IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

IN AND FOR PASCO AND PINELLAS COUNTIES, FLORIDA

 

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 2004-028 PA/PI-CIR

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RE:     COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY STANDARDS AND COMPENSATION

 

Sections 27.40(3)(a) and 27.42(2)(c), Florida Statutes, effective July 1, 2004, provides that the Article V Indigent Services Committee shall establish a registry of attorneys in private practice to represent clients in cases requiring court appointment of counsel and to develop a schedule of standard fees for court-appointed attorneys in various categories of cases.

 

On April 19, 2004, the Committee adopted a fee schedule for the anticipated appointments in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.  The fee schedule is effective July 1, 2004.

 

Pursuant to Rule of Judicial Administration 2.050, the Chief Judge has the authority to adopt administrative orders necessary to ensure the operation of the court system. 

 

In order to provide for the orderly appointment and compensation of court appointed counsel in the Sixth Judicial Circuit beginning July 1, 2004 and to disseminate the fee schedule adopted by the Sixth Judicial Circuit Article V Indigent Services Committee (the Committee) for court appointed counsel, it is therefore:

 

ORDERED:

 

            1.     Attorneys on the Sixth Judicial Circuit Article V Indigent Services Committee Registry are selected by the Committee to one or more particular lists within the Registry based on their qualifications, service preferences, and geographic preferences.  Attorneys must be on the Registry to receive appointments from Sixth Judicial Circuit courts. 

 

            2.     By accepting an appointment from a Sixth Judicial Circuit Court or by continuing to provide representation pursuant to a prior court appointment, an attorney—whether under contract to provide court appointed services or not—agrees to provide representation in accordance with the rates and other provisions within this and any other applicable Administrative Order.  Unless specified otherwise in the attorney’s contract with the Justice Administrative Commission or prohibited by law, a court appointed attorney’s continued representation of a client after the expiration of the attorney’s contract for a flat rate fee constitutes agreement by the attorney to serve subject to the fees of his or her prior contract; if the attorney’s contract provided for an hourly rate, the attorney may receive a new higher hourly rate only on the effective date of the raised hourly rate established by the Sixth Judicial Circuit Article V Indigent Services Committee.

 

            3.     Attorneys on the particular lists will accept cases within their category of appointment without regard to the type of crime or other proceeding involved.  Where attorneys on particular lists are also expected to handle additional types of cases, those cases are delineated with the Registry lists below.  Registry attorneys on a list may also be appointed to other related cases not delineated below as determined appropriate by the presiding judge.  Within the Sixth Judicial Circuit, the Registry includes the following lists which may be separately further broken down by geographic location:

 

                  A.  Felony and Misdemeanor Trials.  Includes all felony trials (except for capital death penalty trials), misdemeanor trials, and the following proceedings:  Criminal Contempt, Involuntary Commitment under §916.15(3) Fla. Stat., Criminal postconviction, Interstate Extradition, Post Sentencing DNA testing, Withdrawal of Plea, Parole Revocation, Probation Revocation, and Resentencing and Restitution hearings conducted after initial sentencing.

                  B.   Delinquency Trials

                  C.  Jimmy Ryce Trials

                  D.  Criminal, Juvenile Delinquency and Jimmy Ryce Appeals.  Includes appeals from Felony and Misdemeanor Trials, Delinquency Trials, and Jimmy Ryce Trials lists.

                  E.   Death Penalty Trials – Lead counsel.  Attorneys on this list that are also on the list of capital attorneys with the Florida Commission on Capital Cases may be appointed to represent defendants in capital postconviction motions in the Sixth Circuit.

                  F.   Death Penalty Trials – Co-counsel.

                  G.  Death Penalty Appeals

                  H.  Dependency Attorney for Parent.  Attorneys on this list may be appointed to represent clients in the following proceedings: Dependency Shelter hearing; Dependency adjudication; Judicial Review; Children in Need of Services/Families in Need of Services--Attorney for Parent; Termination of Parental Rights trials under Chapter 39; and Termination of Parental Rights trials under Chapter 63.

