsel and such other information bearing on the financial status of the defendant and make a determination of indigent status and appoint counsel where required by law within 3 working days after receiving the request for court appoint counsel.
The judge making court appointments for counsel for indigents shall consider the following standards for determining indigence and such other reasonable factors as the court finds bearing on the financial inability of a defendant to retain counsel:
1. Defendant’s income from any and all sources;
2. Sources of the defendant’s income;
3. Assets of the defendant;
4. Property owned by the defendant, or in which the defendant has an interest;
5. Outstanding obligations of the defendant;
6. Necessary expenses of the defendant;
7. The number and age of the defendant’s legal dependents;
8. Spousal income available to the defendant; and
9. Such other reasonable factors as determined by the judge.
The judges shall not consider whether the defendant has posted bail, except to the extent that it reflects on the defendant’s financial circumstances.
Eligibility for Appointment
A child is presumed indigent if any of the following conditions or factors are present:
1. At the time of requesting appointed counsel, a child is presumed indigent if the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) determined responsible for the support of the child is eligible to receive food stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, or public housing.
2. The net household income of the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) determined responsible for the support of the child does not exceed 100 % 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;
Minimum Attorney Qualifications
QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT
All attorneys licensed to pratice law by the State Bar of Texas are eligible to apply for appointment. Applicants must meet the minimum qualification standards to be considered for appointment to juvenile cases.
This plan recognizes the five different levels of seriousness of juvenile charges: CINS, delinquency cases with no TYC commitment possible, delinquency cases with TYC commitment possible, determinate sentence cases, and certification cases. The Board approves the following minimum qualifications:
1. Be licensed by and in good standing with the State Bar of Texas
2. Meet any required standards set by the Task Force for Indigent Defense
3. Attorney shall furnish a statement to the board that based on training and experience he/she is qualified in juvenile cases.
4. An attorney shall complete a minimum of 6 hours of CLE in the area of juvenile law and procedure each year. All attorneys on the appointment list must file a certificate with the court administration office each year attesting to completion of the required CLE or submit documentation showing that the attorney is certified as a specialist in juvenile law.
5. An attorney shall submit by October 15th each year a statement that
describes the percentage of the attorney's practice time that was dedicated to
work based on appointments accepted in this county for adult criminal cases and
juvenile delinquency cases for the prior 12 months that begins on October 1 and
ends on September 30. The report must be submitted through the form prescribed
by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission to the court administration office in
All counsel applying for appointments to juvenile cases must receive the approval of the Juvenile Board by a majority vote of the members of the Board.
Attorneys who fail to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner may be subject to removal from the appointment list. A member of the Board may request removal of an attorney from the list and shall arrange a closed and confidential hearing before the Juvenile Board. The attorney sought to be removed shall have the right to notice of the hearing and opportunity to be heard and present evidence and testimony. It is the responsibility of the Juvenile Board to ensure competent representation of indigent juveniles. The Board may by majority vote determine whether or not to remove an attorney from the list following the request and hearing procedure stated above.
Prompt Appointment of Counsel
APPOINTMENT PLAN PROCEDURE
The Judge of the 66th Judicial District Court will require the Juvenile Probation Department to assist in getting forms competed for the purpose of aiding the Court in appointment matters.
The form shall be competed and sworn to under oath by the parent/ guardian competing the form. The completed form shall be delivered to the District Judge's Office within three (3) working days of the date the child is originally brought into detention. Derterminations of indigence will occur within five (5) working days of service of the petetion of the juvenile. The Judge may appoint counsel even without parental cooperation, if necessary for the child and as allowed by law.
The District Judge shall select an attorney from the appropriate list to represent the child as provided by law. The appointment will be made on a rotating basis from the list of qualified attorneys, as set forth in Article 26.04 (a) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The appointment shall be within three (3) working days of receipt of request by the Judge and the appointed attorney notified within one (1) working day of the date of appointment. If the juvenile is not released from the detention facility, the attorney appointed shall make every reasonable effort to contact the juvenile within one (1) working day of notice of appointment and make every reasonable effort to interview the juvenile as soon as practicable after receiving notice of appointment. The Court may replace an attorney who does not comply with the requirement of deligent contact with the juvenile. An attorney who establishes a pattern of failure to diligently contact the child after appointment may be removed from the appointment list upon the vote of the majority of the Juvenile Board.
