Brazos Juvenile Board Plan
Preamble
7/14/2010
To implement the Texas Fair Defense Act, the following Local Rules of Administration are adopted under Texas Government Code §74.093, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 26.04 et. seq., and Texas Family Code §51.102.  These rules shall be effective July 15, 2010, subject to the approval of the Presiding Judge of the Second Administrative Judicial Region.  All prior indigent defense plans adopted are superseded by these rules.
 
Rule 1.           Applicability
 
1.01    Scope.  These rules will govern:
 
*     *      *
 
(b)       civil procedures relating to the appointment of counsel to represent indigent juvenile offenders in Brazos County. 
 
1.02    Limitation.  Nothing contained in these rules shall be interpreted to require or compel appointment of counsel in any criminal case or juvenile case involving a Class C misdemeanor.
 
1.03    Prior orders.  Nothing contained in these rules shall affect the validity of any court order entered prior to the effective date of these rules.  
 
Prompt Detention Hearings
7/14/2010

 

5.10     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
3/9/2020

5.09      Determination of Indigency.  The juvenile referee or (juvenile judge in the referee’s absence) shall determine a juvenile’s indigency in accordance with the Texas Juvenile Justice Code and the standards established by Section 2 above.  The income and assets of the juvenile’s parent or other person responsible for the juvenile’s support must be used in determining whether the child is indigent.

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Rule 2. Determination of Indigency

2.01      Definitions.

 

(a).       “Indigent” means a person who is not financially able to employ counsel, using the financial standards established in these rules.

 

(b).       “Net household income” means all income of the defendant and spousal income actually available to the Defendant.  Such income shall include: take-home wages and salary (gross income earned minus those deductions required by law or as a condition of employment); overtime, severance pay, unemployment benefits, financial aid assistance, disability or workman’s compensation;  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, regular payments from Social Security, veteran’s benefits, food, rent or household expenses received in lieu of wages or as a result of any agreement to share household expenses, income of persons claiming defendant as a tax exemption for federal tax purposes, tax refunds, gifts, one-time insurance payments or compensation for injury.  Seasonal or temporary income shall be considered on an annualized basis, averaged together with periods in which the defendant has no income or lesser income.

 

(c).       “Non-exempt assets and property” means cash in the defendant’s possession or control, stocks and bonds, accounts at financial institutions, and equity in real or personal property that can be readily converted to cash, other than assets and property exempt from attachment under state law.

 

(d).       “Household” means all individuals who are actually dependent on the defendant for financial support or upon whom the Defendant is dependent for financial support. 

 

(e).       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.

 

2.02      Financial Standards for Determining Indigency.  The following financial standards shall be used to determine whether a defendant is indigent and shall be applied equally to each defendant in the county.

 

            (a).       A defendant is considered indigent if:

 

(1)     the defendant’s net household income does not exceed 125% of the Poverty Guidelines as established and revised annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Federal Register;  and

 

(2)     the value of the non-exempt assets and property owned by the defendant:

 

a.       does not exceed $1,500;

 

b.       does not exceed $3,000 in the case of a defendant whose household includes a person who is age 60 or over, disabled, or institutionalized; or

 

c.       is insufficient to pay the cost of retaining competent private legal representation in Brazos County for the offense(s) with which the defendant is charged.

 

(3)     A defendant is considered indigent if, at the time of requesting appointed counsel, the defendant or the defendant’s dependents (biological or adopted child under the age of 18) have been determined to be eligible to receive food stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, or public housing.

 

(4)     A defendant is considered indigent if the defendant is:

 

a.       currently serving a sentence in a correctional institution, residing in a public mental health facility, or is the subject of a proceeding in which admission or commitment to such a mental health facility is sought; and

 

b.       has no non-exempt assets or property in excess of the amounts specified in Rule 2.02(a)(2).

