Hunt District Court and County Court Plan
Preamble
10/15/2019

Hunt District Court and County Court Plan

Preamble

05/01/2019

SUBJECT TO AMENDMENT:

This plan is subject to amendment upon the unanimous agreement of the Judges of the District Courts and County Courts at Law in Hunt County.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This plan is effective on the 11th of October, 2019, and shall remain in effect until further unanimous order of the judges of the District Courts and County Courts at Law in Hunt County.



Prompt Magistration
10/15/2019

Prompt Magistration

10/11/19

 

HUNT COUNTY PROGRAM AND

STANDING RULES AND ORDERS FOR

PROCEDURES FOR PROMPT MAGISTRATION AND TIMELY APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

FOR INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS IN

HUNT COUNTY, TEXAS

(Hereinafter referred to as “The Hunt County Program”)

 

 

EFFECTIVE DATE – 05/01/2019

 

 

            Be it remembered that on this date the undersigned County Court at Law Judges and District Court Judges for Hunt County, Texas hereby adopt, order, establish and order published these countywide procedures, rules, and orders for the timely and fair appointments of all counsel for indigent accused persons charged in Hunt County, Texas.

 

 

This document is The Hunt County Program to conform with the requirements of S.B. 7 passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law in 2001 (Hereinafter referred to as the Fair Defense Act).

 

 ESTABLISHING PROCEDURES TO ENSURE PROMPT MAGISTRATION AND TIMELY APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

 

 

     The following procedures will be used to ensure that defense counsel is appointed within the time limits specified in the Fair Defense Act:

 

 

                 1)    Police shall take each person arrested before a magistrate. Anyone with custody of an arrested person shall take the person before a magistrate for a hearing pursuant to Article 15.17 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (hereinafter called Article 15.17 Hearing) without unnecessary delay and no later than 48 hours after arrest.

 

                 2)    The magistrate informs the arrested person of the right to request counsel and how the request may be made.

 

          3)    The magistrate shall provide reasonable assistance in completing counsel request forms to the person at the time of the Article 15.17 hearing.

 

                 4)    A “record” must also be made showing

 

(i)                 that the magistrate informed the accused person of the right to request appointed counsel,

 

(ii)               that the magistrate asked the person whether he or she wanted to request counsel, and

 

(iii)             whether the person requested counsel.

 

                 5)    A “record” under this situation may consist of:

 

(i)                 a written document,

 

(ii)               an electronic recording, or

 

(iii)             any other documentation.

 

 

      6)    Local rules designate a jail magistrate must transmit the defendant's request for counsel to the appointing authority within 24 hours.  The magistrate transmits the request (i.e. a completed application form) to the jail to be taken ALONG WITH THE DEFENDANT TO THE APPROPRIATE COURT USING THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE: 

 

                         Misdemeanor Cases: 

 

                         Per the Official Schedule as Designated and Agreed to by Both County Courts at Law Judges and sent to the Jail/Sheriff’s        Office.

 

Felony Cases:

 

                         Per the Official Schedule as Designated and Agreed to by Both District Courts and sent to the Jail/Sheriff’s Office.

           

The appointing authorities shall furnish the application forms to the jail magistrate.

 

      7)    An appointing authority will appoint counsel “as soon as possible” after receiving a request but always within the third working day after the request is received.  Appointing authorities will attempt to maintain continuity of appointed attorney between felony and misdemeanor companion cases for an accused.


      8)    Appointed attorneys must make every reasonable effort to contact their clients by the end of the first working day after the attorney receives notice of appointment and to interview the accused as soon as practicable after the attorney is appointed.  Article 26.04 (j) (1) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. 


      9)   For persons arrested on out-of-county warrants, the magistrate will ask the defendant if he/she would like to request appointed counsel.  The magistrate will record the response, and if counsel is requested, the magistrate will provide the arrestee with the appropriate forms for requesting counsel.  The magistrate will ensure assistance in completing the forms at the same time.  The forms will be transmitted, by the magistrate, to the appointing authority in the county issuing the warrant within 24 hours of the request being made.  Article 1.051 and Article 15.18 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

 

10) If an indigent defendant is arrested in another county based on this county’s warrant, counsel will be appointed within three working days of this county’s receipt of request for counsel.


