Archer District Court and County Court Plan
Prompt Magistration
10/4/2019


I. Conduct Prompt and Accurate Magistration Proceedings

A. Arresting Officer Responsibilities

i. The arresting officer, or the person having custody of the arrestee, shall ensure that every arrestee shall be brought before a magistrate without unnecessary delay, but not later than 48 hours after the person is arrested. 

ii. Unless arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant, bench warrant, capias, or other order of a magistrate or judge, necessary forms establishing probable cause must be completed and filed at the time an arrestee is booked into jail for any felony or misdemeanor punishable by incarceration.

iii.  Release of defendants arrested without warrant

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

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

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

B. Magistrate Duties

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

ii. After making such determination, the magistrate shall, in an appropriate manner consistent with Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Articles 38.30 and 38.31, do the following:

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

2. Admonish the accused of:

a. The right to retain counsel;

b. The right to remain silent;

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

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

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

f. The right to an examining trial.

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

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

5. Provide accused persons requesting appointed counsel with necessary forms for requesting appointment of counsel and ensure that reasonable assistance in completing required forms is provided to the accused at the time of the magistrate’s hearing.

6. If the magistrate has reason to believe the accused is not mentally competent, the magistrate shall enter a request for counsel on behalf of the accused. Such a request will alert the appointing authority that counsel competent to represent mentally ill persons should be appointed.

iii. In cases where the individual was arrested without an arrest warrant, bench warrant, capias, or other order of magistrate or judge, the magistrate shall determine if there is probable cause to believe the person committed the offense.

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

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

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

c. If requested by the state, the magistrate may postpone the release of the defendant for not more than 72 hours after the defendant's arrest, in compliance with the procedure set forth in Article 17.033, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

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

v. The magistrate shall record the following:

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

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

3. Whether the accused requested appointment of counsel

vi. If the magistrate is not authorized to appoint counsel and if the accused requests appointment of counsel, the magistrate shall transmit or cause to be transmitted the magistrate form and any other forms requesting appointment of counsel to the District Court Coordinaotr.  The forms requesting appointment of counsel shall be transmitted without unnecessary delay, but not later than 24 hours after the person arrested requests appointment of counsel.

vii. If the magistrate is authorized to appoint counsel, the magistrate shall make a determination of indigence and appoint counsel if the defendant is indigent within three working days unless the County has a U.S. Census population over 250,000, in which case counsel shall be appointed within one working day.

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

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

x. For persons arrested on out-of-county warrants, the magistrate will ask the defendant if he/she would like to request appointed counsel. The magistrate will record the response, and if counsel is requested, the magistrate will provide the arrestee with the appropriate forms for requesting counsel. The magistrate will ensure assistance in completing the forms at the same time. The forms will be transmitted to the appointing authority in the county issuing the warrant within 24 hours of the request being made.

Xi.   Sheriff's Duties: If the defendant does not request appointed counsel until after the magistrate's hearing, then the Sheriff's Office shall provide the defendant an "Affidavit of Inability to Employ a Lawyer/Declaration of Inability to Hire Counsel" on the same day that the defendant requests appointment of an attorney. Upon completion of this form, a Sheriff's deputy or jailer who is qualified to act as a notary public shall notarize the front and back of the  form and immediately transmit the form by hand delivery or by faxing the original, or a true and complete copy thereof, to the Montague County District Clerk (Fax # 940.894.2077).

                       


Indigence Determination Standards
10/4/2019



A.    Definitions, as used in this rule:

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

                              ii.            “Net household income” means all income of the accused and spousal income actually available to the accused. Such income shall include: take-home wages and salary (gross income earned minus those deductions required by law or as a condition of employment); net self-employment income (gross income minus business expenses, and those deductions required by law or as a condition of operating the business); regular payments from a governmental income maintenance program, alimony, child support, public or private pensions, or annuities; and income from dividends, interest, rents, royalties, or periodic receipts from estates or trusts. Seasonal or temporary income shall be considered on an annualized basis, averaged together with periods in which the accused has no income or lesser income.

                            iii.            “Household” means all individuals who are actually dependent on the accused for financial support.

                            iv.            “The cost of obtaining competent private legal representation” includes the reasonable cost of support services such as investigators and expert witnesses as necessary and appropriate given the nature of the case.

