Anderson Juvenile Board Plan
JUVENILE APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL PLAN
REVISED: July 16, 2020
The Juvenile Board of Anderson County Texas adopts the following plan for the qualifications of and appointment of attorneys to represent indigent juveniles.
It is intended that this plan comply with Section51.102 Texas Family Code, and to the extent practicable, comply with the requirements of Article 26.04, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
The Anderson Juvenile Board is composed of the judges of the District Courts, Statutory County Courts at Law, and Constitutional County Court who serve Anderson County, Texas, and the Criminal District Attorney.
The chair-person of the Juvenile Board is elected annually by the members. The chair-person is the chief administrative officer of the Board.
The Juvenile Board shall designate a Coordinator. The Coordinator is responsible for day to day compliance with the adopted plan and in particular the following duties:
1. Maintain and update the list of qualified attorneys by designated category;
2. Receive attorney applications and investigate and track attorney qualifications;
3. Manage intake procedures;
4. Track cases and assignments to avoid duplication;
5. Supervise and monitor attorney fee payments;
6. Receive and investigate complaints against appointed attorneys;
7. Maintain the rotation schedule of appointed attorneys;
8. Coordinate with the Office of Court Administration;
9. Insure compliance with the policies and standards of the Task Force on Indigent Defense;
10. Assist in all reporting requirements and obtaining grants; and
11. Perform all other duties designated by the Juvenile Board.
Prompt Detention Hearings
II. DETENTION HEARINGS
A. A child taken into custody must either be brought to a juvenile processing office without unnecessary delay where they may not be detained for longer than six hours pursuant to
§52.025, Family Code, or another disposition authorized by §52.02, Family Code, including referral to the office designated by the juvenile board as intake for the juvenile court.
The intake officer shall process the child according the requirement of §53.01, Family Code, and shall also inform the child and the child’s parents of the right to appointed counsel
if they are indigent and provide a form for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment of counsel. If the child is not released by intake, then a Detention Hearing shall
be held not later than the second working day after the child is taken into custody unless the child is detained on a Friday, Saturday or listed holiday in which case the detention
hearing shall be held on the first working day after the child is taken into custody.
B. Prior to the detention hearing the court shall inform the parties of the child’s right to counsel and to appointed counsel if they are indigent, and of the child’s right to remain silent as
to the alleged conduct.
C. The detention hearing may be conducted without the presence of the child’s parent(s) or other responsible adult(s), however, in these cases the court must immediately appoint
counsel or a guardian ad litem to represent the child.
D. The court shall provide the attorney for the child access to all written matter to be considered by the Court in making the detention decision.
Indigence Determination Standards
III. INDIGENCY DETERMINATION STANDARDS
A. Definitions. As used in this rule:
1. “Net family income” means all income of the juvenile respondent and all income of the child’s parents and/or other persons responsible for or having a history of contributing
to the support of the child. Such income shall include: Take-home wages and salary (gross income earned minus those deductions required by law or as a condition of
employment); net self employment income (gross income minus business expenses, and those deductions required by law or as a condition of operating the business); regular
payments from a governmental income maintenance program, alimony, child support, pubic or private pensions, or annuities; and income from dividends, interest, rents,
royalties, or periodic receipts from estates or trusts. Seasonal or temporary income shall be considered on an annualized basis, averaged together with periods in which the
juvenile or responsible person has not income or lesser income.
2. “Non-exempt assets and property” means cash on hand, stocks and bonds, accounts at financial institutions, and equity in real or personal property that can be readily
converted to cash, other than assets and property exempt from attachment under state law.
3. “Household” means the child’s parents and/or other persons responsible for or having a history of contributing to the support of the child.
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. Financial Standards for Determining Indigence.
The financial standards set forth below shall be used to determine whether a defendant is indigent and shall be applied equally to each defendant in the county.
1. A juvenile is considered indigent if:
a. the juvenile’s net family income does not exceed 100% of the Poverty Guidelines established and revised annually by the United States Department of Health and
Human Services and published in the Federal Register;
b. the value of the non-exempt assets and property owned by the persons includable in the “family” of the juvenile:
i. does not exceed $2,500.00 $7,500.00; or
ii. does not exceed $5,000.00 $10,000.00 in case of a defendant whose household includes a person who is age 60 or over, disabled, or institutionalized; or
iii. does not exceed double the estimated cost of obtaining competent private legal representation on the offense(s) with which the defendant is charged.