 

2.03      Partial Indigency.  A defendant determined to be partially indigent shall be eligible for appointment of counsel only upon payment to the county of the designated fee schedule as set forth in this Plan for misdemeanors, felonies, or a combination thereof.  If a defendant determined to be partially indigent pleads or is found guilty, the county may order the defendant to comply with a payment schedule to reimburse the county for all indigent defense costs in the case.

 

(a).       A defendant shall be considered partially indigent if the defendant does not meet the standards for indigence set forth in paragraph 2 and:

 

(1).       The defendant’s net household income is greater than 125% but does not exceed 175% of the Poverty Guidelines as established and revised annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Federal Register; and

 

(2).       The value of the non-exempt assets and property owned by the defendant:

 

a.       does not exceed $2,500.00;

 

b.       does not exceed $5,000.00 in the case of a defendant whose household includes a person who is age 60 or over, disabled, or institutionalized; or

 

c.       does not exceed the estimated costs of obtaining private legal representation on the offense(s) with which the defendant is charged.

 

(b).       A defendant who does not meet any of the financial standards above shall nevertheless be determined partially indigent if the defendant is otherwise unable to retain private counsel without substantial hardship to the defendant or the defendant’s dependents, taking into account the nature of the criminal charge(s), the anticipated complexity of the defense, the estimated cost of obtaining competent private legal representation for the matter charged, and the amount needed for the support of the defendant and the defendant’s dependents.

 

2.04      Limitation.  The judge determining indigency shall not consider whether the defendant has posted bail, except to the extent that it reflects on the defendant’s financial circumstances.

 

2.05      Procedure.  Each person arrested who chooses to request the appointment of counsel, shall complete a sworn Application for Court Appointed Attorney, on a form approved by the county court at law and district judges of Brazos County (See Appendix for approved forms).  The completed form shall be delivered to the judge or judge’s designee and utilized in determining the indigency of the requesting person. If counsel is appointed, the defendant shall have the continuing duty to notify the court immediately of any material change in the defendant’s financial circumstances.

 

2.06      Reimbursement.  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 if it does not impose a payment to be made through the Probation Department to the Fund for Indigent Defense of Brazos County.  §26.05(g), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

 

If convicted, the court may require a defendant who is unable to pay a fine or costs of court to discharge all or part of the fine or costs by performing community service with a governmental entity or nonprofit organization that provides services to the general public that enhance social welfare and the general well-being of the community.  The governmental entity or nonprofit organization that accepts a defendant must agree to supervise the defendant in the performance of the defendant’s work and report on the defendant’s work to the court-related services office.

 

2.07      Review of Indigency.  The defendant is presumed to remain indigent for the remainder of the case unless a material change in the defendant’s circumstances occurs.

 

(a)     The defendant’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 defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or the attorney representing the state.  The defendant’s indigent status will be presumed not to have changed. The presumption can be rebutted in the review proceedings based on the following:

     

(1)     Evidence of a material change in the defendant’s financial circumstances as a result of which the defendant does not meet any of the standards for indigence contained in these rules; or

 

(2)     Additional information regarding the defendant’s financial circumstances that shows that the defendant does not meet any of the standards for indigence contained in these rules.

 

(b)     If a defendant 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.  The court may take into consideration, a defendant’s subsequent ability to retain counsel, to require the defendant to reimburse court appointed attorney’s fees.

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Minimum Attorney Qualifications
10/15/2014

5.04      Qualifications.  Each attorney appointed to represent an indigent juvenile under the contract shall meet and maintain throughout such representation each of the following minimum qualifications.

 

(a)     Be an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and maintain that license in good standing throughout the term of the contract.

 

(b)     If only one attorney is contracted, that contract attorney must be a resident of Brazos County, Texas; if a law firm is contracted, the contract firm must maintain its principal office located in Brazos County, Texas.

 

(c)     The contract attorney or any member of a contract law firm may not be or have been the recipient of any disciplinary action by the State Bar of Texas or any other attorney licensing authority of any state or the United States.

 

(d)     The contract attorney or any member of a contract law firm may not have ever been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.  For the purposes of this requirement, “convicted” includes, but is not limited to, serving any period of probation, community supervision, or deferred adjudication supervision under any order of a court of record, regardless of whether the charges were ultimately dismissed or not.