B.     Eligibility for Appointment

                                i.            An accused is presumed indigent if any of the following conditions or factors are present:

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

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

3.      The accused is currently serving a sentence in a correctional institution, is currently residing in a public mental health facility, or is subject to a proceeding in which admission or commitment to such a mental health facility is sought.

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

1.      the nature of the criminal charge(s),

2.      anticipated complexity of the defense,

3.      the estimated cost of obtaining competent private legal representation for the matter(s) charged;

4.      the amount needed for the support of the accused and the accused’s dependents; 

5.      accused’s income,

6.      source of income,

7.      assets and property owned,

8.      outstanding obligations,

9.      necessary expenses,

10.  the number and ages of dependents, and

11.  spousal income that is available to the accused.

iii.            Factors  NOT to be considered in determining indigence:

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

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

iv.    Only the accused's financial circumstances as measured by the financial standards stated in this rule shall be used as the basis for determining indigence.

C.     Indigence Proceedings:

                                i.            The appointing authority can require the accused to respond to questions about the accused’s financial status, produce documentation supporting financial information provided, and/or order a court official to verify financial information provided.

                              ii.            Information gathered for determining indigence, both in the affidavit of indigence and through oral examination, may not be for any purpose other than:

1.      Determining if accused is (or is not) indigent; or

2.      Impeaching direct testimony of accused regarding the accused’s indigence.

                            iii.            A request by the appointing authority for additional information, documentation, and/or verification cannot delay appointment of counsel beyond the timelines specified in Parts I and IV of these rules and contained in Code of Criminal Procedure article 1.051.

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

1.      An accused’s status as indigent or not indigent may be reviewed in a formal hearing at any stage of court proceedings, on a motion for reconsideration by the accused, the accused’s attorney, or the attorney representing the state. The accused’s indigent status will be presumed not to have changed. The presumption can be rebutted in the review proceedings based on the following:

a.       Evidence of a material change in the accused’s financial circumstances, as a result of which the accused does not meet any of the standards for indigence contained in these rules; or

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

2.      If an accused previously determined to be indigent is subsequently determined not to be indigent, the attorney shall be compensated by the county according to the fee schedule for hours reasonably expended on the case.  

                              v.            If the court determines that a defendant has financial resources that enable him to offset in part or in whole the costs of the legal services provided, including any expenses and costs, the court shall order the defendant to pay during the pendency of the charges or, if convicted, as court costs the amount that it finds the defendant is able to pay

vi.   Referral of Request for Court Appointed Counsel in Misdemeanor Charges: The magistrate shall immediately forward any probable cause affidavit and "Affidavit of Inability to Employ Lawyer/Declaration of Inability to Hire Counsel" to the Montague   County District Clerk, who shall then  immediately deliver the same to the office of the Montague County Judge not later than one working day after the request is made where the  accused person is charged with a misdemeanor. 

           vii.   Referral of Request for Court Appointed Counsel in Felony Charges: The magistrate shall forward any probable cause affidavit and "Affidavit of Inability to Employ a Lawyer/Declaration of Inability to Hire Counsel" to the Montague County District Clerk, who shall then immediately deliver the same by facsimile transmission to the office of the District Judge, 97th Judicial District, not later than one working day  after the  request is made, where the accused person is charged with a felony.

           viii.   Referral of Request for Court Appointed Counsel Where Accused has Mixed Misdemeanor and Felony Charges:  The magistrate shall forward any probable cause affidavit and "Affidavit of Inability to Employ Lawyer/Declaration of Inability to Hire Counsel" to the Montague  County District Clerk, who shall then immediately deliver the same by facsimile transmission to the office of the District Judge, 97 Judicial District, not later than one working day after the request is made, where the accused person is charged with both felony and misdemeanor charges. The District Judge or his designee shall appoint an attorney who will represent the defendant in all such felony and misdemeanor charges.




Minimum Attorney Qualifications
10/4/2019

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 6 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 6 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 1 year(s) 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 2 year(s);

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.            State Jail and Third Degree Felony Case Qualification Requirements

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

2.      An attorney must have a minimum 2 year(s) experience in criminal law;

                            iii.            First and Second Degree Felony Case Qualification Requirements

1.      An attorney must meet the general requirements for State Jail and Third Degree Felony appointments.

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

3.      An attorney must have experience as 1st or 2nd chair in at least 4 felony case(s) tried to verdict before a jury. At least 4 of the trial(s) must have been felonies. The styles and cause numbers of these cases must be listed in the District Courts appointment application form.

                            iv.            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 County Judges hearing criminal cases.