2. A juvenile is considered indigent if, at the time of requesting appointed counsel, the juvenile or the juvenile’s parents have been determined to be eligible to receive food stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security income, or public housing.
3. A juvenile is considered indigent if the juvenile:
a. is currently serving a sentence in a correctional institution, is currently held in custody, 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
b. has no non-exempt assets or property in excess of the amounts specified in this rule.
A juvenile 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 juvenile or the juvenile’s dependents, taking into account the nature
of the criminal charge(s), the anticipated complexity of the defense, the estimated cost of obtaining competent private legal representation for the matter charged, the amount needed for the support of the juvenile and the juvenile’s family.
C. Appointment When Child is Not Indigent
In the event that a child is found not to be indigent but those persons financially responsible for the child fail or refuse to engage an attorney the Court shall appoint an attorney from the appropriate list to represent the child. The Court may order the parents or other
responsible persons to pay the cost of such representation, which order may be enforced under Chapter 61, Texas Family Code.
D. Indigent Status
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.
2. Changes of Status
A child’s status as indigent or not indigent may be reviewed in a formal hearing at any stage of a court proceeding based on evidence of a material change in the child’s financial circumstances. A child’s status as indigent or not indigent also may be reviewed in a formal hearing at any stage of a court proceeding based on additional information regarding financial circumstances, subject to the presumption. If a child previously determined to be indigent subsequently is determined not to be indigent, the attorney shall be compensated by the county in accordance with these rules for time reasonably expended on the case.
3. Payment by Child or Responsible Party
A court that finds that a juvenile respondent has financial resources to offset, in part or in whole, the costs of legal services provided under these rules may order the juvenile or responsible party to pay the county that portion of the costs of legal services provided that it finds on the record that the child or responsible party is able to pay.
Commentary: The income levels in the following table represent 100% of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines for 2019 as published in the Federal Register.
Household Size Income
For family units with more than eight members, add $4,480.00 for each additional member in the family.
Minimum Attorney Qualifications
IV. METHOD OF APPOINTMENT
A. Public Appointments List
The Coordinator shall maintain a Public Appointments List of attorneys qualified to represent indigent juvenile respondents in the following categories:
1. CINS or Delinquent Conduct, TYC Not Possible:
Attorneys eligible for appointment in cases in which the allegation is conduct indicating a need for supervision or delinquent conduct and commitment to the Texas Youth
Commission is not an authorized disposition;
2. Delinquent Conduct, TYC Possible:
Attorneys eligible for appointment in cases in which the allegation is delinquent conduct and commitment to the Texas Youth Commission without a determinate sentence is an
authorized disposition; and
3. Determinate Sentence or Discretionary Transfer:
Attorneys eligible for appointment in cases in which the allegation is delinquent conduct and determinate sentence proceedings have been initiated or proceedings for
discretionary transfer to criminal court have been initiated.
Attorneys eligible for appointment for appeal of juvenile cases.
B. Qualifications for Appointment
1. Minimum Continuing Legal Education
To be eligible for appointment in any juvenile case an attorney must:
a. Complete a minimum of six hours continuing legal education pertaining to juvenile law during each 12 month reporting period. The first reporting period will begin on January
1, 2004 and then on the first day of each reporting period thereafter. Continuing legal education may include activities accredited under Section 4, Article XII, State Bar Rules, self-study, teaching at an accredited continuing legal education activity, attendance
at a law school class of legal research-base writing; or
b. Currently certified in juvenile law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
2. Reporting Requirements:
a. Continuing legal education activity completed within a one-year period immediately preceding an attorney’s initial reporting period may be used to meet the educational requirements for the initial year.
b. Continuing legal education activity completed during any reporting period in excess of the minimum six hour requirement for such period may be applied to the following period’s requirement. The carryover provision applies one year only.
c. To be included on the appointment list, each attorney must annually submit an affidavit to the county detailing the juvenile continuing legal education activities completed in the prior year. Alternatively, an attorney may annually submit documentation showing
the attorney is currently certified as a specialist in juvenile law.
d. 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.
3. Emergency Appointments:
If no attorney who meets these continuing legal education or board certified requirements is available 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.