 

(e)     The contract attorney or any member of a contract firm may not be currently or at any time during the term of the contract delinquent in the payments of obligations to the State Bar of Texas or to any taxing authority, including Brazos County, the State of Texas and the United States of America.

 

(f)      The contract attorney or any member of a contract firm may not be currently or at any time during the term of the contract delinquent in the payment of any child support obligation.

 

(g)     The contract attorney or contract firm must maintain a policy of malpractice insurance in a coverage amount for each claim of at least $500,000.  This policy of insurance must survive the termination of the attorney’s or firm’s contract for any claim arising from actions occurring during the term of the contract.

 

(h)     The contract attorney or any member of the contract firm must comply with the minimum continuing legal education requirements of these rules.

 

(i)       The contract attorney or any member of the contract firm must meet the following minimum experience requirements to represent juveniles with charges of children in need of supervision (CINS) and delinquent conduct, including those in which commitment to the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) is and is not authorized disposition, determinate sentence is an authorized disposition, and proceedings seeking discretionary transfer to a criminal court:

 

(1)     Must have a minimum of 3 years work experience in juvenile law;

 

(2)     Must have participated in at least 10 criminal juvenile cases, of which at least 3 were tried to a jury verdict;

 

(3)     Must have tried at least 3 criminal or juvenile cases as lead counsel.

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5.07      Reporting Compliance with Minimum continuing Legal Education Requirements.

 

(a)     Reporting Period.  In determining compliance with the minimum continuing legal education requirements of these rules, the period used shall be the same as the MCLE compliance year used by the State Bar of Texas [See State Bar Rules, Art. XII, Sec. 2(L)].

 

(b)     Reporting Requirement.  Not later than the last day of an attorney’s birth month each year, any attorney providing service to indigent juveniles under the contract must submit to the Local Administrative Judge:

 

(1)     An affidavit signed by the attorney detailing the juvenile continuing legal education activities completed in the prior year, with a copy of the State Bar of Texas Minimum Continuing Legal Education Annual Verification Report covering the reporting period (see Appendix for form); or

 

(2)     An affidavit signed by the attorney, that the attorney is currently certified in juvenile law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (See Appendix for form).

(c)     Carryover Limited to One Year.  Continuing Legal Education activity completed during any reporting period in excess of the minimum six hour requirement for such period may be applied to the following period’s requirement.  The carryover provision applies to one (1) year only.

 

(d)     Initial Reporting Period.  Continuing legal education activity completed within a two-year period immediately preceding an attorney’s initial reporting period may be used to meet the educational requirements for the initial year.

 

5.08      Appointment of Non-Contract Attorneys.  In those circumstances where:

 

(a)     the juvenile is charged with delinquent conduct arising from the criminal offense of Capital Murder;

 

(b)     the contract attorney or law firm is disqualified from representation of juvenile;

 

(c)     the contract attorney or law firm has a conflict of interest under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Conduct; or

 

(d)     the contract has been terminated  or expired without renewal.

 

An attorney shall be appointed from the public appointment list established in Section 3 above appropriate to the criminal offense forming the basis of the alleged delinquent conduct.  The juvenile judge or referee making such appointment shall utilize the ”alternative program” or Ad Hoc program as set forth in Section 3.

No later than October 15, each attorney must submit 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 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.


 
Prompt Appointment of Counsel
10/29/2019

5.10      Appointment of Counsel.  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 

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.

(a)    Appointment of Counsel for Children Not Detained at Intake

If the juvenile 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.

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 a secure correctional facility has been filed.

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.

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.

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.

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



Attorney Selection Process
10/29/2019

5.01      Method of Appointment.  Attorneys shall be appointed to represent indigent juvenile offenders using an “alternative program” as described in Article 26.04(g) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, by use of an Ad Hoc Distribution as described in §3.06(e) or as further specified in this rule.