                              ii.            State Jail and Third Degree Felony, First and Second Degree Felony List, Capital Case List, and Appeal List  - An attorney must be approved for each list by 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 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.







Prompt Appointment of Counsel
10/4/2019



A.    Prompt Appointment of Counsel

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

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

                            iii.            Appointment Authority

1.      If no case has been filed in the trial court, the appointing authority for misdemeanors is: The Archer County Judge

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

3.      If the case has been filed in the trial court, the appointing authority is: The judge of the trial court in which the case has been filed. 

iv.      1.   If an indigent is arrested in another county on this county's warrant, counsel will be appointed within three working days of this county's receipt of the request for counsel.

v.        2.  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.

vi.      3.  If a deferequestshes to requrest counsel prior to the intial appearance, the forms required to request counsel may be obtained at the Texas Indigent Defense Commission's webstite at http://tidc.tamu.edu/public.net/ or from the Sheriff's Department, Archer County, Texas, or from the the District Court Coordinator, P.O. Box 167, Montague, Texas 76251. The defendant may submit these forms to: the District Court Coordinator, P.O. Box 167, Montague, Texas 76251, fax number 940.894.2560. The Court will rule of all requrests for counsel submitted in this manner.


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

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

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

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

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

                            iii.            The attorney representing the state may not:

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

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

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

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

C.     Waiver of the Right to Counsel

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

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

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

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

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

   

 



Attorney Selection Process
10/4/2019
Adult Attorney Selection Process (Rotation and RPDO)

  1. Attorney Selection Process for Adults (Rotation and Participation in the Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases)

    1. Misdemeanor and Non-Capital Felony Cases

      1. 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.

      2. Good cause may include:

        1. The defendant requesting counsel does not understand English, in which case the judge will appoint the lawyer whose name appears next in order and speaks the clients’ language, if one is available;

        2. The defendant has an attorney already appointed on a prior pending or concluded matter. The same attorney will be appointed to the new matter, unless the attorney is not on the list for the type of offense involved in the current case; or

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

      3. Once appointed, an attorney’s name will be moved to the bottom of the appointment list. An attorney who is not appointed in the order in which the attorney’s name appears on the list shall remain next in order on the list.

    2. Capital Felony Cases

      1. The Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases shall be appointed to all capital felony cases unless good cause exists to appoint private counsel.

        1. If a co-defendant requests appointment of counsel and is determined to be indigent, the Appointing Authority shall appoint counsel pursuant to the standards and procedures stated in this Section. 

        2. If private counsel is appointed to a co-defendant, rather the Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases, co-counsel will be appointed using the standards and procedures stated in this Section.

      2. The Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases may refuse to accept appointment to a case if:

        1. A conflict of interest exists;

        2. The Office has insufficient resources to provide adequate representation;

        3. The Office is incapable of providing representation in accordance with the rules of professional conduct; or

        4. The Office shows other good cause for refusing appointment.

      3. The Appointing Authority shall immediately contact the attorneys appointed by phone, fax, e-mail or in person and notify the attorneys of the appointment and the last known location of the defendant.

    3. Judicial Removal from Case:

      1. The judge presiding over a criminal case may remove appointed counsel upon entering a written order showing good cause for such removal, including without limitation, the following:

        1. Counsel’s failure to appear at a court hearing;

        2. Counsel’s failure to comply with the requirements imposed upon counsel by this plan;

        3. Current information about the defendant and the charges against the defendant indicate that another qualified attorney is more appropriate for the defendant under these rules;

        4. Replacement of appointed counsel in a death penalty case is required under Article 26.052(e), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure;

        5. The appointed counsel shows good cause for being removed, such as illness, workload or scheduling difficulties;

        6. The defendant requests an attorney, other than trial counsel, for appeal; or

        7. The defendant shows good cause for removal of counsel, including counsel’s persistent or prolonged failure to communicate with the defendant.

      2. Appointment of Replacement Counsel - Whenever appointed counsel is removed under this section, replacement counsel shall immediately be selected and appointed in accordance with the procedures described in this plan.





Fee and Expense Payment Process
10/4/2019
Fee and Expense Payment Process for Adults

A.    Court appointed counsel shall be compensated for all reasonable and appropriate services rendered in representing the accused. Compensation shall be reasonable for time and effort expended and will be in accordance with a fee schedule adopted and approved by a majority of the judges hearing criminal cases in the county.