4. Practice Requirements:
Twice a year, on or before January 1 and July 1, attorneys may file a sworn APPLICATION TO BE PLACED ON PUBLIC APPOINTMENTS LISTS FOR ANDERSON COUNTY (attached hereto is Exhibit “A”). to be eligible for placement on each list attorneys
must have met the following minimum qualifications:
a. CINS or Delinquent Conduct, TYC not Possible
- Currently licensed and in good standing with the State Bar of Texas
- Practiced in the area of juvenile law for at least one year
- Exhibited proficiency and commitment to providing quality representation to juvenile respondents
- Exhibited professionalism and reliability when providing representation to juvenile respondents
- Satisfied the CLE requirement
- Participate as counsel/co-counsel in five (5) juvenile cases.
b. Delinquent Conduct, TYC Possible:
- Has met the qualifications for CINS or DC, TYC not possible
- Practiced in the area of juvenile law for at least three (3) years
- Participate as counsel/co-counsel in five (10) juvenile cases.
- Has tried to a verdict as lead counsel two (2) jury trials, civil or criminal
c. Determinate Sentence or Discretionary Transfer:
- Has met the qualifications for CINS or DC, TYC not possible
- Practiced in the area of juvenile law for at least five (5) years
- Participate as counsel in five (10) juvenile cases.
- Has tried to a verdict as lead counsel two (5) jury trials, civil or criminal
- Has met the qualifications for delinquent conduct, TYC possible; or
- Has participated as counsel/co-counsel in three (3) juvenile appeal
5. General Provisions:
No attorney found to have provided ineffective representation by an appellate court or Bar disciplinary committee shall be eligible to receive appointments without the approval of a majority of the Juvenile Board.
Appointed attorneys who become ineligible for appointment will be removed from the appointment list by the Coordinator and may only be reinstated by a majority vote of the members of the Juvenile Board. The Coordinator will provide notice to the attorney
removed from the list within three (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.
Attorneys who fail to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner may be subject to removal from the appointment list. A Judge of Anderson County, Texas 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 insure competent
representation of indigent juveniles. The Juvenile Board may by majority vote determine whether or not to remove an attorney from the appointment list following the request and hearing procedure stated above.
Prompt Appointment of Counsel
V. APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
A form shall be provided to the parents/guardians for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment of counsel. The form shall be complete and sworn to under oath by the parent/guardian completing the form. The completed form shall be delivered to the designated
Coordinator with one (1) working day of the date the child is originally brought into detention.
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. If exigent circumstances exist, counsel will
immediately be appointed for the juvenile if there is a decision to detain the juvenile.
If the court makes a finding of indigence, the court shall appoint an attorney on or before the fifth working day after the date a petition for adjudication or discretionary transfer hearing has been served on the child; or a motion to modify disposition seeking commitment to TYC
or placing in secure correctional facility has been filed.
The Coordinator shall select an attorney from the appointment list to represent the child if the family qualifies for indigent representation. Indigency shall exist if the net financial resources and income available for the support of the juvenile are insufficient to enable qualified
counsel to be obtained and provision to be made for the juvenile and other family members to have the necessities of life.
Attorney Selection Process
VI. ATTORNEY SELECTION
The Counsel Coordinator or the coordinator’s designee shall call contact the office of the attorney assigned and shall follow up by sending a written assignment sent following the call either fax or mail. Assignments shall be made at the beginning of each work day. 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.
The Judges shall have the authority to appoint counsel out of order to defendants found by the Court to be indigent. The out of order appointment shall be reported to the counsel coordinator who shall record the appointment in her records.
The Counsel Coordinator or the coordinator’s designee shall contact the office of the attorney assigned by sending a written assignment by either fax or mail email. Assignments shall be made as they are received.
VACATION AND CLE TRAINING:
Assigned attorneys shall, as a condition of remaining on the list, adhere to the following policy on vacation and CLE training:
1. Vacation and CLE letters must be delivered to the court 30 days before a setting to result in an automatic pass. Fewer than 30 days notice will require a hearing before a
pass may be granted. The hearing will be set if requested by the moving attorney.
2. The maximum number of business days that may be claimed for vacation during a calendar year is 20, with an additional 10 business days for CLE, for a total of 30 business days per
3. An attorney will be ineligible for appointment to any case during any period for which the attorney has filed a vacation or CLE letter.