 

5.02      Contract Attorneys.  Upon approval by the Judges of the District Courts and County Courts at Law in Brazos County of the individual or firm selected to provide indigent juvenile representation, the Commissioners Court of Brazos County may enter into a contract with the selected individual or law firm to provide the majority of all legal representation to indigent juvenile offenders entitled to representation under the Texas Juvenile Justice Code.  During the term of such contract, the contract attorney(s) shall be appointed to represent any juvenile offenders determined to be indigent according to these rules, except:

 

(a)     contract attorneys shall not be appointed or obligated under the contract to provide representation to juveniles charged with delinquent conduct arising from the criminal offense of Capital Murder;

 

(b)     contract attorneys shall not be appointed or obligated under the contract to provide representation to juveniles when the contract attorney or contract firm is disqualified from such representation or has a conflict of interest under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Conduct. 

 

5.03      Terms of Contract.  Any contract executed by the Commissioners Court of Brazos County and an attorney or law firm under these rules shall provide:

 

(a)     The contract shall provide a set term of one year, renewable upon the consent of (1) the District Judges and County Court at Law Judges, (2) the Commissioners Court, and (3) the attorney or law firm selected.

 

(b)     The attorney or law firm selected shall agree to make the representation of indigent juveniles the priority of their practice and file few, if any, motions for continuance in juvenile cases to which they have been appointed on the grounds of a conflicting setting in another court.

 

(c)     The attorney or law firm selected shall agree to meet or exceed the IJA-ABA Standards for Juvenile Justice relating to the quality of service provided by court-appointed attorneys to indigent juveniles.  (A copy of these standards is attached as Appendix I).  The contract shall state a policy to assure that the attorney or firm selected shall not provide representation to indigent juveniles when doing so would involve a conflict of interest.

 

(d)     The attorney or firm selected will be solely responsible for all routine expenses associated with the representation of indigent juveniles to which they are appointed under the contract.  Routine expenses include paralegal and secretarial services, library expenses, office supply and equipment expenses, telephone services, facsimile transmission services, copying expenses, postage and parcel delivery expenses, transportation expenses incurred within Brazos County and the counties contiguous to Brazos County, and expenses associated with serving subpoenas on and contacting witnesses.  Prior written approval by the juvenile court or referee is required for reimbursement of other expenses including investigation and expert witness services.  Requests for approval of investigative expenses and expenses for expert testimony shall be filed in the appropriate court setting forth good cause for such investigation and a justification of the cost.  There shall be no additional compensation or reimbursement due on any case without the express, written approval of the Juvenile Court having jurisdiction over the case.

 

(e)     The amount of compensation under the terms of the contract shall be stated in the contract and payable at such frequency as determined by the contract, with no provision for advances.  The contract shall require the contract attorney or firm to submit an itemized fee voucher to be approved by the juvenile judge prior to being forwarded to the County Judge for approval and payment.

 

(f)      The contract shall identify the attorneys who will perform legal representation and prohibit the substitution of other attorneys without prior approval by the juvenile court and the Commissioners Court of Brazos County.  Nothing in the contract shall prohibit the contract attorney or firm from being relieved or replaced in accordance with the Texas Family Code or the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

 

(g)     The contract shall set the maximum number of cases or workload each attorney may be required to handle pursuant to the contract.

 

5.04      Qualifications.  Each attorney appointed to represent an indigent juvenile under the contract shall meet and maintain throughout such representation each of the following minimum qualifications.

 

(a)     Be an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and maintain that license in good standing throughout the term of the contract.

 

(b)     If only one attorney is contracted, that contract attorney must be a resident of Brazos County, Texas; if a law firm is contracted, the contract firm must maintain its principal office located in Brazos County, Texas.

 

(c)     The contract attorney or any member of a contract law firm may not be or have been the recipient of any disciplinary action by the State Bar of Texas or any other attorney licensing authority of any state or the United States.

 

(d)     The contract attorney or any member of a contract law firm may not have ever been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.  For the purposes of this requirement, “convicted” includes, but is not limited to, serving any period of probation, community supervision, or deferred adjudication supervision under any order of a court of record, regardless of whether the charges were ultimately dismissed or not.