B.     Payment Process:  No payment of attorney’s fees will be made other than in accordance with the rules set forth below.

                                i.            An appointed attorney shall fill out and submit a fee voucher to the court for services rendered.

                              ii.            The trial judge presiding over the proceedings shall review the request for compensation and either approve or disapprove of the amount requested.

1.      If a judge disapproves a request for compensation, 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.

2.      An attorney whose request for payment is disapproved or is not otherwise acted on by the 60th day after the date the request for payment is submitted may appeal the disapproval or failure to act by filing a motion with the presiding judge of this administrative judicial region.

C.     Payment of Expenses:

                                i.            Court appointed counsel will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred, including expenses for investigation and for mental health and other experts. Expenses incurred with and without prior approval shall be paid according to the procedures set forth below. Whenever possible prior court approval should be obtained before expenses are incurred.

                              ii.            Procedure With Prior Court Approval:

1.      Appointed Counsel may file with the trial court a pretrial ex parte confidential request for advance payment of investigative and expert expenses. The request for expenses must state the below, as applicable:

a.       The type of investigation to be conducted or the type of expert to be retained;

b.      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

c.       An itemized list of anticipated expenses for each investigation and/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:

a.       State the reasons for the denial in writing;

b.      Attach the denial to the confidential request; and

c.       Submit the request and denial as a sealed exhibit to the record.

                            iii.            Procedure Without Prior Court Approval:  Appointed counsel may incur investigative or expert expenses without prior approval of the court. On presentation of a claim for reimbursement, the court shall order reimbursement of counsel for the expenses, if the expenses are reasonably necessary and reasonably incurred. Unreasonable or unnecessary expenses will not be approved.

 
Miscellaneous
10/4/2019
LIST OF ELIGIBLE ATTORNEYS FOR SERVICE AS
COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL FOR
INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS
COUNTY COURT CASES

The Montague County Judge shall approve a list of eligible attorneys on or before January 1 of each year and the list shall be posted outside of the County Clerk's office and available to the public upon request.

The Montague County Judge and the 97th District Court Judge shall prepare and distribute to:

1. all licensed attorneys residing in Montague County, Texas; and
2. to the licensed attorneys practicing law in Montague County and residing in the Eighth Administrative Region of Texas as can be reasonably identified by the Montague County Clerk and the Montague County District Clerk, 

an "Application for Attorney Appointments List - Archer, Clay & Montague Counties" on or before December 15, 2001.

The Montague County Judge shall on or before December 31, 2001, approve and post outside the Montague County Clerk's office the graduated lists of the names of attorneys approved to represent indigent accused persons in the Montague County Court.

The list shall consist of the names of all licensed attorneys residing in Montague County or practicing law in Montague County, Texas, who have filed an Application and who have met the standards for appointment in misdemeanor cases.

 

LIST OF ELIGIBLE ATTORNEYS FOR SERVICE AS
COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL FOR
INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS
97th DISTRICT COURT CASES

The 97th District Judge shall approve a list of eligible attorneys on or before January 1 of each year and such list shall be posted outside of the Montague County District Clerk's office and available to the public upon request.

The Montague County Judge and the 97th District Court Judge shall prepare and distribute to:

1. all licensed attorneys residing in Montague County, Texas; and
2. to such licensed attorneys practicing law in Montague County and residing in the Eighth Administrative Region of Texas as can be reasonably identified by the Montague County Clerk and the Montague County District Clerk, 

an "Application for Attorney Appointments List - Archer, Clay & Montague Counties" on or before December 15, 2001.

The 97th District Judge shall on or before December 31, 2001, approve and post outside the Montague County District Clerk's office such graduated lists, as set out below, of the names of attorneys approved to represent indigent accused persons in the 97th District Court.

The list shall consist of the name of all licensed attorneys residing in Montague County-or practicing law in Montague County, Texas, who have filed an Application and who have met the standards for appointment in felony cases.



.
COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL FOR
INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS
JUVENILE COURT CASES

The 97th District Juvenile Board shall establish the procedures, standards, guidelines, rules, and orders for the appointment of counsel to represent indigent juveniles in juvenile court cases as provided by law.



.
MISDEMEANOR APPOINTMENT PROCEDURES AND RULES

The County Judge, upon any finding of indigence and request for court appointed counsel, shall sign an Order Appointing Counsel and deliver same to the attorney. 