                  I.    Attorney for Child.  Attorneys on this list may be appointed to represent clients in the following proceedings:  Children in Need of Services/Families in Need of Services--Attorney for Child; Dependency w/mental health (residential treatment); Emancipation; and, Attorney Ad Litem for child

                  J.    Dependency Appeals.  Includes appeals of Dependency proceedings conducted by Dependency Attorneys for Parent and Attorneys for the Child.

                  K.  Standard Guardianship.  Attorneys on this list may be appointed to represent clients in the following proceedings:  Developmental Disabilities; Guardianship under Chapter 744; and, Attorney Ad Litem for estate.

                  L.   Emergency Guardianship.  Attorneys on this list may be appointed to represent clients in the following proceedings:  Emergency Guardianship; Adult Protective Services; Substance abuse assessment (Marchman Act); Mental Health (Baker Act); Tuberculosis Victims; Healthcare Advance Directives; Sexually Transmissible Disease Victims.

                  M.  Guardianship Appeals.  Includes appeals from Standard Guardianship and Emergency Guardianship cases.

 

            4.     The experience and other qualifications that each attorney must meet to be included on each of the Registry lists are specified on the attached chart of the Committee standards.  The Committee may amend the standards specified on that chart without further amendment to this Administrative Order.

 

            5.     Except in the instance described in paragraph 6.C. of this Administrative Order, attorneys on the Sixth Judicial Circuit Registry appointed to cases within the Circuit agree to accept compensation in accordance with the fees listed in the schedule attached to this Administrative Order.  The fees are per case.  Attorneys may also receive reasonable and necessary expenses as provided under attorney’s contract with the State.  Where a fee is specified as an hourly rate, the hours are computed for in-court and out-of-court work excluding travel time.  If an attorney moves to withdraw from a case after appointment, no fee will be paid to the withdrawing attorney unless the attorney has performed substantial work.  If substantial work has been performed, the withdrawing and substituting attorney shall share the fee.  If the attorneys are unable to agree on the fee sharing amounts, the Court shall determine such amounts.

 

            6.     In order to ensure the smooth administration of court appointments, in addition to the standards set by the Committee, attorneys on the Registry lists agree to provide the following list-specific services:

 

                    A.    All lists:  Attorneys providing service in Pinellas County must agree to accept up to three cases in Pasco County if the attorneys under contract for Pasco County are unable to handle the case due to ethical or workload conflicts.  Attorneys providing service in West Pasco County must agree to accept up to three cases in East Pasco County if the attorneys under contract for East Pasco County are unable to handle the case due to ethical or workload conflicts.

                    B.     Dependency Attorney for Parent lists:  Attorneys must appear at any shelter hearings they have been scheduled to attend by the Court.  Attorneys not appearing for shelter or other hearings as directed by the Court may not receive certain appointments or may be dropped from the list.  A dependency trial case includes each party represented in a dependency proceeding, inclusive of the shelter, juvenile dependency trial, up to and including all judicial reviews and other proceedings.  Parents without conflict are considered to be one party.  If there is conflict between parents, each parent will be appointed separate counsel.  The attorney’s responsibility for legal representation continues until the case is concluded.

                    C.    Standard Guardianship and Emergency Guardianship lists:  For proceedings under Chapter 744, Florida Statutes, when the client is solvent, attorneys agree not to petition the State for fees and instead accept as compensation a fee of up to one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) per hour from the client.    

 

            7.     Payment or reimbursement for due process services incurred by court-appointed attorneys will be handled in the follow manners:

 

                    A.        Court reporter services:  For deposition reporting and any subsequent transcripts, except for cases in West Pasco County, attorneys may use any court reporter certified by the Administrative Office of the Courts.  In West Pasco County, attorneys must utilize the court contract court reporters for the Sixth Judicial Circuit. 

 

 

                               Attorneys may be reimbursed or may forward invoices for such services in accordance with the attorney’s contract with the Justice Administrative Commission.  For such services, court reporters will receive their usual rates or the same rates paid to court reporters under contract with the Public Defender, whichever is less.  Deposition attendance costs may be incurred without prior approval of the court.  Transcription costs must have prior written approval of the court.    