 

(e)     The contract attorney or any member of a contract firm may not be currently or at any time during the term of the contract delinquent in the payments of obligations to the State Bar of Texas or to any taxing authority, including Brazos County, the State of Texas and the United States of America.

 

(f)      The contract attorney or any member of a contract firm may not be currently or at any time during the term of the contract delinquent in the payment of any child support obligation.

 

(g)     The contract attorney or contract firm must maintain a policy of malpractice insurance in a coverage amount for each claim of at least $500,000.  This policy of insurance must survive the termination of the attorney’s or firm’s contract for any claim arising from actions occurring during the term of the contract.

 

(h)     The contract attorney or any member of the contract firm must comply with the minimum continuing legal education requirements of these rules.

 

(i)       The contract attorney or any member of the contract firm must meet the following minimum experience requirements to represent juveniles with charges of children in need of supervision (CINS) and delinquent conduct, including those in which commitment to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) is and is not authorized disposition, determinate sentence is an authorized disposition, and proceedings seeking discretionary transfer to a criminal court:

 

(1)     Must have a minimum of 3 years work experience in juvenile law;

 

(2)     Must have participated in at least 10 criminal juvenile cases, of which at least 3 were tried to a jury verdict;

 

(3)     Must have tried at least 3 criminal or juvenile cases as lead counsel.

 

5.05      Procedure for Award of Contract.  Unless a contract is a renewal of an existing contract under these rules, the following procedures shall be used in awarding contracts to an attorney or law firm:

 

(a)     Not later than July 1st, the County Purchasing Office will prepare and submit to the Commissioners Court a formal request for Proposals.  Once approved by the Commissioners Court, the Request for Proposals will be mailed to every licensed attorney residing in Brazos County and to the Brazos County Bar Association.

 

(b)     Upon passing of the deadline for submission, the proposals will be reviewed by the Commissioners Court and the Judges of the District Courts and County Courts at Law.

 

(c)     Once the Commissioners court and the Judges of the District Courts and County Courts at Law have had a reasonable opportunity to review the proposals, the Commissioners Court shall select an individual or firm and submit the selected proposal to the District and County Court at Law Judges for approval.  If approved by the District Court and County Court at Law Judges, the Commissioners Court may accept the proposal of the selected individual or firm and enter into a contract for services in accordance with the requirements of these rules.

 

(d)     The criteria for selection and approval of the individual or firm shall not be based solely upon the low bid.  Consideration of the selection must be based upon at least the following factors:

 

(1)     experience and qualifications of the individual or firm submitting the proposal;

 

(2)     past performance of the individual or firm submitting the proposal in representing juveniles;

 

(3)     disciplinary history of the individual or firm submitting the proposal with the state bar;

 

(4)     ability of the individual or firm submitting the proposal to comply with the terms of the contract; and

 

(5)     the cost for the services.

 

(e)     Upon execution of the contract by the individual or firm selected and the Commissioners Court, the Juvenile Courts will exclusively appoint the contract attorney or law firm, subject to the limitations described in these rules.

 

(f)      It is the intent of these rules that the contract be executed prior to the final adoption by the Commissioners Court of the county’s annual budget and that the term of the contract be concurrent with the county’s fiscal year.

 

5.06      Procedure for Renewal of Contract

 

(a)     Not later than June 1st prior to the expiration of the contract, the contract attorney or firm will prepare and submit to the County Purchasing Office a letter of intent to renew the contract, specifying any proposed changes to the terms of the contract.

(b)     The County Purchasing Office shall immediately forward to the Commissioners Court and the Judges of the District Courts and County Courts at Law a copy of the contract attorney’s or firm’s letter of intent to renew the contract and any proposed changes to the terms of the contract.