The attorney to be appointed shall be selected from the list of eligible attorneys for the grade of offense with which the defendant is charged and shall be selected from the next five names on the list unless the appointment is made in open court. 

The County Judge or the Court's designee will appoint the lawyer whose name appears next in order on the appointment list that corresponds to the most serious offense as currently charged, unless:

(1) the defendant requesting appointed counsel does not understand English, in which case the person making the appointment will appoint the lawyer who both appears next in order on the list and can communicate with the defendant in the defendant's language;

(2) the person making the appointment exercises discretionary authority to appoint one of the attorneys whose name is among the next five names in order on the appropriate list; 

(3) if the request of the defendant for appointed counsel is not made prior to the first hearing in open court, the County Judge shall appoint on a rotating basis an attorney who is on the list of eligible attorneys and who is present in the Montague County courthouse at that time; or

(4) in unusual circumstances, the person making the appointment enters a written finding of good cause on the record for appointing any qualified, willing attorney regardless of whether the attorney's name is among the first five names on the appropriate list.

Whenever a lawyer is appointed under this section, the lawyer who is appointed will move to the last place in order on that list, and any lawyer who was not appointed will remain in order from the top of the list until appointed or removed from the list.

Each attorney appointed under this Rule to represent the defendant in the trial court is appointed to represent the defendant until the case is terminated, the defendant retains an attorney or a new attorney is appointed by the court.  

The staff of the County Judge shall immediately contact the attorney by phone, fax, or in person and notify the attorney of the appointment and the last known location of the defendant.



NON-CAPITAL FELONY APPOINTMENT PROCEDURES AND RULES

The District Judge, or the Court's designee, upon any finding of indigence and request for court appointed counsel, shall sign an Order Appointing Counsel and deliver it to the attorney. 

The 97th District Judge or the Court's designee will appoint the lawyer whose name appears next in order on the appointment list that corresponds to the most serious offense as currently charged, unless:

(1) the defendant requesting appointed counsel does not understand English, in which case the person making the appointment will appoint the lawyer who both appears next in order on the list and can communicate with the defendant in the defendant's language;

(2) the person making the appointment exercises discretionary authority to appoint one of the attorneys whose name is among the next five names in order on the appropriate list; 

(3) if the request of the defendant for appointed counsel is not made prior to the first hearing in open court, the 97th District Judge shall appoint on a rotating basis an attorney who is on the list of eligible attorneys and who is present in the Montague County courthouse at that time; or

(4) in unusual circumstances, the person making the appointment enters a written finding of good cause on the record for appointing any qualified attorney of the 8th Administrative Judicial Region regardless of whether the attorney's name is among the first five names on the appropriate list.

Whenever a lawyer is appointed under this section, the lawyer who is appointed will move to the last place in order on that list, and any lawyer who was not appointed will remain in order from the top of the list until appointed or removed from the list.

Each attorney appointed under this Rule to represent the defendant in the trial court is appointed to represent the defendant until the case is terminated, the defendant retains an attorney or a new attorney is appointed by the court.  

The staff of the District Court Judge shall immediately contact the attorney by telephone, fax, or in person and notify the attorney of the appointment and the last known location of the defendant.



CAPITAL FELONY APPOINTMENT PROCEDURES AND RULES

The District Judge, upon any finding of indigence and request for court appointed counsel, shall sign an Order Appointing Counsel and deliver same to the attorney. 

The 97th District Judge or the Court's designee will appoint the lawyer whose name appears next in order on the capital felony appointment list, unless:

(1) the defendant requesting appointed counsel does not understand English, in which case the person making the appointment will appoint the lawyer who both appears next in order on the list and can communicate with the defendant in the defendant's language;

(2) the person making the appointment exercises discretionary authority to appoint one of the attorneys whose name is among the next five names in order on the appropriate list; 

(3) if the request of the defendant for appointed counsel is not made prior to the first hearing in open court, the 97th District Judge shall appoint on a rotating basis an attorney who is on the list of eligible attorneys and who is present in the Clay County courthouse at that time; or

(4) in unusual circumstances, the person making the appointment enters a written finding of good cause on the record for appointing any qualified attorney of the 8th Administrative Judicial Region regardless of whether the attorney's name is among the first five names on the appropriate list.

Whenever a lawyer is appointed under this section, the lawyer who is appointed will move to the last place in order on that list, and any lawyer who was not appointed will remain in order from the top of the list until appointed or removed from the list.