4. The courts will consider exceptional circumstances (e.g., medical or family emergency) on a case by case basis.
All complaints made against appointed attorneys will be referred to the Counsel Coordinator for investigation. All complaints will be reviewed periodically and an appointed attorney may be removed from the qualified list by a majority vote of the Criminal Courts Board. The attorney must receive notice and have the opportunity to be heard by the Board. Such hearing will be closed and confidential.
No attorney found to have provided ineffective representation by an appellate court or Bar disciplinary committee shall be eligible to receive appointments without the approval of a majority of the Juvenile Board.
Appointed attorneys who become ineligible for appointment will be removed from the appointment list by the Coordinator and may only be reinstated by a majority vote of the members of the Juvenile Board. The Coordinator will provide notice to the attorney removed from
the list within three (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.
Attorneys who fail to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner may be subject to removal from the appointment list. A Judge of Anderson County, Texas 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 insure competent representation of indigent
juveniles. The Juvenile Board may be majority vote determine whether or not to remove an attorney from the appointment list following the request and hearing procedure stated above.
PROCEDURES FOR REMOVAL OF ATTORNEYS FROM THE COURT APPOINTED LIST
A. Grounds for Removal
An attorney may be removed from the appointment list if the attorney:
1. has twice or more failed to contact or interview clients in a timely manner as required by Article 26.04(j)(l), Code of Criminal Procedure and this plan;
2. has submitted a claim for legal services not performed as specified in Article 26.05(e), Code of Criminal Procedure;
3. fails to maintain compliance with each of the appointment list guidelines;
4. has been found by a court to have provided ineffective assistance of counsel;
5. has violated a rule of professional responsibility;
6. has been convicted of or received a deferred adjudication for any an offense, other than an offense punishable by a fine only;
7. under indictment or being formally charged with an offense, other than an offense punishable by a fine only; or
8. has intentionally misrepresented statements on the application for the appointment list.
An attorney may also be removed from the appointment list for another stated good cause.
If a judge believes that an attorney has violated any of the provisions listed in the paragraph above, the judge may refer an attorney to the board of judges for removal from the appointment list. The referral must be in writing and shall clearly state the grounds that form the basis of the referral. No disciplinary action with respect to the attorney being retained or removed from the appointment list may be made without such a referral.
Upon receiving an attorney referral, the board of judges shall notify the attorney in writing of the referral and inform the attorney of the grounds that form the basis of the referral. The notice shall also inform the attorney of the time and place the board of judges will meet to discuss the referral and give the attorney an opportunity to respond to the referral in writing or in person or both.
After the judges meet and give the attorney an opportunity to be heard, the judges shall determine whether the attorney should:
1. remain on the appointment list at the same level;
2. be moved to an appointment list for indigent defendants charged with less serious offenses; or
3. be removed from appointment list altogether
The attorney may be removed from the appointment list or moved to an appointment list for indigent defendant charged with less serious offenses by a majority vote of the judges present. In addition, the majority of the judges may also vote to require the attorney to take other rehabilitative measures. Removals from any list may be probated. For removal or probated removals, the judges ordering the removal may require the completing of rehabilitative measures as a condition of probation or reapplication. An order of removal should state in the order the earliest date at which the attorney may apply for reinstatement. An attorney who was removed from an appointment list under “Grounds for Removal”, number 7 or 8, shall be immediately reinstated upon providing proof that the charges were dismissed or that the attorney was acquitted, unless other grounds for removal exist against the attorney that would prohibit reinstatement.
The decision of the board of judges is final and may not be appealed.
Fee and Expense Payment Process
VII. FEE AND EXPENSE PAYMENT PROCESS
The county will pay appointee counsel for all 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 Code of Criminal Procedure.
