Bastrop Juvenile Board Plan
Prompt 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
If the court determines that a defendant or respondent or the respondent’s family
has financial resources that enable him/her 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 or respondent to pay during the pendency of the charges or, if
convicted, as court costs the amount that it finds the defendant or respondent is
able to pay. In this event, the amount ordered to be paid by defendant or
respondent may be taxed and assessed against the defendant or respondent as
costs of court.
Determination of Indigence for Juveniles-Primary
A. Definitions, as used in this rule:
i. “Indigent” means a person who is not financially able to employ counsel.
ii. “Net household income” in the case of a child is the income of the child’s parents or other person determined responsible for the support of the child. Such income shall include: 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 person determined responsible for the support of the child has no income or lesser income.
iii. “Household” means all individuals who are actually dependent on the child’s parent(s) or person(s) deemed responsible for the support of the child, for financial support.
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. 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 110% of the Poverty Guidelines as revised annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Federal Register;
3. The child’s parent(s) or other person(s) determined responsible for the support of the child is currently serving a sentence in a correctional institution, is currently residing in a public mental health facility, or is subject to a proceeding in which admission or commitment to such a mental health facility is sought; or
ii. The child who does not meet any of the standards above shall nevertheless be considered indigent if the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child is unable to retain private counsel without substantial hardship. In considering if obtaining private counsel will create a substantial hardship, the appointing authority shall take into account:
1. the nature of the charge(s);
2. anticipated complexity of the defense;
3. the estimated cost of obtaining competent private legal representation for the matter(s) charged;
4. the amount needed for the support of the child, the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible, and other dependents of the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible;
5. child’s parent(s’) income or the income of other person(s) determined responsible for the support of the child;
6. source of income;
7. assets and property owned by the child, child’s parent(s), or other person(s) determined responsible for support of the child;
8. outstanding obligations;
9. necessary expenses; and
10. the number and ages of any siblings of the child.
iii. Factors NOT to be considered in determining indigence:
1. The resources available to friends or relatives of the child, other than the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) deemed responsible for the child, may not be considered in determining whether the child is indigent.
2. Only the child's parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child and the child’s financial circumstances as measured by the financial standards stated in this rule shall be used as the basis for determining indigence.
C. Indigence Proceedings:
i. The appointing authority can require the child and the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child to respond to questions about the child’s household financial status, produce documentation supporting financial information provided, and/or order a court official to verify financial information provided.
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 child is (or is not) indigent; or
2. Impeaching direct testimony of the child or the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible regarding the child’s indigence.
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.
iv. 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.
1. A child’s status as indigent or not indigent may be reviewed in a formal hearing at any stage of a court. The child’s indigent status will be presumed not to have changed. The presumption can be rebutted in the review proceedings based on the following:
a. Evidence of a material change in the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible and the child’s financial circumstances; or
b. Additional information regarding the child’s parent(s)/person(s) responsible and the child’s financial circumstances that shows that they do not meet any of the standards for indigence contained in these rules.
2. If a child previously determined to be indigent is subsequently determined not to be indigent, the attorney shall be compensated by the county according to the fee schedule for hours reasonably expended on the case.
v. If the court determines that a child’s parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child has financial resources that enable him to offset in part or in whole the costs of the legal services provided, including any expenses and costs, the court shall order the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child to pay during the pendency of the charges or, if found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or CINS, as court costs the amount that it finds the child’s parent(s) or other person(s) responsible for the child is able to pay.
Minimum Attorney Qualifications
I General Requirements
All attorneys who desire to be appointed to represent criminal defendants hereinafter called “defendant” and juvenile respondents hereinafter
called “respondent” must apply to the judge of the Bastrop County Court at Law for consideration to be listed on the Master List of attorneys
eligible for consideration on the court appointed attorney list.
All attorneys to be considered for appointment to represent indigent defendants or respondents must be licensed to practice law by the State
Bar of Texas.