Each attorney appointed under this Rule to represent the defendant in the trial court is appointed to represent the defendant until the case is terminated, the defendant retains an attorney or a new attorney is appointed by the court.  

The staff of the District Judge shall immediately contact the attorney by phone, fax, or in person and notify said attorney of the appointment and the last known location of the defendant.

 97th District Judge of  Montague County prior to the change.

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

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

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

Court appointed counsel shall represent a defendant until the defendant is acquitted, all appeals are exhausted, or the court, after entering a finding of good cause on the record, allows the attorney to withdraw and/or replaces the attorney with other counsel.

Court appointed counsel shall meet the following standards, the attorney shall:
Misdemeanors:

1. Be a Member of the State Bar of Texas;
2. Have experience or have exhibited proficiency in providing quality representation to defendants in criminal cases;
3. Have participated in and continue to participate in continuing legal education courses or other training relating to criminal defense or prosecution in criminal cases;
4. Have not been found to be incompetent counsel by an appellate court; 
5. Have not been determined to provide incompetent criminal defense representation by any county court or county court at law court;

State Jail Felonies and Probation Revocation Hearings:

1. Be a Member of the State Bar of Texas; 
2. Be experienced in criminal misdemeanor or felony representation;
3. Have exhibited proficiency in providing quality representation to defendants in criminal cases;
4. Have participated in and continue to participate in continuing legal education courses or other training relating to criminal defense or prosecution in criminal cases;
5. Have not been found to be incompetent counsel by an appellate court; 
6. Have not been determined to provide incompetent criminal defense representation by any district court;
7. Complete and submit to the Court Coordinator the "Application for Attorney Appointments List - Archer, Clay & Montague Counties."
8. Maintain a fax machine 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and
9. Notify the Court Coordinator of any changes of address; telephone number, e-mail address or fax number prior to such change.

Third Degree Felonies:

1. Possess all qualifications for State Jail Felony appointment; and 
2. Have tried to jury verdict at least two (2) misdemeanor or felony trials.

First & Second Degree Felonies:

1. Possess all qualifications for Third Degree Felony appointment and have tried to jury verdict at least five (5) felony trials; or
2. Possess all qualifications for Third Degree Felony appointment and have demonstrated superior quality representation to defendants in criminal cases to such an extent that the Court believes counsel can provided representation equal to or greater than the attorneys currently on the First & Second Degree Felony List.

A court may replace an attorney if the appointed attorney does not make an effort to contact the defendant by the end of the first working day or does not interview the defendant as soon as possible, or may sanction said attorney for violation of those provisions.

The 97th District Judge may remove an attorney from consideration for appointments in felony cases and the Montague County Judge may remove an attorney from consideration for appointments in misdemeanor cases, if the attorney either  intentionally or repeatedly.does not fulfill the duties required by law, rules, local rules, or provisions for providing reasonable assistance of counsel or complying with the requirements for inclusion on the approved lists for counsel for indigent accused persons in felony cases.


ANNUAL REVIEW OF ELIGIBLE LIST OF COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL

The Montague County Judge shall annually review and reform the list of eligible court appointed counsel for misdemeanor cases and cause it to be posted outside the Montague County Clerk's office and made available to the public upon request.

The 97th District Court Judge shall annually review and reform the list of eligible court appointed counsel for felony cases and cause it to be posted outside the Montague County District Clerk's office and made available to the public upon request.



FORMS:


1) Application for Attorney Appointments List - Archer, Clay & Montague Counties

List(s) applying for (Check one or more):
Archer Clay Montague
1st & 2nd Degree Felonies         
3rd Degree Felonies             
State Jail Felonies             
Misdemeanors             
Juvenile - 1st & 2nd Degree Felonies             
Juvenile - 3rd Degree Felonies             
Juvenile - State Jail Felonies             
Juvenile - Misdemeanors             
Appellate             

Name:__________________________________________Bar Card #:__________________
Mailing Address:_____________________________________________________________
Street Address:______________________________________________________________
Phone Number: (______)___________________ Fax Number: (______)_______________
E-mail Address:___________________________ 
Year licensed to practice law: _____________                                                      

Give approximate numbers for the following types of matters in which you were the lead attorney for the defendant or the state:

Felony:
Jury Trials tried: _______ Revocation Hearings tried: ______
Plea Hearings:     _______ Habeas Corpus hearings:   ______
Appellate Briefs prepared: _______   Appellate Cases Argued:   ______