If the child was not represented by an attorney at the detention hearing and determination was made to detain the child, the child shall immediately entitled to representation by an attorney.
INITIAL DETENTION HEARING APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
Unless the court finds that the
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.
Attorney Selection Process
ANNUAL REVIEW OF ELIGIBLE LIST OF COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL
The Hill County and District Judges (Council of Judges) shall annually review and reform the list of eligible court appointed counsel and cause same to be made available to the public upon request.
SYSTEM FOR APPOINTING COUNSEL
The rotation or wheel system shall be used for appointing counsel in Hill County.
There is one list of eligible attorneys for non-capital cases in Hill County.
The County and District Judges shall independently use the list for respective appointments in their court on a rotation basis in the order in which their names appear on the list, unless the court makes a finding of good cause on the record for appointing an attorney out of order. An attorney who is not appointed in the order in which the attorney’s name appears shall remain next in order on the list.
Attorneys in capital cases shall be selected from the list furnished by the Presiding Judge of the Third Administrative Region, to the extent the list is not developed locally in such case(s).
Fee and Expense Payment Process
10/31/2019Attorney Fee Schedule and Compensation of Appointed Attorneys
Trial Fee Schedule. Hill County will pay appointed counsel for all trial time reasonably necessary for adequate representation of the defendant, as approved by a judge, according to the following fee schedule adopted as provided under Article 26.05(b) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure:
The following schedule of fees for court appointed counsel representing criminal defendants in Hill County Courts shall be effective October 30, 2019, to-wit
- FIXED RATE:
- For the prosecution to a final conclusion of a bona fide appeal to a Court of Appeals, or to the Court of Criminal Appeals if made directly from the trial court, a reasonable fee, but in no event less than $350.00.
- For a petition for discretionary review to the Court of Criminal Appeals, a reasonable fee, but in no event less than $350.00.
- For a habeas corpus proceeding, a reasonable fee, but in no event less than $100.00
- For the prosecution to a final conclusion of a bona fide appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals in a case where the death penalty has been assessed, a reasonable fee, but in no event less than $750.00.
- HOURLY RATE:
- For reasonable and necessary time spent by the attorney out of court on a case , the hourly rate of no less than $70.00 per hour, with a maximum of 10 out of court hours unless additional hours are approved in advance by the Court.
- The attorney shall keep an accurate account of his/her time spent, subject matter of the time expenditure, dates involved, necessity for expenditure of time, and be prepared to furnish reasonable documentation thereof if requested by the Court.
- DAILY RATE:
- For each day in Court representing the litigant or defendant in a non-jury proceeding a reasonable fee, but in no event less than $100.00 per day.
- For each day in Court representing the litigant or defendant in a non-capital jury proceeding a reasonable fee, but in no event less than $500.00 per day.
- For each day in Court representing the defendant in a capital case prior to jury proceeding a reasonable fee, but in no event less than $250.00 per day.
- For each day in Court representing the defendant in a capital case before a jury a reasonable fee, but in no event less than $500.00 per day.
- An attorney may not receive more than four DAILY RATE fees under this section for each day in each court, regardless of the number of cases in which he appears as appointed counsel on the same day in each particular court. An attorney may, effective March 28, 2019, claim up to four daily rate fees regardless of which court or courts, before which the attorney appears, to-wit: if the attorney appears on a court appointed case before the county, county court-at-law and district court, on the same date he or she would be eligible to claim up to four (4) days in court. In lieu of the DAILY RATE, an attorney may elect to charge up to four (4) in-court hours at $70.00 per hour.In no event may an attorney charge more than $400 per day in DAILY RATE fees or more than $280 per day of in-court hourly fees.An attorney may not charge both a DAILY RATE and an in-court hourly rate on the same day.
- For good cause or exceptional circumstances, an appointed attorney may request payment at a rate above the rates specified, subject to review and approval by the judge presiding over the case. The court may order payment of up to $250.00 per hour.