To ensure that indigents receive experienced counsel, all attorneys desiring to be appointed to represent defendants and respondents must have
practiced law in the State of Texas for at least 2 years and actively practiced in the Bastrop County Court at Law for at least one year. Provided,
however, that any attorney who has been regularly accepting court appointments in the Bastrop County Court at Law prior to June 1, 2001,
shall be deemed to have met the requirements of this paragraph.
All attorneys must complete a minimum of six hours of continuing legal education in criminal law if accepting misdemeanor appointments and a
minimum of six hours of continuing legal education in juvenile law if accepting juvenile appointments. Proof of completion of legal education
must be provided to the appointing authority on or before December 20th of each calendar year beginning with the calendar year of 2004.
To guarantee the presence of attorneys to adequately represent indigent defendants and respondents, no attorney may be accepted onto the court appointed attorney list
unless said attorney commits to attend and does attend at least 75% of all the Bastrop County Court at Law designated general criminal and juvenile
dockets. The Court for good cause may excuse an attorney from such attendance on any docket. The Court may remove any attorney who fails to meet
this attendance requirement. Appointment to cases other than criminal and juvenile cases do not follow this requirement. In the event that an appointment
is made in open court, any attorney who is next on the list to be appointed but not present when the appointment is made, shall be skipped.
All attorneys representing defendants and respondents shall comply with all provisions of law regarding representing said clients, including but not limited to the timely
meeting with clients.
The attorney’s application must include the attorney’s name, address, business phone, fax, cell phone number (if any), level of
experience, areas of law for which the attorney seeks appointment, and the positive commitment by the attorney to attend at least 75% of all the Bastrop
County Court at Law designated general criminal or juvenile dockets.
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.
CINS Charges or Delinquent Conduct, and Commitment
to TJJD Is Not an Authorized Disposition:
a minimum __1__ year of work experience in juvenile law;
have a minimum of 6 months experience in County Court at
Delinquent Conduct, and Commitment to TJJD Without a
Determinate Sentence Is an Authorized
2. Have a minimum __1__
year of work experience in juvenile law;
have a minimum of 6 months experience in County Court at Law.
Determinate Sentence Proceedings have been
Initiated; or Proceedings for Discretionary Transfer
to Criminal Court Have Been Initiated:
minimum 1 year of work experience in juvenile law;
3. Must have a minimum of 6 months
experience in County Court at Law.
Prompt Appointment of Counsel
10/4/2017A. Appointment of Counsel for Children in Detention
i. 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.
ii. 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.
iii. Prior to the initial detention hearing, the court shall provide the attorney for the child with access to all written matter to be considered by the court in making the detention decision.
iv. If there is no parent or other responsible adult present, the court must appoint counsel or a guardian ad litem for the child.
v. If the juvenile is detained, the child has an immediate right to counsel. If counsel has not already been appointed, the court must either appoint counsel or direct the juvenile’s parent or other responsible adult to retain an attorney promptly. The court may enforce an order to retain counsel by appointing an attorney to represent the child and requiring that the child’s parent or other responsible adult reimburse the court for attorneys’ fees.
vi. Upon appointment, the court administrator shall notify the appointed attorney by fax, e-mail, or personal contact of the appointment and the scheduled hearing time and date.
vii. The appointed attorney shall make every reasonable effort to contact a child in detention by the end of the first working day after receiving the notice of appointment or to inform the court that the appointment cannot be accepted. Contacting the child in detention may be by personal visit (including contact during a detention hearing), by phone, or by video teleconference. Contacting the court may be by fax, email, phone or personal visit. A court-appointed attorney shall contact the child, in one of the ways mentioned above, no less than once every ten working days while the child remains in detention.
viii. An attorney appointed for a detention hearing shall continue to represent the child until the case is terminated, the family retains an attorney, or a new attorney is appointed by the juvenile court. Release of the child from detention does not terminate the attorney’s representation.
ix. Court-appointed attorneys shall make every effort to comply with the Texas State Bar Code of Ethics for communication with a client.