Misdemeanor:
Jury Trials tried: _______ Revocation Hearings tried: ______
Plea Hearings:     _______
Appellate Briefs prepared: _______   Appellate Cases Argued:   ______

Juvenile:
Detention Hearings: _____ Disposition Hearings (Contested): _____
Adjudication Hearings (Agreed): _____   Modification Hearings: _____
Adjudication Hearings (Contested): _____ Appellate Briefs prepared: _____
Adjudication Hearings (Jury): _____ Appellate Cases argued: _____
Continuing Legal Education Course Hours (Criminal/Juvenile):
Before 2005 _______ 2006 _____ 2007 _____ 2008 _____

I have never been found to be incompetent counsel by an appellate court. ____________(Initials)
I have never been found to be incompetent counsel by a district court.      ____________(Initials)

Crim Juv
_________________________________ Approved: 1st/2nd Felonies _____ _____
Applicant's Signature for: 3rd Felonies _____ _____
State Jail _____ _____
Misdemeanors _____ _____
Date Received:_____/_______/200___ Appellate _____ _____


USE INK ONLY - PRINT - NO PENCILS Offense(s):    Misdemeanor     Felony     Both



2) DECLARATION OF INABILITY TO HIRE COUNSEL   (Answer all questions!)

Name:(Print full legal name)_____________________________________________________ Age:_________
Address:____________________________________________________________________  Phone:_____________
Permanent Address:______________________________________________________________________________
  Rent Payment:$________ Mortgage payment:$_________    Value:$______________
Number of Children under 18 - Living with you:______   Living Elsewhere:______
Current Employer & Address:______________________________________________________________________
How long have you worked there? ___________   Date of last paycheck: _________________
Amount of last paycheck: $_________ Wages: $________ per Hour - Week - Month  (Circle which applies)
Other Income: $__________ (AFDC - Social Security - Pension - Unemployment - Spousal Support, - Etc.)
Previous Employer & Address:_____________________________________________________________________
Spouse or Live-in:_________________________________________________________________________________
Spouse/Live In Address:_______________________________________________________ Phone:_____________
Spouse/Live In Employer & Address:________________________________________________________________
Wages: $________ per Hour - Week - Month (Circle which applies)
I own the following: Value Year/Model Monthly Payments/Paid for
   Auto/Pickup/Motorcycle $______ __________ $________________________
   Furniture $______ __________ $________________________
   TV & Stereo $______ __________ $________________________
   Jewelry $______ __________ $________________________
   Real Estate (Address or Legal Description) Is the Real Estate Income Producing?
1.______________________________________________________ Yes:________   No:_______
2.______________________________________________________ Yes:________   No:_______
I pawned the following property:__________________________________________ Amount Received:$______
I have the following cash: In jail $_____________ At home $___________ In Bank/Saving & Loan $________
The following relatives might loan me money:_____________________________________ None:____________
The following friends might loan me money:______________________________________ None:____________
I have talked to the following attorney(s) about my case(s):__________________________________________
What fee(s) did the attorney(s) quote you? $________________________________________________________
If out on bond, who paid for your bond?____________________________ Relationship:____________________
 Amount paid to get out of jail $______________   
Payments $______________ Monthly - Weekly - Bi-weekly (Circle which applies)
At time of arrest, if arrested with others, list their names:____________________________________________

I STATE THAT I HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY THE COURT OF MY RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL IN THE TRIAL OF THE CHARGE(S) PENDING AGAINST ME.  I CERTIFY THAT I AM WITHOUT MEANS TO EMPLOY A LAWYER OF MY OWN CHOOSING AND I HEREBY REQUEST THE COURT TO APPOINT A LAWYER FOR ME.  THE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED TO THE COURT, UNDER OATH, TO INDUCE THE COURT TO APPOINT A LAWYER FOR ME.
SIGNED the ________ day of ___________________, 200_____.

__________________________________________________
Signature of Declarant

SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority on the _______ day of ________________, 200_______.