 

(c)     The Judges of the District Courts and County Courts at Law shall review the contract attorney’s letter of intent to renew the contract.  If a majority of the Judges of the District Courts and County Courts at Law object to renewal of the contract, the Local Administrative District Judge shall prepare and deliver a letter of objection to renewal of the contract to the County Judge no later than July 1st prior to the expiration of the current contract.

 

(d)     If no letter of objection by the Judges of the District Courts and County Courts at Law to renewal of the contract is received by the County Judge by July 1st prior to expiration of the current contract, the Commissioners Court may renew the contract on such terms that do not conflict with these rules.

 

(e)     If a letter of objection by the Judges of the District Courts and County Courts at Law to renewal of the contract is received by the County Judge on or before July 1st prior to expiration of the contract, the process for award of a new contract specified in Rule 4.05 above shall immediately begin.

 

(f)      It is the intent of these rules that any renewal contract be executed prior to the final adoption by the Commissioners Court of the county’s annual budget and that the term of the contract be concurrent with the county’s fiscal year.

 

(g)     Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in these rules, no contract may be renewed more than four (4) times without rebidding the contract under Rule 5.05 above.

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Fee and Expense Payment Process
8/23/2010
5.03     Terms of Contract.  Any contract executed by the Commissioners Court of Brazos County and an attorney or law firm under these rules shall provide:
 
                        *     *     *
 
(d)        The attorney or firm selected will be solely responsible for all routine expenses associated with the representation of indigent juveniles to which  they are appointed under the contract.  Routine expenses include paralegal and secretarial services, library expenses, office supply and equipment expenses, telephone services, facsimile transmission services, copying expenses, postage and parcel delivery expenses, transportation expenses incurred within Brazos County and the counties contiguous to Brazos County, and expenses associated with serving subpoenas on and contacting witnesses.  Prior written approval by the juvenile court or referee is required for reimbursement of other expenses including investigation and expert witness services.  Requests for approval of investigative expenses and expenses for expert testimony shall be filed in the appropriate court setting forth good cause for such investigation and a justification of the cost.  There shall be no additional compensation or reimbursement due on any case without the express, written approval of the Juvenile Court having jurisdiction over the case. 
 
            (e)        The amount of compensation under the terms of the contract shall be stated in the contract and payable at such frequency as determined by the contract, with no provision for advances.  The contract shall require the contract attorney or firm to submit an itemized fee voucher to be approved by the juvenile judge prior to being forwarded to the County Judge for approval and payment.
 
            *     *     *
 
5.07     Appointment of Non-Contract Attorneys.  In those circumstances where:

 

(a)                the juvenile is charged with charged with delinquent conduct arising from the criminal offense of Capital Murder; 

 

(b)               the contract attorney or law firm is disqualified from representation of a juvenile;

 

(c)                the contract attorney or law firm has a conflict of interest under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Conduct;  or 

 

(d)               the contract has been terminated or expired without renewal

 

an attorney shall be appointed from the public appointment list established in Rule 3.02 above appropriate to the criminal offense

forming the basis of the alleged delinquent conduct.  The juvenile judge or referee making such appointment shall utilize the

rotation system specified in Rule 3.06 above.  Each attorney appointed must meet the minimum objective qualifications

established by the Brazos County Indigent Defense Plan (for adult criminal defendants) for the list from which the attorney was

appointed.  The attorney shall be compensated and reimbursed for expenses according to the trial and appellate fee schedules

established by the Brazos County Indigent Defense Plan (for adult criminal defendants). 

 
 5.12     Compensation of Non-contract Appointed Counsel.  Compensation of any non-contract appointed counsel shall be according to the fee schedule established under Rule 4 appropriate to the highest level offense with which the juvenile is charged.
 
