Culberson and Hudspeth Juvenile Board Plan





The Culberson-Hudspeth Juvenile Board has established the following procedures to insure the fair and timely appointment of counsel for indigent juveniles in compliance with

 S.B. 7 (Family Code Section 51.101), passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law in 2001. For the purpose of these rules, Bi-County shall mean Culberson and

Hudspeth Counties.

Prompt Detention Hearings



Prompt Detention Hearings


     When a child is taken into custody by law officers, the officers will immediately notify the Juvenile Probation department of the child s situation. The Probation Officer will

 immediately interview the child and call the magistrate. Prior to a detention hearing, the court must inform parent's of the child's right to appointed counsel if they are indigent.

 [Section 54.01(b), FC] If the County Judge is available the initial detention hearing will be held immediately. If the County Judge is not available but there is an available Justice

 of the Peace, the initial hearing will still be held immediately. By immediately, we mean within hours or at least the same day. This is because of the rural nature of our location.

 The detention facility is usually several hours away from our county, so travel time is an issue. If, for some reason,  the detention hearing can not be held immediately, it will be

held within the first 48 hours ,or the first working day if child is detained on Friday or Saturday, [Section 54.01(a), FC] of when the child is detained. The detention hearing is

to determine whether the child should continue to be detained or released into the custody of a responsible party.  Any detention hearing will be held before the County Judge

 unless the County Judge is unavailable. In that case it will be held before a Justice of the Peace or a magistrate appointed by the County Judge. The detention hearing can be

held without the presence of the child's parents or guardian, but in that case the court must immediately appoint council or a guardian ad litem before any detention

hearing is held.

Indigence Determination Standards




Indigence Determination Standards


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  100% of the Poverty Guidelines as revised annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Federal Register;

3.      The child’s parent(s) or other person(s) determined responsible for the support of the child is currently serving a sentence in a correctional institution, is currently residing in a public mental health facility, or is subject to a proceeding in which admission or commitment to such a mental health facility is sought; 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.

                            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



Minimum Attorney Qualifications

A.    The Juvenile Board 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.            General 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 complete a minimum of six hours of CLE in the area of juvenile law and procedure each year. All attorneys on the appointment list must file a certificate with the court administration office each year attesting to completion of the required CLE or submit documentation showing that the attorney is certified as a specialist in juvenile law. 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 may include activities accredited under Section 4, Article XII, State Bar Rules, self-study, teaching at an accredited continuing education activity, attendance at a law school class or legal research-based writing.  Continuing legal education activity completed during any reporting period  in excess of the minimum of six hours for such period may be applied to the following period’s requirement. The carryover provision applies to one year only;

4.      Must be knowledgeable in juvenile law and be aware of collateral consequences of a juvenile adjudication and disposition;

5.      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 4 years;

6.      An attorney must be able to receive email, fax, and telephone calls;

7.      An attorney must have the ability to produce typed motions and orders;

8.      An attorney shall notify the Juvenile Board 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.

9.   No later than October 15 of each year, each attorney must submit a written report on the form prescribed by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission describing the percentage of the attorney's practice time that was dedicated to work based on appointments accepted in the County or District for adult criminal cases and for 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 Texas Indigent Defense Commission’s online portal.

                              ii.            CINS Charges or Delinquent Conduct, and Commitment to TYC is not an Authorized Disposition:

1.      Meet the General Requirements;

2.      Must have a minimum 1 year of work experience in juvenile law;

3.      Must have observed or participated in the following:

a.       stipulated juvenile adjudications;

b.     contested juvenile adjudications;

c.       juvenile dispositions; and

d.      detention hearings; and

4.      Participated in at least 3 criminal or juvenile trials.

                            iii.            Delinquent Conduct, and Commitment to TYC Without a Determinate Sentence Is an Authorized Disposition:

1.      Meet General Requirements;

2.      Have a minimum 3 years of work experience in juvenile law;

3.      Participated in criminal or juvenile cases, of which at least some were tried to a jury verdict; and

                            iv.            Determinate Sentence Proceedings have been Initiated; or Proceedings for Discretionary Transfer to Criminal Court have been initiated:

1.      Meet General Requirements;

2.      Have a minimum 3 years of work experience in juvenile law;

3.      Participated in criminal or juvenile cases, of which at least one was tried to a jury verdict;

4.      Tried at least 1 criminal or juvenile case as lead counsel.

B.     Approval for Appointment Lists - An attorney must be approved by a majority of the Juvenile Board for each appointment list for which the attorney applies. If all approved attorneys on the appointment lists are unavailable, disqualified or removed, the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge may appoint counsel and submit that attorney's name for approval at the next Juvenile Board meeting.

C.     Removal from Appointment List - The Juvenile Board 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 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 child by the end of the first day after the date on which the attorney is appointed; and

2.      Interview the child as soon as practicable after the attorney is appointed;

                            iii.            Represent the child until:

1.      The case is terminated;

2.      The family retains an attorney;

3.      The attorney is relieved of his duties by the court or replaced by other counsel. 

                            iv.            Investigate, either personally or through an investigator, the facts of the case and be prepared to present any factual defense that may be reasonably and arguably available to the child;

                              v.            Brief the law of the case and be prepared to present any legal defense that may be reasonably and arguably available to the child;

                            vi.            Be prepared to negotiate with the prosecutor for the most favorable solution 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 keep the child informed of the status of the case; and

                              x.            Advise the child 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.