1. Appointed attorneys shall be paid $75.00 per hour for all documented out-of-court and in-court time that is actually spent on the case that reasonable professionals would agree
was objectively necessary for a qualified criminal defense attorney in the community to represent the client with a minimum as follows:
i. $150 per initial hearing
ii. $100 per subsequent hearing
i. $250 per half day in trial
ii. $500 for trial preparation
i. Determine Sentence of Discretionary Transfer
$350 for plea/dismissal of a single case
$500 for plea/dismissal of multiple cases on the same defendant
ii. CINS or Delinquent Conduct
$250 for plea/dismissal of a single case
$300 for plea/dismissal of multiple cases on the same defendant
i. $1000 for appeal of a single case tried to a jury. $750 for nonjury
$1500 for appeal of multiple cases on the same defendant tried to a jury. $1000 nonjury
$5000 for appeal of a capital death penalty case
2. The judge presiding over the case for which the appointed attorney seeks compensation will use the following procedures to review and approve the appropriate compensation:
a. The presiding judge will either approve the amount requested or enter written findings stating the amount of payment that the judge approves and each reason for approving
an amount different from the requested amount.
b. An attorney whose request for payment is disapproved may appeal the disapproval by filing a motion with the presiding judge of the administrative judicial region, as provided
under Article 26.05(c) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
3. Attorneys submitting fee vouchers shall use the following procedures:
a. Appointed counsel must submit the request for payment on the form approved by the Anderson County Criminal Courts Board.
b. Appointed counsel must submit voucher within 30 days of disposition of a case by a plea or bench trial, or jury trial.
c. Appointed counsel must submit voucher within 30 days of the date the mandate being returned in an appeal.
d. Appointed counsel may not submit interim bills without first obtaining leave of court.
e. Appointed counsel shall submit only one bid for a juvenile having multiple cases.
f. Appointed counsel shall submit the fee request to the judge who presided over the final disposition of the case or cases.
g. Appointed counsel shall not submit itemized statements for cases disposed by plea or dismissal endless leave of court is granted at the disposition hearing.
INVESTIGATION EXPENSES AND EXPERT WITNESS FEES:
The juvenile respondent has the right to the proper investigation of his case and for the appointment of expert witnesses when necessary for the defense of his case. Investigation expenses will be compensated at $25 to $50 per hour. Travel time from the investigator’s office
to the courthouse, jail and lawyer’s office is not compensated. Mental health, ballistics, forensics, fingerprint, DNA experts necessary for the defense of the accused shall be compensated based on the usual and normal charges for such experts in the Administrative Judicial
The County will reimburse appointed attorney for investigation and expert witness expenses incurred on behalf of an indigent client as provided under Article 26.05(d) - (h) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
Incurring frivolous, unnecessary or improper investigation expenses could result in the removal of the attorney from the list of qualified attorneys.
VIII. PROCEDURE TO REDUCE EXPENSE OF DEFENSE AND LITIGATION:
The judges hereby adopt a Standard Discovery Order in all court appointed cases.
Ultimately, fees incurred are dependent in part on the prosecution’s prompt and efficient preparation and trial of cases. Attorney fees and investigation expenses can be mitigated greatly by prompt decision as to charges brought and penalties sought, and by the prompt trial of
cases. Cases will not be delayed because charges in other courts or federal jurisdictions are pending. The State shall bench defendants for prompt trial of their cases to whatever extent possible by law. The Courts shall continue to give priority settings to juvenile cases.
The Criminal Courts Board retains authority by majority vote to waive any portion of this plan in exceptionally justified cases or when determined necessary for the fair and impartial administration of justice.
Amendments to the Plan:
The plan may be amended by a majority vote of the member of the Juvenile Board.
Adopted ____________________, 2021
JUVENILE BOARD OF
ANDERSON COUNTY, TEXAS
Judge Deborah Oakes Evans, Administrative Judge,
87th Judicial District
Judge Pam Foster Fletcher, 349th Judicial District
Judge Mark A. Calhoon, 3rd Judicial District
Judge C. Michael Davis, 369th Judicial District
Judge Jeff Doran, County Court-at-Law
Judge Robert Johnston, County Court
Allyson Mitchell, District Attorney
Anderson Juvenile Board Affidavit of Indigence.wpd (12/3/2009 2:50:53 PM) view
Anderson Juvenile Board Anderson Juvenile Board Attorney Application for Appointment with Payments.doc (12/3/2009 2:53:35 PM) view
Anderson Juvenile Board Attorney Application for Appointment.doc (12/3/2009 2:51:28 PM) view
Anderson Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Schedule.docx (7/14/2010 10:48:09 AM) view
Anderson Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Voucher.doc (12/3/2009 2:52:02 PM) view