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Court Appointed Counsel

This rule was created as an emergency measure based upon a review of assigned cases in the years 2001 and 2002. Specifically, the Court found that there was an increasing need for multiple attorneys to be available for appointment of counsel to indigent defendants based on the Court’s current and projected caseload requirements. The Court therefore adopted the following method for appointment of counsel consistent with the standards established by the Ohio Public Defender, the Warren County Board of Commissioner’s resolution 01-299 as amended from time to time (hereinafter WCBC resolution), The Supreme Court of Ohio Rules of Superintendence [Rule 8] and the Ohio Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar.

As best as is practicable and as justice requires:

  1. Any attorney representing a party in a criminal action in this court as well as other members of the Warren County Bar Association shall be eligible for inclusion on the list of attorneys qualified as appointed counsel. Appointed counsel will be assigned to cases involving indigent defendants when the crime for which the defendant is charged can result in incarceration and when the court determines that counsel’s current caseload does not prohibit such an appointment.

  2. Each appointment by the Court will be made without regard to sex, race, creed and/or national origin of the defendant or type of case and shall ensure the equitable distribution of appointments among all persons on the appointment list.

  3. Each appointed counsel shall agree to accept cases without regard to sex, race, creed or national origin of the defendant or type of case (unless the type of case is in which assigned counsel deems himself/herself or the Court unqualified).

  4. Each appointed counsel agrees to remain the attorney of record on the case(s) assigned until such case(s) is/are resolved. All exceptions to this rule must be severe and approved by the Judge that originally appointed said counsel.

  5. The resolution of a case is defined as when a defendant has exhausted all rights to appeal and has completed all sentences including any terms of probation.

  6. All qualified defendants shall be declared indigent only by the Court. The Court shall make such determination based wholly on the information provided by the defendant on a “Financial Disclosure/ Affidavit of Indigency” form as prescribed by the Ohio Public Defender Commission and use guidelines established by that office.

  7. The Court will require each appointed counsel to represent a defendant as diligently as is required by his oath of office as an attorney authorized to practice law in the State of Ohio. Appointed counsel will be held to the same standard of professionalism as any counsel on any other case in the court. Assigned counsel shall be familiar with the law applicable to the alleged offense in the case assigned. Assigned counsel shall also be familiar with the defendant, generally, as well as specifically, concerning the facts as alleged in the complaint. The Court suggests that to accomplish such familiarity, a sufficient amount of time should be spent on each assigned case, unless good cause is shown. In the event the Court does not feel that a sufficient amount of time is spent on an assigned case, appointed counsel may be required to supplement a motion for fees and provide good cause by way of an attached explanation.

  8. The itemization of hours spent in-court and out-of-court by the appointed counsel is required on every motion, entry and certification form submitted. Hours must be itemized on all forms in tenth of an hour (6 minute) increments.

  9. It is recommended by the Court that OPD-1028 be used to maintain time records. While the use of this form is not mandatory, attorneys are required to prepare and maintain time records for each appointed case showing the dates of service, nature of services rendered, and hours worked. These records should not be turned in with the billing, but may be requested from the attorney in the event the Ohio Public Defender has questions.

  10. Fees charged will not exceed $50.00 per hour for out of court and $60.00 per hour for in court service, with the exception of in death sentence cases then $60.00 per hour for both, for a total case charge not to exceed the amount specified in the WCBC resolution.

  11. Any reasonable and normal charge can be made on OPD-1028 within the guidelines set by the Ohio Public Defenders Commission. Such items include mileage, transcripts, experts, and any other reasonable requirement for defending the client. Each charged item along with charged time must not exceed WCBC resolution.
  12. All motions, entries and certification forms must be signed by the judge hearing the case for which reimbursement is being requested. In the event that the judge is a visiting or acting judge, the administrative judge must then review OPD-1028 unless a separate entry of recusal is filed along with the motion for fees.

If a party is incarcerated prior to arraignment, the Warren County jailer shall provide an indigence application to them at the time of commitment. No defendant shall be considered for appointed counsel if they have not completed the prescribed form prior to arraignment.

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


   
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