                            xi.            Perform the attorney’s duty owed to the child in accordance with these procedures, the requirements of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Family Code, 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.

F. Emergency Appointment: If no attorney who meets the continuing legal education or board certification requirements contained in this Subchapter is available by the time an attorney must be appointed in the case, another attorney may be appointed. The person making an appointment under this Section shall give priority to an attorney with experience in criminal or juvenile law, respectively.



Prompt Appointment of Counsel


 Prompt Appointment of Councel

When a Child is in Custody

1.  When a child is taken into custody by law enforcement officers and it is determined that a crime has been commited, they will immediately notify the Juvenile Probation Officer of the child's custodial status. The probation Officer will immediately interview the child as to the child's family or responsible person's ability to employ an attorney. If the child is not able to inform the probation officer of whether his family can afford an attorney, the probation officer shall immediately advise the Juvenile Judge or other magistrate that an attorney needs to be appointed. An attorney appointed to represent the child at a detention hearing shall continue to represent the child on the merits of the case if the child is detained until the case is terminated or other counsel is provided, unless the Court finds that there is good reason not to continue the representation.

2.  If the court determines at the initial or subsequent detention hearing that the child's parents can afford an attorney, the  court shall order the parents to either reimburse the county for the attorney's fees, or employ an attorney of their choice pursuant to Family Code Section 51.10 (d).

3.  The Chief Juvenile Probation Officer shall be responsible for gathering the information regarding indigence and presenting the same to the court for its consideration. Where there is lack of information, the court shall appoint counsel until further investigation can be made regarding the indigence status.

4. 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.

When a Child is not in Custody

1.  If a child is not in custody, released after intake or referred to the juvenile court without being in custody, no attorney will be appointed until a petition for adjudication or discretionary transfer is filed.  

2.  If a petition is filed, the court shall determine if the family is indigent, and appoint an attorney for the child within five working days after the petition is served on the child. Any petition served on the child shall provide information to the child and family as to how they may request the prompt appointment of an attorney, if they are unable to afford one.

3.  In the event the family takes no action and if the child and adults appear for the initial court hearing without counsel, the juvenile court shall determine indigence and, if it is determined the family is indigent the Judge shall  appoint an attorney for the child at that time. If an attorney is not available, the hearing will be postponed and resheduled as soon as one is available.

Attorney Selection Process


 Attorney Selection Process


     Due to the rural nature and vast size of Culberson and Hudspeth Counties, the limited number of attorneys available for indigent appointments, and the necessity for

 appointing attorneys from other counties, an Alternative Appointment Program is adopted pursuant to Family Code 51.101 (b) (1) (B) and Family Code 51.101 (g)(2)(D). 

     Only attorneys qualified will represent juveniles in Culberson and Hudspeth Countys. Because of our location there are not very many attorneys available and many

 times there will be only one attorney available. All attorneys eligible will be attorneys who are qualified to be appointed in the County and Districts Courts. As long as the

 attorney meets the qualifications to represent juveniles, it is up to the Juvenile Judge to make a final decision.  In the event there is more than one attorney available, the Judge

 will take into account every possiblility to make the appointment fair to the attorneys with regards of what is in the child's best interest. Lanquage will be a considertion if the

child does not speak english and every precaution will be taken to assure the child understands the proceedings. 


Judicial Removal from Case:

                                                The judge presiding over a case involving a child 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 child and the charges against the child indicate that another qualified attorney is more appropriate for the child under these rules;

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

5.      The child requests an attorney, other than trial counsel, for appeal; or

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


 Appointment of Replacement Counsel - Whenever appointed counsel is removed under this section, replacement counsel shall immediately be selected and appointed.



Fee and Expense Payment Process


Fee and Expense Payment Process


Each attorney must submit a court's attorney fee voucher to the Juvenile Judge, Art. 26.05 (c) CCP. No payment will be made until such form is submitted. If the Judge

 disapproves the requested amount of payment, the judge shall make written findings stating the amount that the judge approves and each reason for approving an amount

 different from the requested amount, ART. 26.05 (c), CCP. An attorney whose request for payment is disapproved or is not acted upon within 60 days of submission may

 appeal the disapproval or failure to act by filing a motion with the presiding judge of the adminiistrative judicial region. Some expenses incurred without prior approval shall be

 reimbursed if expenses are reasonabley necessary and reasonably incurred. Arts. 26.05(d) and 26.052(h), CCP. Prior approval must be obtained before expenses are incurred

 if possible.

Payments to attorneys appointed to represent juvenile offenders in Culberson and Hudspeth Countys shall be in accordance with the schedule of fees adopted by the Juvenile

 Board. Art. 26.05 (b) CCP.  Fee schedule is included with forms. 







Plan Documents
Culberson Hudspeth Juvenile Board Affidavit of Indigence.pdf (5/19/2010 9:52:51 AM) view
Culberson Hudspeth Juvenile Board Attorney Application for Appointment.pdf (5/19/2010 9:53:08 AM) view
Culberson Hudspeth Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Schedule.docx (6/28/2010 11:37:30 AM) view
Culberson Hudspeth Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Voucher.docx (6/28/2010 11:37:39 AM) view
Culberson Hudspeth Juvenile Board Juvenile Intake Form.pdf (5/19/2010 10:05:57 AM) view
Culberson Hudspeth Juvenile Board Magistrates Warning Form.pdf (5/19/2010 9:53:18 AM) view