Notice of Intended Action

Claims for services, amendments to chs 1, 4, 7, 12 to 14

Untitled document

ARC 1437C

STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER[493]

Notice of Intended Action

Twenty-five interested persons, a governmental subdivision, an agency or association of 25 or more persons may demand an oral presentation hereon as provided in Iowa Code section 17A.4(1)"b."

Notice is also given to the public that the Administrative Rules Review Committee may, on its own motion or on written request by any individual or group, review this proposed action under section 17A.8(6) at a regular or special meeting where the public or interested persons may be heard.

Pursuant to the authority of Iowa Code section 13B.4(8), the State Public Defender hereby gives Notice of Intended Action to amend Chapter 1, "Administration," Chapter 4, "Public Records and Fair Information Practices," Chapter 7, "Definitions," Chapter 12, "Claims for Indigent Defense Services," Chapter 13, "Claims for Other Professional Services," and Chapter 14, "Claims for Attorney Fees in 600A Terminations," Iowa Administrative Code.

These proposed amendments establish a number of safeguards in response to the improper billing practices of some indigent defense contract attorneys. These safeguards include setting a maximum number of aggregate hours that an attorney can bill in a day, requiring more detailed itemized time and expense reimbursement records, establishing additional documentation requirements for claims of attorneys whose contracts were canceled for improper billing practices, and clarifying the prohibition on other improper practices, such as standardized billing, estimated billing, and duplicative mileage reimbursements. The proposed amendments also make other technical and substantive revisions to the claims-processing procedures of the State Public Defender as the result of a comprehensive review of the State Public Defender's administrative rules and the joint Lean Kaizen event with the Department of Inspections and Appeals.

Any interested person may make written suggestions or comments on the proposed amendments on or before May 20, 2014. Such written comments should be sent to Kurt Swaim, First Assistant State Public Defender, Fourth Floor, Lucas State Office Building, 321 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319; or by fax to (515)281-7289 or e-mail at kswaim@spd.state.ia.us.

A public hearing will be held on May 20, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. in Conference Room 424, Fourth Floor, Lucas State Office Building, 321 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa, at which time persons may present their views either orally or in writing. At the hearing, persons will be asked to give their names and addresses for the record and to confine their remarks to the subject of the amendments.

Any persons who intend to attend the public hearing and have special requirements, such as those related to hearing or mobility impairments, should contact the State Public Defender and advise of the specific needs.

After analysis and review of this rule making, no adverse impact on jobs has been found.

These amendments are intended to implement Iowa Code chapters 13B, 600A, and 815.

The following amendments are proposed.

Item 1. Amend paragraph 1.3(3)"e" as follows:

e. Coordinating the provision of legal representation of all indigents under arrest or charged with a crime, on appeal in criminal cases, in a proceeding to obtain postconviction relief when ordered to do so by the court, against whom a contempt action is pending, in proceedings under Iowa Code chapter 229A, in juvenile cases under Iowa Code chapter chapters 232 and 600A, or in probation or parole violations under Iowa Code chapter 908;

Item 2. Amend paragraphs 4.13(2)"f" to "h" as follows:

f. Records which constitute attorney work product, attorney-client communications, or which are otherwise privileged. Attorney work product is confidential under Iowa Code sections 22.7(4), 622.10 and 622.11, Iowa R.C.P. 122.11 1.503, the rules of evidence, the Code of Professional Responsibility, and case law. Attorney work product includes an itemization of work performed on an interim indigent defense fee claim form or claims resulting from a mistrial.

g. Criminal investigative reports. (Iowa Code section 22.7(5))

h. A claim for compensation and reimbursement for legal assistance and supporting documents submitted to the state public defender for payment of costs incurred in the legal representation of an indigent person pursuant to Iowa Code section 13B.4B, except as disclosure is authorized under that section.

h. i.Any other records considered confidential by law.

Item 3. Amend subrule 4.14(1) as follows:

4.14(1) By authority of Iowa Code chapter 13B, the appellate defender division maintains information and records relating to criminal and postconviction relief cases that are being appealed. Records contain names and identifying numbers of persons involved in these cases. Case information is stored in a data processing system and may be compared with information in any data processing system. By authority of Iowa Code section 910A.13, the names of child victims shall not be disclosed. Confidential juvenile records under Iowa Code section 232.147 shall not be disclosed except as otherwise permitted by law. Presentence investigation reports in the possession of the appellate defender are confidential records pursuant to Iowa Code section 901.4.