Rule 4.            Attorney Fee Schedule and Compensation of Appointed Attorneys
 
4.01     Trial Fee Schedule.  Brazos County will pay appointed counsel for all trial time reasonably necessary for adequate representation of the defendant, as approved by a judge, according to the following fee schedule adopted as provided under Article 26.05(b) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure:
 
 
TRIAL SERVICES FEE SCHEDULE
 
Type of Service
 
Fixed Fee
 
Daily Rate
 
Hourly Rate
(Min - Max)
 
JURY                         
 
Capital (Death Penalty)-Lead Counsel
 
$25,000
 
$800
 
$75-$100
 
Capital (Death Penalty)-Assoc. Counsel
 
$18,000
 
$700
 
$60-$75
 
Capital (Non death penalty) - Lead Counsel
 
$10,000
 
$700
 
$60-$75
 
Capital (Non death penalty) – Assoc. Counsel
 
$7,500
 
$600
 
$45-$60
 

Non-capital 3g/Enhanced Felony

 
$3,000
 
$800
 
$75-$100
 
Other Felony
 
$1,250
 
$500
 
$50-$65
 
Misdemeanor
 
$750
 
$300
 
$45-$50
 
Contested Competency
 
$1,000
 
$400
 
$60-$75
 
BENCH
Contested 3g/Enhanced Felony Trial
 
$1,500
 
$600
 
$75-$100
 
Contested Other Felony Trial
Contested Felony MTR/MTP
 
$500
 
$300
 
$50-$60
 
Uncontested 3g/Enhanced Felony Plea
Uncontested 3g/Enhanced MTR/MTP
 
 
$750
 
 
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---
 
 
Uncontested Other Felony Plea
Uncontested Other Felony MTR/MTP
 
$400
 
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Contested Misdemeanor Trial
Contested Misdemeanor MTR/MTP
 
$400
 
$250
 
$45-$60
 
Uncontested Misdemeanor Plea
Uncontested Misdemeanor MTR/MTP
 
$200
 
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“Uncontested” Competency
 
$400
 
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4.02     Compensation for Services Not Provided by Schedule. 
 
(a)        Multiple Cases for Single Defendant.  In determining the amount of compensation for disposition of multiple cases involving a single defendant, the court may award an amount greater than the established fixed fee.
 
(b)        Other Services.  Services not specifically described above (e.g., bond reductions, pre-filing dismissals, defense of motions to deny bail or revoke bond, dismissals, habeas corpus, etc.) will be paid on a rate basis using a daily or hourly rate most appropriate to the circumstances.  Any request for compensation on a rate basis must be accompanied by an itemized statement showing the amount of time actually expended by the attorney on the case.
 
4.03     Appellate Fee Schedule.  Brazos County will pay appointed counsel for appellate services only on a fixed fee basis, unless otherwise approved by a judge for good cause, according to the following fee schedule adopted as provided under Article 26.05(b) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure:
 
 
APPELLATE SERVICES FEE SCHEDULE
 
Type of Case
 
Motion for New Trial and Brief
 
Oral Argument and Motion for Rehearing
 
Total
 
Capital Felony
 
$10,000
 
$2,500
 
$12,500
 
Non-Capital 3g/Enhanced Felony
 
$1,750
 
$750
 
$2,500
 
Non-Capital Other Felony
 
$1,250
 
$500
 
$1,750
 
Misdemeanor
 
$800
 
$400
 
$1,200
 
4.04     Incidental Expenses.Appointed counsel, both trial and appellate, shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary incidental expenses such as copying, telephone, mileage, etc., incurred without prior approval of the Court.
 
4.05     Investigations and Expert Testimony.   Counsel appointed in a noncapital case shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses, including expenses for investigation and for mental health and other experts.  Expenses incurred with and without prior court approval shall be reimbursed, according to the procedures set forth below.  When possible, prior court approval should be obtained before incurring expenses for investigation and for mental health and other experts.
 
(a)        Procedure with prior court approval.  Appointed counsel may file with the trial court a Motion for Court Appointed Attorneys Fee/Approval (Appendix E) together with a pretrial exparte confidential request for advance payment of investigative and expert expenses.  The request for advance payment of expenses must state, as applicable:
 
(1)        the type of investigation to be conducted or the type of expert to be retained;
 
(2)        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
 
(3)        an itemized list of anticipated expenses for each investigation or each expert.
 