11) If an indigent defendant is arrested in this county based on another county’s warrant, counsel will be appointed for the defendant if, on the eleventh day after the arrest, the defendant is still in this county’s custody.

 

12) If a defendant wishes to request counsel prior to the initial appearance, the forms required to request counsel may be obtained at the Texas Indigent Defense Commission’s website at http://tidc.tamu.edu/public.net/ or from the magistrate on duty.  The defendant may submit these forms to the magistrate on duty for submittal to the appropriate court.  The court will rule on all requests for counsel submitted in this manner.

 

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




Indigence Determination Standards
10/15/2019

Indigence Determination Standards

05/01/2019

 

HUNT COUNTY PROGRAM AND

STANDING RULES AND ORDERS FOR

PROCEDURES FOR INDIGENCE DETERMINATION STANDARDS

FOR INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS IN

HUNT COUNTY, TEXAS

(Hereinafter referred to as “The Hunt County Program”)

 

 

EFFECTIVE DATE – 05/01/2019

 

 

 

            Be it remembered that on this date the undersigned County Court at Law Judges and District Court Judges for Hunt County, Texas hereby adopt, order, establish and order published these countywide procedures, rules, and orders for the timely and fair appointments of all counsel for indigent accused persons charged in Hunt County, Texas.

 

 

This document is The Hunt County Program to conform with the requirements of S.B. 7 passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law in 2001 (Hereinafter referred to as the Fair Defense Act).

 

 

PROCEDURES AND FINANCIALS STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING INDIGENCE STATUS


A.     ELIGIBILITY FOR APPOINTMENT


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

 

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

 

2)      The accused’s gross household income does not exceed 125% of the Poverty Guidelines as revised annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Federal Register; OR


3)      The accused is currently serving a sentence in a correctional institution, is currently residing in a public mental health facility, or is subject to a proceeding  

                         in which admission or commitment to such a mental health facility is sought. 

 

B.  FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN INDIGENT DETERMINATION

 

          The judge making court appointments for counsel for indigents shall consider the following standards for determining indigence and such other reasonable factors as the court finds bearing on the financial inability of a defendant to retain counsel pursuant to Article 26.04 (m) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure: 

 

a.       Defendant’s income;

 

b.      Sources of the defendant’s income;

 

c.      Assets of the defendant;

 

d.      Property owned by the defendant, or in which the defendant has an interest;

 

e.       Outstanding obligation of the defendant;

 

f.        Necessary expenses of the defendant;

 

g.       The number and age of the defendant’s legal dependants;

 

h.       Spousal income available to the defendant; and

 

 i.       Such other reasonable factors as determined by the judge including Federal Standards for relief support.


 C.  FACTORS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED FOR APPOINTMENT


           The judge shall not consider pursuant to Article 26.04 (m) of The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure:

 

1)             Whether the accused has posted bail, except to the extent that it reflects on the Defendant’s financial circumstances as measured by the listed factors.

 

2)               Resources available to friends and families/relatives of the accused

 

D.  PARTIAL INDIGENCY


1)     The court may find an accused to be partially indigent if the person is able to pay some part of the cost of legal representation and if the payment does not impose manifest hardship on the accused or the accused’s household.

 

2)      An accused found to be partially indigent may be ordered by the court to pay, while the case is pending, monthly installments commensurate with the accused’s ability to pay based upon his/her income and assets.  Such payments will be made to the appropriate Clerk’s office for each court.



