State Compensation Schemes

By Connie Owens,2014-04-05 21:43
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State Compensation Schemes


    *** Note: The relevant sources of law governing compensation have been paraphrased at times to capture the general meaning of the laws.


    1. Alabama Alabama Code ? 12-15-9

    ; Whenever legal custody of a child is vested in someone

    other than his parents, the court may order that the parent

    or other legally obligated person pay a reasonable sum that

    will cover in whole or in part the support and treatment of

    the child including support, treatment, costs, and legal


Alabama Code ? 12-15-11

    ; If the court finds that the parents or other legally obligated

    persons are financially able to pay all or part of the court

    costs, attorney fees and expenses, the court shall order

    them to pay and may prescribe the manner of payment.

Alabama Code ? 12-19-252

    ; (d) Counsel appointed to these cases shall be entitled to

    receive for their services a fee to be approved by the trial

    court. The amount of the fee shall be based on the

    number of hours spent by the attorney in working on the

    case and shall be computed at the rate of $50/hour for

    time expended in court and $30/hour for time reasonably

    expended out of court in the preparation of the case.

    (Effective October 1, 2000 the rate will be $60/hour for

    in-court work and $40/hour for reasonably expended out-

    of-court work). The total fees paid to any one attorney in

    ? Jean Koh Peters, 2006.

    any one case shall not exceed: 1) No limit if the original

    charge is a capital offense or carries a possible sentence of

    life without parole; 2) $3,500 for Class A felonies; 3) $2,500

    for Class B felonies; 4) $1,500 for Class C felonies; 5)

    $2,000 for juvenile cases; and 6) $1,000 for all other cases.

    The court for good cause shown may approve an attorney’s

    fee in excess of the maximum amount allowed. Counsel

    shall also be reimbursed for any expenses reasonably

    incurred in the defense of the client, to be approved in

    advance by the trial court.

    2. Alaska Alaska Statutes ? 25.24.310

    ; (a) If the court has appointed an attorney to represent the

    minor and the parties are indigent, the court shall enter an

    order for costs, fees, and disbursements in favor of the


    ; (c) If the court has appointed a GAL to represent the

    minor and the parties are indigent, the court shall enter an

    order for costs, fees, and disbursements in favor of the


    Alaska Statutes ? 18.85.100

    ; (b) Subject to the provisions of AS 18.85.155, the attorney

    services and facilities and the court costs shall be provided

    at public expense to the extent that the person, at the time

    the court determines indigency, is unable to provide for

    payment without undue hardship.

    Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure 90.7

    ; (m) The GAL, an attorney for a GAL, and expert witnesses

    used by the GAL will be compensated at a rate that the

    court determines is reasonable. Fees and costs for a private

    ? Jean Koh Peters, 2006.

    GAL will be divided equally between the parties unless the court finds good cause to change this allocation. The GAL must seek court approval before incurring extraordinary expenses.

    Rule 12

    ; (c)(3) In an appointment for representation of a minor, the court shall enter an order for costs, fees and disbursements in favor of the state. If the appointment is made in custody/support/visitation proceeding, the court shall, if possible, avoid assigning costs to only one party by

    ordering that costs of the minor’s legal representative or guardian services be paid from property belong to both parents before a division of property is made.

    ; (c)(5) Attorneys will be compensated at the rate of $40/hour, provided that total compensation for any case

    will not exceed $500 without prior approval of the administrative director. A person other than an attorney appointed to provide services will receive compensation if the court deems it appropriate not to exceed $25/hour,

    provided that total compensation for any case will not exceed $300 without prior approval of the administrative director. Extraordinary expenses will be reimbursed only if prior authority has been obtained from the administrative director, upon recommendation by the assigned trial judge

    or the presiding judge. The assigned trial judge may recommend extraordinary expenses up to $1,000, and the presiding judge may recommend up to an additional $1,500. Extraordinary expenses exceeding $2,500 may be authorized only in extremely complex cases by the

    administrative director upon the recommendation of the

    ? Jean Koh Peters, 2006.

    presiding judge.

    3. American Samoa Am. Samoa Code Ann. ? 45.2017

    ; (d) If the prayer of the petition is granted, the costs of

    court proceedings, including GAL and expert witness fees,

    may be charged by the court against the respondent. If the

    prayer of the petition is not granted, the costs may be

    charged against the territory of American Samoa.

    4. Arizona Arizona Statutes ? 8-221 Arizona is one of only four states (the

    other three being Connecticut, Florida, ; (B) If a juvenile is found to be indigent and entitled to

    and New York) to question the counsel, the juvenile court shall appoint an attorney to

    constitutional basis of the CAPTA represent the person (unless counsel is waived).

    compensation system. The Arizona case ; (F) The county board of supervisors may fix a reasonable

    actually upheld the constitutionality of a sum to be paid by the county for the services of an

    relatively low system of compensation. appointed attorney.