__________________________________________________
Notary Public State of Texas




THE STATE OF TEXAS IN THE COURTS

VS. OF

_________________________ MONTAGUE COUNTY, TEXAS
AFFIDAVIT OF INABILITY TO EMPLOY A LAWYER

On this day, I, the undersigned defendant having been advised by the Court or Magistrate of my right to representation by a lawyer in the trial of the charge(s) pending against me in this county, I hereby certify that I am too poor to employ a lawyer of my own choosing and hereby request the Court to appoint an attorney  for me in the pending case(s) in this county.  I do not have sufficient property to sell, mortgage or lease to hire a lawyer and I am unable to employ any lawyer; and I have no relatives or family members who are able to assist me in employing a lawyer of my choice.  
Permanent Mailing Address:
____________________________________
______________________________ ____________________________________
Defendant ____________________________________

The information below may be filled in by the Defendant or a Peace Officer/Jailer:

  Felony(F)  or Misdemeanor (M)
            Offense(s): and Degree of Offense   County

F-1/2       F-3        F-SJ   
________________________________________ M-A        M-B       M-C   ___________

F-1/2        F-3        F-SJ   
________________________________________ M-A         M-B       M-C   ___________

F-1/2        F-3        F-SJ   
________________________________________ M-A         M-B       M-C   ___________

  Defendant has been in custody since ___/___/200__, and is now located at the County/City Jail in the City of ___________________________, County of _____________________, 
State of ________________________.

  Defendant has made bond of $____________ on _______/________/___________.
By Bond Company/Bondsman's Name:____________________________________
    Bond Company/Bondsman's Address:__________________________________
    _________________________________________________________________



NO. M-CR

THE STATE OF TEXAS * IN THE 97TH DISTRICT COURT
*
VS. * OF
*
* MONTAGUE COUNTY, TEXAS
AFFIDAVIT OF INABILITY TO EMPLOY A LAWYER

On this day, I, the undersigned defendant having been advised by the Court or Magistrate of my right to representation by a lawyer in the trial of the charge(s) pending against me in this county, I hereby certify that I am too poor to employ a lawyer of my own choosing and hereby request the Court to appoint an attorney  for me in the pending case(s) in this county.  I do not have sufficient property to sell, mortgage or lease to hire a lawyer and I am unable to employ any lawyer; and I have no relatives or family members who are able to assist me in employing a lawyer of my choice.   
Permanent Mailing Address:
____________________________________
______________________________ ____________________________________
Defendant ____________________________________

Sworn to and subscribed before me by the said defendant this _______ day of ________________, 200_____.
____________________________________
Notary Public, State of Texas



Offense(s): ____________________________________________________________________

Offense(s) is/are: Felony(ies)   Misdemeanor(s)   Both  

  Defendant has been in custody since ___/___/200__, now at the __________________ County Jail.

  Defendant has made bond of $____________ on _______/________/___________.
By Bond Company/Bondsman's Name:____________________________________
    Bond Company/Bondsman's Address:__________________________________
    _________________________________________________________________


IF YOU ARE REQUESTING THE COURT TO APPOINT COUNSEL TO REPRESENT YOU IN THIS CASE, YOU SHOULD FILL IN YOUR PERMANENT ADDRESS, FILL IN INFORMATION ABOUT OFFENSES AND CUSTODY OR BOND INFORMATION, FILL IN ALL INFORMATION ON THE BACK OF THIS FORM AND SIGN THE FRONT AND BACK  FORM IN THE PRESENCE OF A NOTARY PUBLIC, HAVE THE NOTARY SIGN THE APPROPRIATE BLANKS, AND RETURN THE FORM TO:

COURT COORDINATOR
P.O. BOX 167
MONTAGUE, TEXAS 76251

C:\MyFiles\Indigent Defense\Indigency\Affidavit - Indigency - Front - Indicted - Montague.wpd

Instructions for this form

1. If the defendant asks for an attorney to be appointed, give the defendant this form the same day.

2. Help the defendant fill it out - both sides - the same day.

3. As soon as the defendant fills it out, have it signed & notarized - both sides - the same day.

4. As soon as it is notarized, hand deliver it, or a copy of it, to the Montague County District Clerk, Courthouse, 3rd floor, or fax to the Montague County District Clerk fax number (940) 894 -2077.




Plan Documents
Archer District and County Court Affidavit of Indigence.pdf (10/18/2017 3:17:27 PM) view
Archer District and County Court Attorney Application for Appointment.wpd (12/8/2009 4:25:48 PM) view
Archer District and County Court Attorney Fee Schedule.pdf (10/27/2010 5:40:25 PM) view
Archer District and County Court Attorney Fee Voucher.pdf (10/18/2017 3:17:43 PM) view
Archer District and County Court Magistrates Warning Form.wpd (12/8/2009 4:24:44 PM) view