Appellate Fee Schedule. Hill County will pay appointed counsel for appellate services only on an hourly basis, unless otherwise approved by a judge for good cause, according to the following fee schedule adopted as provided under Article 26.05(b) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure:
APPELLATE SERVICES FEE SCHEDULE
Type of Case
Motion for New Trial and Brief
Oral Argument and Motion for Rehearing
Non-Capital 3g/*Enhanced Felony
(*See note above)
Non-Capital Other Felony
Incidental Expenses. Appointed counsel, both trial and appellate, shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary incidental expenses such as copying, telephone, mileage, etc., incurred without prior approval of the Court.
Investigations and Expert Testimony. Counsel appointed in a non-capital case shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses, including expenses for investigation and for mental health and other experts. Expenses incurred with and without prior court approval shall be reimbursed, according to the procedures set forth below. When possible, prior court approval should be obtained before incurring expenses for investigation and for mental health and other experts.
(a) Procedure with Prior Court Approval. Appointed counsel may file with the trial court a Motion for Court Appointed Attorneys Fee/Approval (Appendix E) together with a pretrial ex parte confidential request for advance payment of investigative and expert expenses. The request for advance payment of 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.
(b) Procedure Without Prior Court Approval. Appointed counsel may incur investigative or expert expenses without prior approval of the court. Appointed counsel may file with the trial court a Motion for Court Appointed Attorneys Fee/Approval. The motion must have an itemized statement attached which states, as applicable:
(1) the type of investigation that was conducted or the type of expert that was retained;
(2) specific facts that show the investigation was necessary to assist in preparation of the defense; and
(3) an itemized list of actual expenses incurred for each investigation or each expert.
(c) Approval of Requests. On presentation of a Motion for Court Appointed Attorneys Fees/Approval (Appendix E) and the request for advance payment or itemized statement required, the court shall approve the payment of the requested amount if the expenses are reasonably necessary and reasonably incurred. Upon approval by the Court, the completed Motion for Court-Appointed Attorneys Fees/Approval shall remain a public record and be transmitted to the County Auditor for payment. If the request for advance payment or claim for reimbursement is made prior to the conclusion of the trial of the case, the request for claim, together with any supporting documentation, that was attached to the motion may be ordered sealed until the trial of the case is concluded. All payments shall be made directly to the requesting counsel. No payments will be made directly to the investigator or expert.
(d) Denial of Requests. If the court denies in whole or in part a request for advance payment or a claim for reimbursement of expenses incurred for investigation or expert testimony, the court shall:
(1) state the reasons for the denial in writing;
(2) attach the denial to the request or claim;
(3) submit the request or claim and denial as an exhibit to the record; and
(4) if the request or claim has been made ex parte prior to trial, may order the request or claim and denial sealed until the trial of the case is concluded.
Procedure for Compensation. Not later than thirty (30) days after the case is disposed by the trial court, the appointed attorney shall prepare and submit to the trial court last having jurisdiction of the most serious offense case, a Motion for Court Appointed Attorney Fees on a form approved by the judges (See Appendix for approved forms). The motion shall include all services provided a single defendant, regardless of the number of cases disposed. The judge shall determine the reasonableness of the amount requested based upon the time and labor required, the complexity of the case, and the experience and ability of the appointed counsel using the above fee schedules. If the judge disapproves the requested amount, the judge shall make written findings stating the amount of payment that the judge approves and each reason for approving an amount different from the requested amount. The attorney may file written objections to the court’s action and request an oral hearing to show the court reasons that justify the amount requested.
Appeals from any Disapproval of Requested Amount. The attorney may appeal any determination disapproving the requested amount to the Presiding Judge of the Third Administrative Judicial Region in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Third Administrative Judicial Region. The amount determined by the Presiding Judge of the Third Administrative Judicial Region shall be paid by Hill County to the attorney appointed within forty-five (45) days after the appeal is determined.
Hill Juvenile Board Affidavit of Indigence.doc (11/25/2009 10:03:58 AM) view
Hill Juvenile Board Attorney Application for Appointment.doc (11/25/2009 10:06:29 AM) view
Hill Juvenile Board Attorney Appointment List.doc (11/25/2009 10:00:37 AM) view
Hill Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Schedule.pdf (10/31/2019 11:02:20 AM) view
Hill Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Voucher.doc (11/25/2009 10:04:45 AM) view