Minimum Attorney Qualifications
10/15/2019
 

Minimum Attorney Qualifications

05/01/19

HUNT COUNTY PROGRAM AND

STANDING RULES AND ORDERS FOR

PROCEDURES FOR MINIMUM ATTORNEY QUALIFICATIONS

FOR INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS IN

HUNT COUNTY, TEXAS

(Hereinafter referred to as “The Hunt County Program”)

EFFECTIVE DATE – 05/01/19

 

            Be it remembered that on this date the undersigned County Court at Law Judges and District Court Judges for Hunt County, Texas hereby adopt, order, establish and order published these countywide procedures, rules, and orders for the timely and fair appointments of all counsel for indigent accused persons charged in Hunt County, Texas.

 This document is The Hunt County Program to conform with the requirements of S.B. 7 passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law in 2001 (Hereinafter referred to as the Fair Defense Act).

 QUALIFICATIONS FOR ATTORNEYS TO BE PLACED ON THE PUBLIC APPOINTMENT LIST AND TO BE COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL

Minimum Attorney Qualifications

10/11/19

1. Expectations of Counsel

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

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

An appointed attorney shall not require a defendant to travel outside Hunt County to meet with counsel.

All court appointed attorneys shall provide competent representation for their clients. An appointed attorney shall make initial contact with the defendant within 24 hours of the attorney’s receipt of notice of the appointment and shall personally interview the defendant within ten (10) business days of receipt of their first notice of appointment provided the defendant is incarcerated in a local detention facility.

The attorney that is appointed on the case is expected to provide legal services for their client.  At the discretion of the court and with the consent of the client, stand-in counsel may appear on behalf of the appointed counsel provided said counsel is capable of providing competent representation for the defendant.

 

 2. Court Appointed Attorney List

Lists of attorneys approved by the Courts to represent indigent defendants for the different offense levels listed below shall be maintained by the DESIGNATED DISTRICT COURT OFFICE (DDCO) & DESIGNATED COUNTY COURTS AT LAW OFFICE (DCCLO)

 

2.05  DESIGNATED DISTRICT COURT OFFICE AND DESIGNATED COUNTY COURT AT LAW OFFICE (DDCO & DCCLO)

The judges of each District Court that maintains a list of court appointed attorneys shall designate by a majority vote of the judges one court that is the DESIGNATED DISTRICT COURT OFFICE (DDCO) for the District Courts for the purpose of maintaining lists & applications for the District Courts.  The judges of each County Court at Law that maintains a list of court appointed attorneys shall designate by a majority vote of the judges one court that is the DESIGNATED COUNTY COURT AT LAW OFFICE (DCCLO) for the County Court at Law Courts for the purpose of maintaining lists & applications for the County Court at Law Courts.

 

2.1 Application

Attorneys shall apply using the Hunt County Attorney Application for Appointments as referenced in the Plan Documents. Applications with required documentation shall be submitted to the DDCO & DCCLO. Attorneys may apply for and be placed on multiple lists.

Once approved for placement on list(s), attorneys wishing to remain on the approved list(s) of court appointed attorneys shall renew their application every third year prior to their birth date. Applications may be renewed by completing a new Hunt County Attorney Application form with all required documentation.

Courts shall consider applications from attorneys wishing to be added to or remain on the approved list(s) BIANNUALLY.


2.2 General Qualifications

To be eligible for placement on any list, attorneys shall meet the following minimum general qualifications:

(a) An attorney must ensure all information on their application is correct;

(b) An attorney must be licensed to practice law in the State of Texas;

(c) An attorney must be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas;

(d) An attorney must exhibit proficiency and commitment to providing quality representation to appointed clients;

(e) An attorney must exhibit professionalism and reliability when providing representation to appointed clients;

(f) An attorney must have an e-mail address and fax machine working 24 hours a day;

(g) An attorney shall maintain a principal office or reside in Hunt County, Texas.

      i)  “Principal office” is defined as the location/office where the attorney handles the majority (more than 50% of cases) of his legal practice.

 

      ii)  Each attorney that wishes to be considered for placement on any Court Appointed List shall submit a sworn affidavit to the DDCO & DCCLO stating that his/her Principal Office OR his/her residence is in Hunt County.