(b)        Procedure Without Prior Court Approval.  Appointed counsel may incur investigative or expert expenses without prior approval of the court.  Appointed counsel may file with the trial court a Motion for Court Appointed Attorneys Fee/Approval (Appendix E).  The motion must have an itemized statement attached which states, as applicable:
 
(1)        the type of investigation that was conducted or the type of expert that was retained;
 
(2)        specific facts that show the investigation was necessary to assist in the preparation of the defense;  and
 
(3)        an itemized list of actual expenses incurred for each investigation or each expert.
 
(c)        Approval of requests.  On presentation of a Motion for Court Appointed Attorneys Fees/Approval (Appendix E) and the request for advance payment or itemized statement required, the court shall approve the payment of the requested amount if the expenses are reasonably necessary and reasonably incurred.  Upon approval by the Court, the completed Motion for Court-Appointed Attorneys Fees/Approval shall remain a public record and be transmitted to the County Auditor for payment.   If the request for advance payment or claim for reimbursement is made prior to the conclusion of the trial of the case, the request for claim, together with any supporting documentation, that was attached to the motion may be ordered sealed until the trial of the case is concluded.  All payments shall be made directly to the requesting counsel.  No payments will be made directly to the investigator or expert. 
 
(d)        Denial of Requests.  If the court denies in whole or in part a request for advance payment or a claim for reimbursement of expenses incurred for investigation or expert testimony, the court shall:
 
(1)        state the reasons for the denial in writing;
 
(2)        attach the denial to the request or claim;
 
(3)        submit the request or claim and denial as an exhibit to the record;  and
 
(4)        if the request or claim has been made ex parte prior to trial, may order the request or claim and denial sealed until the trial of the case is concluded.
 
4.06     Procedure for Compensation.  Not later than thirty (30) days after the case is disposed by the trial court, the appointed attorney shall prepare and submit to the trial court last having jurisdiction of the most serious offense case, a Motion for Court Appointed Attorney Fees on a form approved by the judges  (See Appendix for approved forms).  The motion shall include all services provided a single defendant, regardless of the number of cases disposed.  The judge shall determine the reasonableness of the amount requested based upon the time and labor required, the complexity of the case, and the experience and ability of the appointed counsel using the above fee schedules.  If the judge disapproves the requested amount, 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.  The attorney may file written objections to the court’s action and request an oral hearing to show the court reasons that justify the amount requested. 
 
4.07     Appeals from any Disapproval of Requested Amount.  The attorney may appeal any determination disapproving the requested amount to the Presiding Judge of the Second Administrative Judicial Region in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Second Administrative Judicial Region.  The amount determined by the Presiding Judge of the Second Administrative Judicial Region shall be paid by Brazos County to the attorney appointed within forty-five (45) days after the appeal is determined.
Plan Documents
Brazos Juvenile Board Affidavit of Indigence.doc (4/4/2014 11:33:10 AM) view
Brazos Juvenile Board Appendix C -- Affidavit in Support of Court Appointed Attorney.doc (7/5/2010 6:27:52 PM) view
Brazos Juvenile Board Appendix E -- Motion for Appointed Attorney Fees - Approval.doc (7/5/2010 6:30:17 PM) view
Brazos Juvenile Board Appendix H -- Judge's Evaluation Form.doc (7/5/2010 6:32:09 PM) view
Brazos Juvenile Board Appendix I -- Selected Excerpts from IJA-ABA Juvenile Justice Standards.doc (7/5/2010 6:32:57 PM) view
Brazos Juvenile Board Attorney Application for Appointment.doc (4/4/2014 11:33:38 AM) view
Brazos Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Schedule.docx (4/4/2014 11:37:16 AM) view
Brazos Juvenile Board Attorney Fee Voucher.doc (4/4/2014 11:35:32 AM) view
Brazos Juvenile Board Contracts for Indigent Defense Services.pdf (12/17/2020 12:02:49 PM) view
Brazos Juvenile Board MCLE Compliance Affidavit.doc (4/4/2014 11:36:03 AM) view