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TCL > November 1997 Issue > Court-Appointed Counsel Procedures for Reimbursement of Fees and Expenses

The Colorado Lawyer
November 1997
Vol. 26, No. 11 [Page  133]

© 1997 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

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From the Courts
Court Business

Court-Appointed Counsel Procedures for Reimbursement of Fees and Expenses

The following procedures were issued by the Office of the State Court Administrator to District Courts for posting and distribution to all court-appointed counsel, guardians ad litem, and investigators. These procedures do not apply to reimbursement of fees and expenses for the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel, which has issued its own procedures.

Court-Appointed Counsel Procedures for
Reimbursement of Fees and Expenses

Effective April 15, 1997

GENERAL INFORMATION

These procedures apply to orders for payment for court-appointed counsel (except for Alternate Defense Counsel), guardians ad litem, and investigators conducting investigations for court-appointed counsel. Payment orders should be submitted on form JDF 207 and should adhere to the procedures described below. These procedures apply to all requests for payment, regardless of the date of appointment on the case. Orders for payment that do not include the necessary information will be returned for completion or correction.

All counsel, guardians ad litem, and investigators who have not yet received payment from the Judicial Department must submit a completed W-9 form to receive payment. W-9 forms are available from the court or from the Financial Services Division by calling Mary Ellen Hamblet at (303) 837-3646 or Lucille Maes at (303) 837-3643.

INITIAL REQUESTS FOR PAYMENT ON A CASE

1. Initial requests for payment on a case by court-appointed counsel in criminal, juvenile delinquency, dependency and neglect, probate, mental health, or civil cases must be accompanied by:

  • An indication of the indigency status of the person represented (indigent, partially indigent, or not indigent). This information is usually included in the order of appointment or may be found in an application for court-appointed counsel (form JDF 208) or another affidavit of indigency as requested by the court.
  • An appointment order or minute order stating the reason for appointment of counsel at state expense.

2. Initial requests for payment on a case by a guardian ad litem in a dependency and neglect case must be accompanied by the order of appointment.

3. Initial requests for payment on a case by a guardian ad litem in a juvenile delinquency, mental health, probate, or domestic relations case must be accompanied by:

  • An indication of indigency status as described in (1) above.
  • An appointment order or minute order stating the reason for appointment of the guardian ad litem at state expense.

4. Initial requests for payment on a case by an investigator must be accompanied by:

  • The order of appointment appointing the attorney for whom the investigator is working.
  • The court's order authorizing an investigator and the amount of expenses the investigator may incur.

5. Initial requests for payment by all court-appointed counsel and guardians ad litem must be made within six months of the date of appointment. Initial requests for payment by investigators must be made within six months of the court's authorization for the investigator.

ATTACHMENTS TO PAYMENT ORDERS

1. Time sheets must be attached to support the time spent on a case. In-court and out-of-court time must be itemized to include the date and the amount of time spent. Time sheets should be in chronological order and must be legible--preferably typed.

In-court time is only that time spent in the court during hearings or trials. Time spent traveling to and from the court, in conference with parties, or waiting for court proceedings to begin after the scheduled time should all be charged as out-of-court time.

2. For expenses that exceed $25, receipts or invoices for those expenses must be attached.

3. Mileage must be itemized to include the date of the trip and the distance traveled.

4. A Justification Order must be attached if the total fee request (including past and current payment orders) exceeds the maximum fee allowed as stated on form JDF 207.

GENERAL PROCEDURES FOR BILLING

1. Separate forms for companion cases are not required. When billing for multiple cases in representation of the same client on one form, provide the total information for all cases. However, orders of appointment and reasons for appointment, as necessary, must be attached for each case. This is necessary to ensure that the cases were concurrent and that reasons for appointment still apply. Cases that are not concurrent, even if they are to represent the same defendant, should not be reported on the same form.

2. Due to the cost of processing payments, the minimum reimbursable amount per case shall be $25. Orders for payment of less than $25 shall be paid by the individual court.

3. Orders for payment in excess of $25 should be submitted every six months and at the conclusion of the case. Effective July 1, 1997, requests for payment for activity over six months old WILL NOT BE PAID.

4. When an attorney is appointed to continue on a case for the purposes of appeal, the hourly rate is that in effect for the date of appointment on appeal.

5. When an attorney, previously under contract on a case, is appointed on an hourly basis to the case for reasons specified in the contract, the hourly rate is that in effect for the reappointment date.

6. In any case in which a partial payment has been made to the attorney by parties who are later determined to be indigent, the state will reimburse the attorney for the total number of hours expended on the case, less any payments received from the parties prior to the determination of indigency. Payment will be made at the hourly rate applicable at the original appointment date.

ALLOWABLE EXPENSES

1. Delivery and express mail charges will be reimbursed ONLY FOR A CASE ON APPEAL. A receipt or invoice for these charges must be attached to the order for payment.

2. Copy charges will be reimbursed at the rate of $0.05 per page or at actual cost. A receipt must be attached if the rate per page exceeds $0.05. The number of copies must be specified.

3. Mileage is reimbursed at the rate of $0.20 per mile. The actual number of miles must be specified for each date.

4. Charges for long-distance telephone calls will be reimbursed. A copy of the telephone billing must be submitted when total charges exceed $25.

NON-ALLOWABLE EXPENSES

1. Charges for fax and parking will not be reimbursed.

2. Charges for time spent on administrative activities, such as preparing orders for payment, making copies, and mailing letters will not be reimbursed. Attorneys are expected to have sufficient administrative support for these activities. The Judicial Department does not pay for the time of administrative support staff.

3. Costs for subpoenas, witnesses, transcripts, and discovery should not be included in payment orders. These costs are paid separately by the individual courts.

4. Items purchased for indigent (or other) persons represented will not be reimbursed. These include meals, books, clothing, and other personal items.

For any questions regarding these procedures, please call Ellen Christianson at the State Court Administrator's Office at (303) 837-3641.


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Proposed Revisions, Tenth Circuit Rules

The Tenth Circuit Rules Committee has made revisions similar to those made to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. The new Federal Rules are scheduled to be published and effective December 1, 1998. The Tenth Circuit Rules will then follow, being effective January 1, 1999. The Tenth Circuit Court is now soliciting public comment, with the period to do so running through January 1, 1998. For a copy of the proposed Tenth Circuit Rules or for further information, please contact the Office of the Clerk, The Tenth Circuit Rules Committee, Byron White U.S. Courthouse, 1823 Stout St., Denver, CO 80257, or call the Clerk's Office at (303) 844-3157.

© 1997 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=1997.


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