Item 4. Adopt the following new definition of "Returned fee claim letter" in rule 493—7.1(13B,815):

"Returned fee claim letter" means a letter in which the state public defender returns the claim and notifies the claimant as to the reason the claim was returned.

Item 5. Amend rule 493—7.1(13B,815), definition of "Written," as follows:

"Written" as used in these rules may include electronically transmitted communication to the extent permitted by rules of the state public defender except where a statute or rule expressly requires an original signature, mailing or any other special form of delivery other than electronic transmission.

Item 6. Rescind the definitions of "Clerical activities," "Date of service," "Timely claim" and "Travel time" in rule 493—7.1(13B,815).

Item 7. Amend subrule 12.1(3) as follows:

12.1(3) The Iowa Code requires the state public defender to approve only those indigent defense fee claims that are reasonable and appropriate under applicable statutes. In exercising this duty, the state public defender publishes rules and makes judgments considering what is statutorily permitted, fair for claimants, fair for indigent clients (who, by law, are required to reimburse the state for the costs of their defense to the extent they are reasonably able to pay such costs), and consistent with good stewardship of public appropriations.

Item 8. Amend subrule 12.2(1) as follows:

12.2(1) Required claim documents. Court-appointed attorneys shall submit written indigent defense fee claims to the state public defender for review, approval and payment. These claims shall include the following:

a. A completed fee claim on a form promulgated by the state public defender. Adult fee claims, including all trial-level criminal and postconviction relief proceedings, misdemeanor appeals to district court, postconviction relief and applications for discretionary review or applications for interlocutory appeals to the Iowa supreme court, must be submitted on an Adult form. Juvenile fee claims, including petitions on appeal and applications for interlocutory appeals, must be submitted on a Juvenile form. Appellate fee claims, including claims for all criminal and postconviction relief appeals, work performed after the granting of an application for discretionary review or for interlocutory appeal, or if and work performed after full briefing is ordered following a juvenile petition on appeal, must be submitted on an Appellate form. The claim forms may be downloaded from the state public defender Web site: http://spd.iowa.gov. Claims submitted that do not comply with the instructions on the Web site may be returned to the claimant for additional information and resubmission.

b. A copy of all orders appointing the attorney to the case.

(1)The appointment order must be signed by the court and either dated by the court or have a legible file-stamp.

(2)If, at the time of appointment, the attorney does not have a contract to represent indigent persons in the type of case and the county in which the action is pending, the appointment order must include either a finding that no attorney with a contract to represent indigent persons in that specific type of case and that county is available or a finding that the state public defender was consulted and consented to the appointment.

(3)Claims for probation or parole violations and contempt actions are considered new cases, and the attorney must submit a copy of an appointment order for these claims cases. Appointment orders in parole violation cases to which the attorney was appointed on or after May 5, 2005, must also contain the following findings:

1.The alleged parole violator requests appointment of counsel;

2.The alleged parole violator is indigent as defined in Iowa Code section 815.9;

3.The alleged parole violator, because of lack of skill or education, would have difficulty in presenting the alleged violator's version of a disputed set of facts, particularly when presentation requires the examining or cross-examining of witnesses or the offering or dissecting of complex documentary evidence; and

4.The alleged parole violator has a colorable claim that the alleged violation has not been committed, or there are substantial reasons which justify or mitigate the violation and make revocation inappropriate.

(4)If the venue is changed in a juvenile case, an order appointing the attorney in the new county must be submitted.

(5)An A new appointment order is not necessary for trial counsel to request or resist an interlocutory appeal or an application for discretionary review.

(6)A new appointment order is not necessary to pursue or respond to a juvenile petition on appeal if the attorney was properly appointed to represent the client in juvenile court. If the original trial counsel withdraws or is removed from the case, the new appellate counsel must attach an order appointing the attorney for the appeal.

(6) (7)An appointment order is not necessary if the state public defender determines the appointment order is unnecessary.

c. A copy of any application and court order authorizing the attorney to exceed the attorney fee limitations.

d. A copy of any court order that affects the amount to be paid or the client's right to counsel.

e. A copy of the dispositional order, the order granting a motion to withdraw prior to disposition, procedendo, or other court order documenting the "date of service" for the claim.

e. f.An itemization detailing all work performed on the case for which the attorney seeks compensation.

(1)The itemization must separately state the date and amount of time spent on each activity. Time may must be reported in either tenths or hundreths of an hour on the itemization but must be recorded in tenths of an hour on the claim form. Time listed in hundredths of an hour on the claim form will be reduced to the nearest tenth of an hour. Time shall be rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour. For example, an attorney spending ten minutes performing a task shall bill 0.2 hours, while an attorney spending three minutes performing a task must not bill for the task.