 

      iii)  Any attorney that is claiming to reside in Hunt County but that does not have a principal office in Hunt County must designate a physical location within Hunt County as the location they will meet with any appointed Defendant and/or associated witnesses.  Said location shall be listed in the Sworn Affidavit stating his/her residence is in Hunt County.

 (h) An attorney shall agree to notify the DDCO & DCCLO 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.

 

2.3 Specific Qualifications

In addition, attorneys shall meet the following specific qualifications to represent a defendant at a particular offense level.

 

2.3.1 Misdemeanor Criminal Cases (including Motion to Revoke Misdemeanors)

(a) An attorney must have one year experience in handling criminal cases (excluding Class C) or be second chair on two misdemeanor cases to resolution; and

(b) An attorney shall complete a minimum of 6 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) in the area of criminal law and procedure during each 12 month period immediately preceding their birthday. Attorneys who are not required to report CLE hours to the State Bar of Texas may comply with this requirement by furnishing a letter indicating the number of hours completed in the area of criminal law, the date(s) of the course(s) taken and the location and name of the course(s) to the DDCO and DCCLO prior to their birthday.

 

2.3.2 Third Degree Felonies and State Jail Felonies (including Motion to Revoke or Adjudicate Third Degree or State Jail Felonies)

(a) An attorney must have met specific qualifications for placement on Misdemeanor Cases; and

(b) An attorney must have practiced criminal law for a minimum of two years; and

(c) An attorney must have tried to verdict at least two criminal jury trials as lead or second chair counsel. (Excluding Class C)

 

2.3.3 First and Second Degree Felony Cases (including Motion to Revoke or Adjudicate First and Second Degree Felony Cases)

(a) An attorney must have met specific qualifications for placement on Misdemeanor Cases; and

(b) An attorney must have practiced in the area of criminal law for a minimum of four years; and

(c) An attorney must have tried to conclusion at least three criminal jury trials as lead or second chair counsel, including at least one felony trial. (Excluding Class C)

 

2.3.5 Non-Death Penalty Capital Felony Cases

(a) An attorney must have met specific qualifications for placement on Misdemeanor Cases; and

(b) An attorney must have practiced in the area of criminal law for at least five years; and

(c) An attorney must have tried to verdict at least five criminal jury trials as lead counsel, including at least two trials which were first or second degree felonies or capital felonies and at least one of which was a homicide case.

 

2.3.6 Death Penalty Cases

(a) An attorney must be on the list of attorneys approved by the local selection committee of the 10th Administrative Judicial Region for appointment in death penalty cases as provided in Article 26.052 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

(b) To be assigned as second chair counsel in a Death Penalty Case, an attorney must be on the list of attorneys approved by the local selection committee of the 10th Administrative Judicial Region for appointment in death penalty cases as provided in Article 26.052 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

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

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

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

 

2.3.7 Appeal Qualification Requirements

(a) An attorney must have met general qualifications and have met specific qualifications for placement on Misdemeanor Cases; and

(b) An attorney must have met at least one of the following criteria:

a. Be currently board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization; or

b. Have personally authored and filed at least 3 criminal briefs or post-conviction writs of habeas corpus; or

c. Have submitted an appellate writing sample approved by a majority of the judges; or

d. Have worked as a briefing clerk of an appellate court for a period of one year or more.


2.3.8 Continuing Legal Education Hours

Any attorney placed on an appointment list to represent indigent defendants shall file a certificate with DDCO & DCCLO office no later than their birthday each year evidencing completion of required Continuing Legal Education (CLE) or submit documentation showing that the attorney is certified as a specialist in criminal law for that calendar year. Continuing legal education activity completed within a one year period may be used to meet the educational requirements for the initial year. Continuing legal education activity completed during any reporting period in excess of the minimum hours for such period may be applied to the following period’s requirement. The carryover provision applies to one year only.

The DDCO & DCCLO office shall send an e-mail reminder regarding CLE requirements to attorneys at least 30 days before their birthday.  Any attorney failing to timely submit documentation evidencing completion of the required CLE or certification as a specialist in criminal law shall be removed from the court appointed lists on the day after the documentation is due and placed on judicial hold.  The judges hearing criminal cases may return the attorney to the court appoint lists once documentation has been provided.