    See Haralambie v. Pima County, 669 P.2d ; (G) When the court appoints an attorney to represent a 984 (Arizona Court of Appeals 1983). juvenile, the court shall order the juvenile or parent or guardian, if he can afford it, to pay the attorney or the In the Matter of the Appeal in Pima County county an amount the parent or guardian is able to pay Juvenile Severance Action No. S-113432, 872 without incurring substantial hardship to the family. P.2d 1240 (Arizona Court of Appeals 1993): A.R.S. ? 8-225 [now 8-221] Arizona Statutes ? 8-522 requires the court to appoint counsel for ; (D) A special advocate serves without compensation but is indigent children in proceedings, such as entitled to reimbursement of expenses pursuant to severance, that fall under Title 8. The guidelines prescribed by the supreme court by rule. attorney should have been appointed and

    compensated under this provision.

    5. Arkansas Arkansas Code ? 9-27-310

    ; (e) No fees shall be charged or collected by the clerk or

    sheriffs’ offices in cases brought in the circuit court under

    this subchapter by a governmental entity or non-profit

    ? Jean Koh Peters, 2006.

    corporation, including the prosecuting attorney, an attorney

    ad litem appointed in a dependency-neglect case, or the

    Department of Human Services.

    Arkansas Code ? 9-27-316

    ; (2) The court may order financially able juveniles, parents,

    guardians, or custodians to pay all or part of reasonable

    attorney’s fees and expenses for representation of a


    ; (3) All moneys collected by the clerk of the court under this

    subsection shall be retained by the clerk and deposited into

    a special fund (the “juvenile representation fund”).

    ; (4) The court may direct that money from this fund be

    used in providing counsel for juveniles under this section in

    delinquency or family in need of services cases and indigent

    parents or guardians in dependency-neglect cases…

    ; (5) Any money remaining in the fund at the end of the

    fiscal year shall carry over into the next fiscal year in the

    juvenile representation fund.

    Ark. Code Ann. ? 9-27-401

    ; (b)(1) The Director of the Administrative Office of the

    Courts is authorized to employ or entire into professional

    service contracts with private individuals or businesses or

    public agencies to represent all children in dependency-

    neglect proceedings.

    ; (3)(B) The distribution of funds among the judicial districts

    shall be based on a formula developed by the office and

    approved by the Juvenile Division Judges Committee of

    the Arkansas Judicial Council.

    ? Jean Koh Peters, 2006.

; (d)(4) When attorneys are appointed, the fees for services

    and reimbursable expenses shall be paid from funds

    appropriated for that purpose to the office.

    ; (d)(6) The court may also require the parties to pay all or a

    portion of the expenses, depending on the abilitiy of the

    parties to pay.

    ; (d)(7) The office shall establish guidelines to provide a

    maximum amount of expenses and fees per hour and per

    case that will be paid under this section.

    ; (d)(8) The funds appropriated shall be apportioned to

    judicial districts based upon a formula developed by the

    office and approved by the committee.

    6. California California Rules of Court, Rule 1412

    ; (g) At each hearing the court must advice as unrepresented

    child, parent, or guardian of the right to be represented by

    counsel and, if applicable, of the right to have counsel

    appointed, subject to a claim by the court or the county for

    reimbursement as provided by law.

    California Rules of Court, Rule 1424

    ; (a) A CASA program must comply with this rule to be

    eligible to receive Judicial Council funding. The Judicial

    Council may consider compliance with the guidelines

    delineated in the CASA Program Policies and Procedures

    Manual when determining eligibility for and amount of

    program funding.

    ; (k) CASA programs may receive funds from probation

    departments, local child welfare agencies, and the

    California Department of Social Services (pursuant to the

    conditions of this rule).

    ? Jean Koh Peters, 2006.

    7. Colorado C.R.S. 13-91-102 A GAL’s fees are paid and expenses are

    reimbursed through the Colorado Office ; This statute establishes the Office of the Child’s

    of the Children’s Representative (OCR). Representative (OCR) and funding resources to improve

    Attorneys are paid either on a flat fee the quality of representation and advocacy provided to

    basis or per hour. Currently, per-hour children in the Colorado court system.

    attorney receive $45/hour for out-of-

    court work and $55/hour for in-court C.R.S. 13-91-106

    work. The flat fee for a dependency and ; This statute establishes a GAL fund and a CASA fund.

    neglect proceeding is $1040. An

    additional $2000 in fees may be billed by Supreme Court of Colorado Chief Justice Directive 04-06

    the GAL for appeals. Fees in excess of ; IV (B) the appointee shall submit claims for payment of $2000 and all expenses must be approved legal fees and expenses directly to the OCR. The OCR will by the OCR in advance. set forth maximum total fees per appointment and

    procedures for approval of excess fees.

    8. Connecticut Connecticut Statutes ? 46b-136

    ; When a judge appoints an attorney to represent the child, it

    can order whoever has legal custody of the child to pay for

    these legal fees.

Connecticut Statutes ?46b-129a

    ; The counsel and GAL’s fees, if any, shall be paid by the

    parents or guardian, or the estate of the child, or, if such

    persons are unable to pay, by the court.

