Borden and Scurry Juvenile Board Plan
Prompt Detention Hearings
1/28/2010

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
1/28/2010

In determining whether a child is indigent, the court or the court’s designee shall appoint counsel if it determines that the applicant’s net income falls below the current Federal Poverty Guidelines (www.ocpp.org.poverty/index.htm).  If the applicant’s net income does not fall below the current Federal Poverty Guidelines, the court may consider the child’s income, the child's parents' income, source of income, assets, property owned, outstanding obligations, necessary expenses, the number and ages of dependents of the child's parents and other income that is available to the child. 

 

            If the information obtained from the Affidavit of Indigence fails to establish that the child or the child's parents' are indigent, the court will deny the request.  The original Affidavit of Indigence and Order will be filed, and a copy given to the child and the child's parent(s).

 

            If the applicant is indigent, counsel will be appointed according to the terms of this Plan.  After a child has been determined to be indigent, it will be presumed that he remains indigent throughout the course of the proceeding against him.  However, the determination of indigency can be re-evaluated if the child's financial circumstances change.

Minimum Attorney Qualifications
11/1/2013
 
In appointing counsel pursuant to the procedures and terms set forth below, the court or the court’s designee will appoint only attorneys who are qualified to handle the particular case for which he or she is appointed.  Attorneys who satisfy the standards set forth below will be presumed to be competent and qualified. 
 
            The court, in a proper circumstance, may consider exceptions to these qualifications and may appoint an attorney not meeting these qualifications if the attorney has other qualifications or experience that establish his competency to handle a particular case. 
 
            The court or the court’s designee will appoint counsel for an indigent juvenile pursuant to the following plan, which is designed to insure that all indigent juvenile's receive competent representation.  All attorneys appointed under this Plan will be notified immediately of the appointment and reminded of the duty to attempt to contact the juvenile by the end of the next business day.
                                                                                                                 
            The court shall appoint counsel from a rotating list of names of qualified attorneys, each of whom has requested or consented to be included on the list and meets or exceeds the objective qualifications set by the court.  Attorneys must be approved by a majority of the Juvenile Board to be placed on or removed from the appointment list.  All attorneys who are qualified herein to handle criminal cases are also deemed qualified to handle juvenile cases.  To qualify to be included in the rotating list of names of qualified attorneys, each attorney must:
1.      be licensed by the Supreme Court of the State of Texas and be a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas;
2.      have been engaged in the practice of law a minimum of one year, or otherwise be supervised  by, or in association with, an attorney who has been in private practice for a minimum of at least one year, as of the time he has requested or consented to be included on the list;
3.      periodically attend and/or review criminal and/or juvenile law C.L.E. updates and seminars, but not less than six hours of C.L.E. per year
4.    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. 

 

 
The general requirements shall apply to attorneys seeking appointment in the following cases: 
1.      CINS Charges or Delinquent Conduct, and Commitment to TYC Is Not an Authorized Disposition
2.      Delinquent Conduct, and Commitment to TYC Without a Determinate Sentence Is
                  an Authorized Disposition, and
3.      Determinate Sentence Proceedings have been Initiated; or Proceedings for Discretionary Transfer to Criminal Court Have Been Initiated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prompt Appointment of Counsel
11/1/2013

A.    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.

                                          ii.      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.

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

                                        iv.      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.  

                                          v.      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.

                                        vi.      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.  

                                      vii.      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 unless no petition to adjudicate or motion to modify disposition is filed within a reasonable time.

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

                     ix.  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. 

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 (Affidavit of Indigence) previously gathered 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 TYC 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
2/2/2010

In appointing counsel pursuant to the procedures and terms set forth below, the court or the court’s designee will appoint only attorneys who are qualified to handle the particular case for which he or she is appointed.  Attorneys who satisfy the standards set forth below will be presumed to be competent and qualified.

 

            The court, in a proper circumstance, may consider exceptions to these qualifications and may appoint an attorney not meeting these qualifications if the attorney has other qualifications or experience that establish his competency to handle a particular case. 

 

The court shall appoint counsel from a rotating list of names of qualified attorneys, each of whom has requested or consented to be included on the list and meets or exceeds the objective qualifications set by the court.  All attorneys who are qualified herein to handle criminal cases are also deemed qualified to handle juvenile cases.  To qualify to be included in the rotating list of names of qualified attorneys, each attorney must:

1)                  be licensed by the Supreme Court of the State of Texas and be a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas;

2)                  have been engaged in the practice of law a minimum of one year, or otherwise be supervised  by, or in association with, an attorney who has been in private practice for a minimum of at least one year, as of the time he has requested or consented to be included on the list;

3)                  periodically attend and/or review criminal and/or juvenile law C.L.E. updates and seminars as may be required by law.

Fee and Expense Payment Process
8/19/2010

A.    Court appointed counsel shall be compensated for all reasonable and appropriate services rendered in representing the child. 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 and juvenile 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.    The Court, on its own motion, may enter an order paying the appointed attorney pursuant to the fee schedule adopted and approved by the judges hearing criminal and juvenile cases in the county. 

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

 iii.    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 state the amount of payment that the judge approves and the 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 advise the attorney of the reasons for denial.

                            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.

Plan Documents
Borden Scurry Juvenile Board Affidavit of Indigence.doc (2/2/2010 5:03:13 PM) view
Borden Scurry Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Schedule.pdf (8/2/2010 3:26:03 PM) view
Borden Scurry Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Voucher.doc (8/19/2010 11:56:46 AM) view