 

2.3.9 2nd Chair (Non-Capital)

Any attorney that is willing to have an attorney appointed as a 2nd chair on a matter that he/she is appointed counsel shall indicate so on their Application for inclusion on the Court Approved Attorney List. 2nd chair non-capital attorneys shall be reimbursed at the hourly rate of $50 with total bill not to exceed $300 except in case of a trial.  Trial fee for 2nd chair non-capital is subject to capping at $1,000 at the Courts discretion.  No 2nd chair shall be paid more than the 1st chair in a criminal case.  New attorneys may request appointment as 2nd chair to meet qualifications for further appointment under this plan.

 

2.4 Judge Approval Process

The District Judges shall review attorney applications for appointment on the felony appointment list(s) on biannual basis. County Court Judges shall review attorney applications for appointment on the misdemeanor appointment list(s) on a biannual basis. An attorney shall be added to the appropriate list(s) upon the approval of their application by a majority of the judges hearing criminal matters with that level of offense.

Attorneys who have submitted their applications will be notified by the DDCO & DCCLO of the decision reached by the Judges related to their application.

  

2.5 Removal from Court Appointed List

An attorney shall be removed from the appointment list in the event that the majority of the judges hearing that level of offense(s) shall determine that good cause exists to remove an attorney from said list(s). An attorney shall be removed from the appointment list in the event that a majority of the District and/or County judges who hear criminal matters determine that the attorney has failed to meet the qualifications of § 2.2 and § 2.3 herein.

Good cause may include but is not limited to:

(a) Failing on two or more occasions to contact or interview clients in a timely manner as required by CCP § 26.04(j)(1) and  § Sec. 1 herein;

(b) Submitting a claim for legal services not performed as specified in Article 26.05(e), Code of Criminal Procedure;

(c) Failing to comply with each of the appointment list qualifications herein;

(d) Having been found, by a Texas Appellate Court, to have provided ineffective assistance of counsel.

(e) Having been found to have violated a rule of professional conduct by the State Bar of Texas.

(f) After having been placed on appointment list(s) has been convicted of or received a deferred adjudication for any offense, other than an offense punishable by a fine only;

(g) Being under indictment or charged with an offense, other than an offense punishable by a fine only; or

(h) Misrepresenting or providing false or inaccurate information on the attorney’s application for the appointment list;

(i)  Failing to remit funds received on behalf of an investigator or expert within 14 days of receipt of said funds.

(j)  Failing to timely comply with the annual reporting requirements of the Texas Indigent Defense Commission pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 79.036 and Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 26.04.

 

2.5.1 Referral

If a Judge believes that an attorney has violated, or failed to comply with any of the provisions listed in P § 2.5, the Judge may recommend an attorney be removed from the appointment list(s). The recommendation shall be made to the judges hearing that level of offense(s).


2.5.2 Notification/Hearing

Upon receiving a recommendation that an attorney be removed from the appointment list(s), the judges hearing that level of offense(s) shall notify the attorney in writing of the recommendation and shall inform the attorney of the basis for the recommendation.

The attorney may respond in writing to the judges or be present at a conference of the judges, at the discretion of the judges.

 

2.5.3 Action

After the judge’s meeting, a majority of the judges hearing that level of offense(s) attending the meeting shall determine whether the attorney should:

(a) Remain on the appointment list at the same level;

(b) Be moved to an appointment list for indigent defendants charged with less serious offenses;

(c) Be removed from the appointment list(s); or

(d) Be given an opportunity to take corrective action as determined by the judges.

At the sole discretion of the judges, removal of any attorney from any list(s) may be probated. For removal or probated removals, the Judges ordering the removal may require the completion of rehabilitative measures as a condition of probation or reapplication. An order of removal shall state the earliest date at which the attorney may apply for reinstatement. An attorney who was removed from an appointment list under section 2.5(g) or (h) 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.