Juvenile Matters Trial Lawyers Ass’n v. Judicial Dept., 2005 U.S. Dist.

    LEXIS 5067, *4-5 (D. Conn. 2005).

    ; Attorneys seeking appointment sign an annual contract

    with the Connecticut Judicial Department. They will be

    paid a flat fee of $350 for the first 30 hours of

    representation in a case and $40 per hour for

    ? Jean Koh Peters, 2006.

    representation beyond the initial 30 years.


    ; The Juvenile Matters Trial Lawyers Association filed suit in

    federal district court against the Judicial Department in

    2004, claiming that the compensation rates were

    substantially lower than those paid to public defenders.

    The District Court dismissed the case in 2005, holding that

    the Association did not have standing nor the associational

    standing to bring the case.

    9. Delaware [Research did not reveal results on compensation] The Office of the Child Advocate was

    charged with implementing and

    coordinating a program to provide pro

    bono or contractual attorneys to represent

    the best interests of children.

    10. District of D.C. Statutes ? 16-2326.01. [See subsections (a) through (h)]

    Columbia ; (a)(1) An attorney or GAL representing a person who is

    financially unable to obtain legal counsel shall be

    compensated at the end of the representation at a rate not

    less than the hourly rates established in D.C. Official Code,

    sec. 11-2604.

    ; (a)(2) The attorney may make a claim for expenses

    reasonably incurred.

    ; (b) Compensation is subject to the following limitations: (1)

    for all proceedings from initial hearing through disposition,

    the maximum compensation shall be $1,600; (2) for all

    subsequent proceedings other than terminating parental

    rights, the maximum compensation shall be $1,600 per

    year; (3) for proceeding to terminate parental rights, the

    maximum compensation shall be $2,200; and for appeal of

    trial courts, the maximum compensation shall be $1,100

    ? Jean Koh Peters, 2006.

per case.

    ; (f)(1) Claims for compensation in excess of the maximum amounts provided in subsection (b) may be approved for extended or complex representation when the payment is necessary to provide fair compensation.

    D.C. Statutes ? 11-2604

    ; (a) These attorneys shall be compensated at a fixed rate of $65/hour. They shall be reimbursed for expenses reasonably incurred.

    11. Florida Florida Statutes ? 27.5304 Florida is one of only four states (the

    other three being Arizona, Connecticut, ; Compensation may not exceed 80% of the fees earned, or

    and New York) to question the costs and related expenses incurred, to date, or an amount

    constitutional basis of the CAPTA proportionate to the maximum fees permitted under this

    compensation system. section based on legal services provided to date, whichever

     is less. The court may grant the motion if counsel shows

    The Florida Legislature provided funding that failure to grant the motion would work a particular

    for the establishment of GAL programs hardship upon counsel.

    in every circuit to represent the best ; 7) Private court-appointed counsel representing a parent in

    interests of abused and neglected a dependency case that is open may submit a request for

    children through a volunteer model. By payment to the Justice Administrative Commission at the

    1990, all of Florida’s twenty judicial following intervals:

    circuits had programs for the delivery of (a) Upon entry of an order of disposition as to the parent

    GAL services that were administratively being represented.

    managed by the trial courts. (b) Upon conclusion of a 12-month permanency review.

    (c) Following a judicial review hearing.

    In no case, however, may counsel submit requests under this subsection more than once per quarter, unless the

    court finds extraordinary circumstances justifying more frequent submission of payment requests.

    ? Jean Koh Peters, 2006.

    Florida Statutes ? 39.0134

    o If counsel is entitled to receive compensation for

    representation pursuant to a court appointment in a

    dependency proceeding or a termination of parental rights

    proceeding pursuant to this chapter, compensation shall be

    paid in accordance with s. 27.5304. The state may acquire

    and enforce a lien upon court-ordered payment of

    attorney's fees and costs in accordance with s. 984.08.

    Florida Statutes ? 39.822

    ; (2) In those cases in which the parents are financially able,

    the parents of the child shall reimburse the court, in part or

    in whole, for the cost of GAL services. Reimbursement to

    the GAL shall not be contingent upon successful collection

    by the court from the parents.

    Florida Statutes ? 984.08

    o (2) If, after the appointment of counsel for an indigent

    parent or legal guardian, it is determined that the parent or

    legal guardian is not indigent, the court has continuing

    jurisdiction to assess attorney's fees and costs against the

    parent or legal guardian, and order the payment thereof.

    When payment of attorney's fees or costs has been

    assessed and ordered by the court, there is hereby created a

    lien in the name of the county in which the legal assistance

    was rendered, enforceable as provided in subsection (3),

    upon all the property, both real and personal, of the parent

    or legal guardian who received the court-ordered appointed

    counsel under this chapter. The lien constitutes a claim

    against the parent or legal guardian and the parent's or legal

    guardian's estate in an amount to be determined by the

    ? Jean Koh Peters, 2006.

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