B. Appointment of Counsel for Children not Detained at Intake
i. If the child is released from detention and if a petition to adjudicate or a motion to modify is filed, the juvenile court will use the financial forms gathered at intake to make a determination of indigence. If no financial information is available, the juvenile court shall promptly summon the child’s parent/guardian/custodian to the court so that financial information may be gathered for a determination of indigence.
ii. If the court makes a finding of indigence, the court shall appoint an attorney on or before the fifth working day after:
a. The date a petition for adjudication or discretionary transfer hearing has been served on the child; or
b. A motion to modify disposition seeking commitment to TJJD or placing in secure correctional facility has been filed.
iii. If the family does not qualify for appointed counsel or if the parent or guardian is not available, and the family fails to provide an attorney, the juvenile court may appoint an attorney in any case in which it deems representation necessary to protect the interests of the child.
iv. The prosecuting attorney/court clerk shall notify the juvenile court upon the filing of and return of service of a motion to modify or the return of service of a petition for adjudication or discretionary transfer.
Attorney Selection Process
There shall be an enrollment period for attorneys to apply to be placed on the
court appointed attorney list. An attorney may apply at any time but may not be
placed on the approved list except on the following dates: January 1, April 1,
July 1, or October 1 of any given year.
The Judge of the Bastrop County Court may remove an attorney from the
approved list at any time without prior notice if the Judge of the Bastrop County
Court at law believes that the attorney is not complying with the rules set out
herein or not adequately representing the client. The attorney may then request a
hearing before said judge within 20 days of receiving notice of removal from the
The court granting a request for appointment of counsel shall appoint counsel
from a public appointment list. The court, based on the exigencies of a particular
case, may appoint more than one attorney to a case. The list shall be called the
Bastrop County Court at Law Court Appointed Attorney List. Each list may be
further divided into sub-lists based on types of cases. For instance, the list may
include separate lists for adult criminal, juvenile, Child Protective Services,
probate and Guardianship cases, etc.
The attorneys shall be listed by date that the attorney was accepted onto the list.
The court making the appointment shall make appointments from among the next
five names on the list in the order in which the attorney’s names appear on the
list, unless the court determines that good cause exists to appoint another
attorney. 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.
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)(1), Code of Criminal Procedure;
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 guidelines;
4. has been found by a court to have provided ineffective assistance of
5. has violated a rule of professional responsibility;
6. has been convicted of or received a deferred adjudication for a felony
offense or criminal involving moral turpitude;
7. is under indictment or being formally charged with a felony offense or a
criminal involving moral turpitude; or
8. has intentionally misrepresented statements on the application for the
An attorney may be removed from the appointment list for another stated good cause.
1. If a judge/member of the juvenile board believes that an attorney has violated any
of the provisions listed in the paragraph above, the judge/juvenile board member
may refer an attorney to the board of judges/juvenile board 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.
2. Upon receiving an attorney referral, the board of judges/juvenile board 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/juvenile board will meet to
discuss the referral and give the attorney an opportunity to respond to the referral
in writing or in person or both.
3. After the board of judges/juvenile board meets and gives the attorney an
opportunity to be heard, the board of judges/juvenile board shall determine
whether the attorney should:
1. Remain on the appointment list at the same level;
2. Removed to an appointment list for indigent defendants charges with less
serious offenses; or
3. Be removed from appointment list altogether.
4. The attorney may be removed from the appointment list or moved to an
appointment list for indigent defendants charged with less serious offenses by a
majority vote of the judges/juvenile board members present. In addition, the
majority of the judges/juvenile board members 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/juvenile board members
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/juvenile board is final and may not be
appealed. An attorney who chooses to appeal the trial court’s disapproval of the
requested attorney’s fees shall file a motion with the Presiding Judge of the
Administrative Judicial Region within twenty(20) days of the trial court’s signing
of an order disapproving the requested court appointed attorney’s fee.