In the event of a split in the voting by the judges to remove an attorney, the matter shall be presented to all the judges of District Courts and County Courts at Law and they shall be removed by a majority vote of all said judges.

The decisions of the judges are final and may not be appealed.

 

2.5.4 Voluntary Removal

An attorney may at any time temporarily and voluntarily remove his/her name from the appointment list(s).  The attorney may return his/her name to the appointment list(s) provided the attorney remains qualified for placement on said list(s).  An attorney who has temporarily removed him/herself from the appointment list(s) shall continue to be appointed on additional cases filed against that defendant while the attorney is on voluntary removal.

An attorney may at any time request in writing to be permanently removed from the appointment list(s). 

 

2.5.5  Mandatory Attorney Case Reporting

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.

 

2.6  Grandfather Provisions

Any attorney qualified and listed on the courts’ appointment list as of the inception of this new plan shall be qualified for the same type cases going forward notwithstanding these new rules.





Prompt Appointment of Counsel
10/15/2019

Prompt Appointment of Counsel

05/01/19

 

 

 

See Prompt Magistration (includes Timely Appointment of Counsel)

Attorney Selection Process
10/2/2020

Attorney Selection Process

10/11/19

 

HUNT COUNTY PROGRAM AND

STANDING RULES AND ORDERS FOR

PROCEDURES FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

(ATTORNEY SELECTION PROCESS)

FOR INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS IN

HUNT COUNTY, TEXAS

(Hereinafter referred to as “The Hunt County Program”)

EFFECTIVE DATE – 10/11/19

 

            Be it remembered that on this date the undersigned County Court at Law Judges and District Court Judges for Hunt County, Texas hereby adopt, order, establish and order published these countywide procedures, rules, and orders for the timely and fair appointments of all counsel for indigent accused persons charged in Hunt County, Texas.

This document is The Hunt County Program to conform with the requirements of S.B. 7 passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law in 2001 (Hereinafter referred to as the Fair Defense Act).

 

PROCEDURES FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

 

The appointing judge will appoint counsel from lists composed of those attorneys who filed an application and were approved by the two Judges of the County Courts at Law for the Misdemeanor list and by the two Judges of the District Courts for the Felony list handling criminal cases in Hunt County. 


The Judges shall appoint attorneys from the next five names on the list, unless good cause exists to appoint an attorney out of order. Article 26.04 (a) Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.


In the absence of any appointing judge, any of the other appointing judges may appoint for the absent judge.


The Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases shall be appointed to all capital felony cases unless the court makes a finding of good cause on the record to appoint private counsel.  If a co-defendant requests appointment of counsel and is determined to be indigent, the appointing judge shall appoint counsel pursuant to Section 2.3.6 of the Qualifications for Attorneys to be placed on the Public Appointment List and to be Court Appointed Counsel.


An attorney appointed by a Court from the public appointment list shall remain assigned and responsible for the Defendant’s charge(s) at the time of the appointment until charges are dismissed, the defendant is acquitted, appeals are exhausted, or the attorney is permitted or ordered by the court to withdraw as counsel for the defendant after a finding of good cause is entered on the record.  Article 26.04 (j) (2) Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.




Fee and Expense Payment Process
10/15/2019

Fee and Expense Payment Process

05/01/19

 

 

HUNT COUNTY PROGRAM AND

STANDING RULES AND ORDERS FOR

PROCEDURES FOR FEE AND EXPENSE PAYMENT PROCESS

FOR INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS IN

HUNT COUNTY, TEXAS

(Hereinafter referred to as “The Hunt County Program”)

EFFECTIVE DATE – 05/01/19

 

            Be it remembered that on this date the undersigned County Court at Law Judges and District Court Judges for Hunt County, Texas hereby adopt, order, establish and order published these countywide procedures, rules, and orders for the timely and fair appointments of all counsel for indigent accused persons charged in Hunt County, Texas.

This document is The Hunt County Program to conform with the requirements of S.B. 7 passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law in 2001 (Hereinafter referred to as the Fair Defense Act).