 

                    B.        Foreign Language and Sign Language Interpreters and Translators:  For these services, attorneys may use an interpreter or translators on the list of providers maintained by the Administrative Office of the Courts.  Attorneys should contact the Pinellas or Pasco Administrative Office of the Courts for the names of service providers.

 

                    C.        Experts:  Expert witness expenses must have prior approval of the court.  In the event it is necessary to hire an expert, such as a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, who will charge for consultation or testimony at deposition or trial, attorney shall petition the court for approval of fees prior to engaging such a professional.  The petition shall state the necessity of hiring the professional and must reflect, to the degree practicable, the maximum fee that the professional will charge for services. 

                               In capital death penalty trials only, the attorney may obligate up to $350.00 for private investigator fees without prior court approval.  Attorneys may be reimbursed or may forward invoices for such services in accordance with the attorney’s contract with the Justice Administrative Commission.

                               Professional services are subject to Administrative Order 2004-023 PA/PI CIR and any subsequent Administrative Order controlling professional fees. 

 

                    D.        Travel Expenses:  Out-of-county or out-of-state travel expenses will be paid only with prior written approval of the court, except that prior approval is not necessary to take the deposition of a state witness within the State of Florida.  When travel is permitted, attorney is limited to mileage rates or State per diem as set out in §112.061(6), Fla. Stat.  Prior to making travel arrangements, the Attorney must contact the Justice Administration Commission to obtain necessary pre-travel documentation and to determine whether there are any contracting agencies through which airfare, car rental, etc., must be arranged.  In Pasco County cases, attorneys will be paid mileage to and from the jail.  The attorney whose office is located outside of Pasco County in an adjacent county will also be paid mileage to and from Pasco County.  In Pinellas County cases, travel to and from the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center will not be paid.

 

                    E.        Other due process costs:  Other expenses will not be paid unless prior approval has been received from the court or unless the expenses are allowed by the Justice Administration Commission form contract.

 

            8.     In the event there are insufficient Registry attorneys under contract or other exigent circumstances exist as determined by the Chief Judge, attorneys that have applied to a Registry list(s) and been approved by the Committee may be added to a list by the Chief Judge.  Additionally, in the event there are insufficient applicants for a particular list and exigent circumstances exist, other attorneys determined qualified by the Chief Judge may be added to a list(s) by the Chief Judge subject to later ratification by the Sixth Judicial Circuit Article V Indigent Services Committee.  In either circumstance, attorneys added to a list may receive court appointments.  By accepting an appointment, an attorney agrees to provide representation in accordance with the rates and others provisions within this Administrative Order and any other applicable Administrative Order.  Payment for reasonable and necessary expenses and due process costs will be in accordance with the appropriate form contract used by the Justice Administrative Commission.

 

            9.     The Sixth Judicial Circuit Article V Indigent Services Committee may amend the attached chart of Registry standards and the fee schedule without further amendment to this Administrative Order.

 

            10.   This Administrative Order is effective July 1, 2004.  At that time, the following Administrative Orders will be rescinded:  PA/PI-CIR-02-10 (Court Appointed Counsel - Probate and Guardianship Proceedings); PA/PI-CIR-02-23 (Court Appointed Attorneys - Non-Capital Felony, Misdemeanor and Juvenile Delinquency Cases); PA/PI-CIR-02-46 (Court Appointed Attorneys-Juvenile Dependency, Termination of Parental Rights, Children in Need of Services and Families in Need of Services Proceedings); PA/PI-CIR-02-65 (Court Appointed Attorney ad Litem); 2003-028 (Conflict Attorneys – Capital Cases); and 2003-029 (Court Appointed Conflict Attorneys for Appeals of Non-Capital Felony, Misdemeanor and Juvenile Delinquency Cases).

 

DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, this _______ day of June 2004.

 

                                                                                    ___________________________________

                                                                                    David A. Demers, Chief Judge

 

 

Attachment:      (1) Local Indigent Service (LOIS) Committee Registry standards chart

                        (2) LOIS Fee Structure for the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court Court-Appointed Attorneys