The appealing attorney shall set forth in his motion the following information:
1. The cause number, style and caption of the case;
2. The type and classification of the offense;
3. The date that the attorney was appointed;
4. The date on which the case was disposed;
5. Whether the case was disposed of by dismissal, a plea, a bench trial, or a
6. The date and the length of each court appearance within the nearest onetenth
of an hour, if the attorney is requesting to be compensated based
upon an hourly fee;
7. The date of each office conference or jail conference and the time spent
within the nearest one-tenth of an hour;
8. A copy of any itemization submitted to the trial court for the purpose of
payment including a statement of each date a service was rendered, the
type of service rendered, the time expended in the rendering of said
service, the expenses incurred, and a statement explaining any attached
vendor’s invoice or expert’s services invoice;
9. Any factors that required unusual effort on the attorney’s part to overcome
in the representation of the defendant including but not limited to: need
for an interpreter, uncharged crimes and Penal Code Sec. 12.45 issues,
multiple defendants, etc.;
10. The date that the fee order the subject of the motion was signed;
11. A detailed statement by the attorney explaining how the trial court’s order
disapproving the requested court appointment attorney’s fee deviated from
the county’s approved fee schedule adopted under the Texas Fair Defense
The appealing attorney shall attach the following documents to the motion:
1. A copy fo the trial court’s order disapproving the requested court
appointed attorney’s fee, if any, and
2. A copy of the county’s attorney fee schedule adopted pursuant to the
Texas Fair Defense Act.
5. The appealing attorney shall file the original of the motion with the clerk of the
court in which the case is pending, and shall file a certified copy of the motion
with the Presiding Judge of the Administrative Judicial Region and with the trial
court. The Presiding Judge of the Administrative Judicial Region shall abate any
ruling on the motion for a period of not less than ten (10) days from the filing of
the motion pending an opportunity for further review by the trial court. After
receiving the motion, the trial court may enter a revised payment order within the
ten (10) day period following the filing of the motion. The trial court shall file a
copy of the revised payment order with the Presiding Judge of the Administrative
Judicial Region. If a revised payment order is entered resolving the dispute to the
satisfaction of the appealing attorney, the attorney shall, within five (5) days of
the signing of the trial court’s revised payment order, file with the Presiding
Judge of the Administrative Judicial Region and the trial court a notice stating
that the matter remains subject to contest. The attorney shall attach a copy of the
trial court’s revised payment order to said notice. The trial court shall, within five
(5) days of the filing of the notice of contest, file written findings that set forth in
detail the reason(s) for disapproving the requested attorney’s fee. The findings
should substantially comply with the form attached as Appendix A. If the trial
Court does not enter a revised payment order, the trial court shall, within five (5)
days of the filing of the motion, file written findings that set forth in detail the
reason(s) for disapproving the requested attorney’s fee. The findings should
substantially comply with the form attached as Appendix A. If the Presiding
Judge of the Administrative Judicial Region has not received notice fo a
resolution of the appeal prior to the expiration of ten (10) days from the filing of
the motion, the Presiding Judge shall rule on the motion in accordance with the
provision of 26.05(c), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The Presiding Judge
shall sign an order that substantially conforms to the form order attached as
Fee and Expense Payment Process
Fee and Expense Payment Process for Juveniles
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 the Juvenile Board.
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:
1. 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.
Disposed of by:
Detention Hearing $100.00
Agreement $250.00 ($125.00 for each additional
case with same Respondent.)
Trial Attorney must submit itemized
statement outlining all time spent on
case and all expenses. The Court will
review the statement and authorize
payment accordingly based on the rate
of $75.00 per hour.
Bastrop Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Voucher.wpd (12/22/2009 11:21:50 AM) view
Bastrop Juvenile Board Fee Schedule for Juvenile Cases.doc (4/29/2010 2:12:38 PM) view