(2)The itemization shall separately designate time claimed for in-court time, out-of-court time, paralegal time and travel time.

(3)If another attorney performed any of the work, the itemization shall specify the name of the attorney performing each activity. It is permissible to use initials representing the name, so long as an explanation is provided as to the full name for each set of initials with the itemization.

(3) (4)The itemization must be in chronological order.

(4) (5)The itemization must be typed in at least 10-point type on 8½″ × 11″ paper.

(5)If the itemization does not indicate the date of the disposition of the case, a copy of the dispositional order must be attached to the claim.

f. g.If the attorney was privately retained to represent the client prior to appointment, a copy of any representation agreement, written notice of the dollar amount paid to the attorney, and an itemization of services performed and how any funds provided were spent during the period prior to the court appointment. The state public defender will review the amount paid and hours spent before and after the court appointment in determining the appropriate attorney compensation on the claim.

Item 9. Rescind subrule 12.2(2) and adopt the following new subrule in lieu thereof:

12.2(2) Failure to submit required documents. Submitted claims for which the entire claim form has not been properly completed or which do not include the documents required by subrule 12.2(1) may be returned to the attorney for additional information and resubmission within the time required by paragraph 12.2(3)"d." If the attorney fails to submit all the required documentation to support a claim, the state public defender may request additional information or may deny all or a portion of the claim.

Item 10. Rescind subrule 12.2(3) and adopt the following new subrule in lieu thereof:

12.2(3) Timely claims required. Claims submitted prior to the date of service shall be returned to the claimant unpaid and may be resubmitted to the state public defender after the date of service. Claims that are not submitted within 45 days of the date of service as defined in this subrule shall be denied as untimely unless the delay in submitting the claim is excused by paragraph 12.2(3)"f." Attorney fees and expenses that are submitted on a claim denied as untimely under this subrule may be resubmitted on a subsequent claim that is timely submitted with respect to a subsequent date of service in the same case. For purposes of this subrule, a probation, parole, or contempt proceeding is not the "same case" as the underlying proceeding.

a. Adult claims. For adult claims, "date of service" means the date of filing of an order indicating that the case was dismissed or the client was acquitted or sentenced, the date of mistrial, the date on which a warrant was issued for the client, or the date of a court order authorizing the attorney's withdrawal from a case prior to the date of a dismissal, acquittal, sentencing, mistrial or the issuance of a warrant. The filing of a notice of appeal is not a date of service. If a motion for reconsideration is filed, the date on which the court rules on that motion is the date of service. For interim adult claims authorized by subrule 12.3(3) or 12.3(4), the date of service is the last day on which the attorney claimed time on the itemization of services.

b. Juvenile claims. For juvenile claims, "date of service" means the date of filing of an order as a result of the dispositional hearing or most recent postdispositional hearing that occurs while the client is still an active party in the case, the date on which the client ceased to be a party, the date of a court order authorizing the attorney's withdrawal from a case prior to the filing of the final ruling with respect to the client, the date jurisdiction is waived to adult court, the date on which the venue is changed, the date of dismissal, or the file-stamped date of a procedendo resulting from a petition on appeal. The date of a family drug court meeting, family team meeting, staffing, or foster care review board hearing is not a date of service.

c. Appellate claims. For appellate claims, "date of service" means the date on which the case was dismissed, the date of a court order authorizing the attorney's withdrawal prior to the filing of the proof brief, the date on which the proof brief was filed, or the date on which the procedendo was issued.

d. Notices of action and returned claims. For claims of any type that are filed as a result of a notice of action letter or a returned fee claim letter, "date of service" means the date of the notice of action letter or returned fee claim letter. But a claim that is denied as untimely does not become timely merely because it was resubmitted with 45 days of a returned fee claim letter. A timely claim returned to the attorney for additional information shall continue to be deemed timely only if resubmitted with the required information within 45 days of being returned by the state public defender.

e. Court orders. For claims of any type that are filed as a result of a court order after hearing for review of the fee claim, "date of service" means the file-stamped date of the order.

f. Exceptions to the 45-day rule. The state public defender may in the state public defender's sole discretion approve a claim that was not submitted within 45 days of the date of service only if the delay in submitting the claim was caused by one of the following circumstances:

(1)The death of the attorney;

(2)The death of the spouse of the attorney, a child of the attorney, or an employee of the attorney who was responsible for assisting in the preparation of the attorney's fee claims;

(3)A serious illness or injury that prevents the attorney from working for more than 3 consecutive days and occurs in the last 5 days before the expiration of the 45-day period for timely claims;

(4)The attorney's need to care for the attorney's spouse or child with a serious illness or injury that prevents the spouse or child from working, attending school, or performing other regular daily activities for more than 3 consecutive days and occurs in the last 5 days before the expiration of the 45-day period for timely claims.