PROCEDURES FOR FEE AND EXPENSE PAYMENT PROCESS

 

Pursuant to Article 26.05 Texas Code of Criminal Procedure a schedule of attorney fees that covers all criminal cases for which punishment by incarceration may be imposed is included in the forms section of this plan.  Payments shall be made in accordance with a Standing Order for Compensation adopted by the judges.  No payment shall be made until judge approves payment after submission of an attorney fee voucher. All payments are paid from the general fund of this county. Article 26.05 (f) Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. 


If a judge disapproves the requested amount, the judge shall make written findings stating the amount that the judge approves and the reason(s) for disapproval of the whole amount.  An attorney whose request for payment is disapproved or reduced or is not acted on within 60 days of submission may appeal the disapproval by filing a motion with the presiding regional administrative judge. Article 26.05 (c) Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

  

Investigative and Expert Expenses:


Counsel appointed in a non-capital 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.  

 

Procedure With Prior Court Approval: 


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, 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. 

 

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: 

 

1)      attach the denial to the confidential request; and

 

2)      submit the request and denial as a sealed exhibit to the record.

 


Procedure Without Prior Court Approval:

 

Appointed counsel may incur reasonable expenses, investigative and expert services excluded, without prior approval of the court.  On presentation of a claim for reimbursement, the court

shall order reimbursement of counsel for the expenses, if the expenses are reasonably necessary and reasonably incurred.  Unreasonable or unnecessary expenses will not be approved.



Miscellaneous
10/15/2019
Miscellaneous
10/15/2015

Plan documents listed separately under FORMS Section.

THE HUNT COUNTY PROGRAM AND STANDING RULES AND ORDERS FOR PROCEDURES FOR PROMPT MAGISTRA TION AND TIMELY APPOINTMENT OF COUSNEL FOR INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS IN HUNT COUNTY, TEXAS IS SIGNED ON THE 14th DAY OF OCTOBER, 2019 AND IS EFFECTIVE FROM SAID DATE.  SAID ORDER SUPERSEDES ANY AND ALL PRIOR COURT ORDERS FOR INDIGENT ACCUSED PERSONS IN HUNT COUNTY, TEXAS.

Original signed by: 

Judge J. Andrew Bench
196th Judicial District Court

Judge Keli M. Aiken
354th Judicial District Court

Judge Timothy S. Linden
Hunt County Court at Law No. 1

Judge F. Duncan Thomas
Hunt County Court at Law No. 2


This document has been reformatted to accomodate the website. The original document containing the Judge's signatures is on file with the DDCO & DCCLO.


Plan Documents
Hunt District and County Court Affidavit of Indigence COUNTY Court.pdf (10/20/2015 3:11:02 PM) view
Hunt District and County Court Affidavit of Indigence DISTRICT Court Spanish.pdf (11/12/2015 2:00:01 PM) view
Hunt District and County Court Affidavit of Indigence DISTRICT Court.pdf (11/5/2009 4:15:39 PM) view
Hunt District and County Court Attorney Application and Affidavit for Appointments in The Hunt County Courts.docx (5/2/2019 10:01:23 AM) view
Hunt District and County Court Attorney Fee Voucher.xls (11/2/2009 9:01:26 AM) view
Hunt District and County Court Magistrate's Warning Class C Only.pdf (10/9/2013 2:34:37 PM) view
Hunt District and County Court Magistrate’s Warning Form.pdf (10/9/2013 2:33:04 PM) view
Hunt District and County Court Standing Order Bailiff.pdf (3/12/2020 9:40:30 AM) view
Hunt District and County Court Standing Order For Compensation (Attorney Fee Schedule).pdf (10/14/2019 3:12:35 PM) view
Hunt District and County Court The Hunt County Program (DCCLO) ORDER.pdf (5/2/2019 12:48:46 PM) view
Hunt District and County Court Unanimous Approval of 2019 Biennial Plans.pdf (4/30/2019 2:08:13 PM) view