Any claim submitted pursuant to subparagraph (1) must be submitted within 45 days of the death of the attorney. Any claim submitted pursuant to subparagraph (2) must be submitted within 30 days of the death that caused the delay. Any claim submitted pursuant to subparagraph (3) or (4) must be submitted within 15 days of the end of the illness or injury that caused the delay. An attorney claiming an exception to the 45-day rule shall submit with the claim a letter explaining the applicable exception and written documentation supporting the exception.

Item 11. Rescind subrule 12.2(4) and adopt the following new subrule in lieu thereof:

12.2(4) Valid appointment required. Claims for compensation from an attorney appointed as counsel or guardian ad litem may be denied if the attorney was appointed contrary to Iowa Code section 814.11 or 815.10. Claims for which court-appointed counsel at state expense is not statutorily authorized or which are not payable from the indigent defense fund created by Iowa Code section 815.11 will be denied.

a. Appellate appointments. Claims for compensation from an attorney whose appointment as counsel or guardian ad litem at the appellate level does not comply with Iowa Code section 814.11 shall be denied.

b. Trial-level designations. Claims by an attorney whose appointment in a case as counsel or guardian ad litem at the trial level was made on or after July 1, 2009, shall be denied if the state public defender filed a designation effective at the time of the appointment designating a local public defender, nonprofit corporation, or attorney to represent indigent persons in that type of case in the county in which the case was filed, unless the appointment order and any supporting documentation submitted with the claim demonstrate that:

(1)The state public defender's designee and any successor designee have withdrawn from the case or have been offered and declined to take the case; or

(2)The state public defender's designee and any successor designee would have withdrawn from or would have declined to take the case had the appointment been offered.

c. Trial-level contract attorney preference. Claims by an attorney whose appointment in a case as counsel or guardian ad litem at the trial level was made on or after February 1, 2012, shall be denied unless:

(1)At the time of the appointment, the attorney had a contract with the state public defender to represent indigent persons in that specific type of case and that county in which the action was pending; or

(2)The appointment order includes a specific finding that no attorney with a contract to represent indigent persons in that specific type of case and that county in which the action was pending is available or a finding that the state public defender was consulted and consented to the appointment; or

(3)After the appointment, the attorney entered into a contract with the state public defender, or amended the attorney's existing contract, to represent indigent persons in the specific type of case and the county in which the action was pending, in which case only the portion of the claim for the services performed prior to the effective date of the contract shall be denied.

Item 12. Rescind subrule 12.2(5) and adopt the following new subrule in lieu thereof:

12.2(5) Scope of appointment. Claims shall only be paid for services rendered and expenses incurred within the scope of the attorney's court appointment. Any other fees or expenses claimed will be denied.

a. Services prior to appointment. Claims for services rendered or expenses incurred prior to the effective date of the attorney's appointment are not payable within the scope of the attorney's appointment and shall be denied.

b. Representation of parents after termination of parental rights. Claims for services rendered or expenses incurred by an attorney for representing a parent in a child in need of assistance case or termination of parental rights case for work performed after the date on which the termination of that parent's parental rights becomes final, either on appeal or because no appeal was taken, are not payable within the scope of the attorney's appointment and shall be denied.

c. Guardian ad litem for children over the age of 18. Claims for services rendered or expenses incurred by a guardian ad litem for a child who is aged 18 or older and involved in a juvenile court proceeding are only within the scope of appointment if the court enters an order appointing the guardian ad litem for the limited purposes of continuing a relationship with the child and to provide advice to the child relating to the child's transition plan under Iowa Code section 232.2 beyond the child's eighteenth birthday. The appointment shall end on the date a court order relieving the guardian ad litem of further duties or the date of a court order closing the juvenile case, whichever occurs first, and claims for services rendered or expenses incurred after such date shall be denied. Neither a parent nor guardian of the child in interest is entitled to court-appointed counsel during the post-age 18 transition period.

Item 13. Rescind subrule 12.2(6) and adopt the following new subrule in lieu thereof:

12.2(6) Rate of compensation. Claims for compensation in excess of the applicable rate of compensation established by rule 493—12.4(13B,815) or in the attorney's contract with the state public defender are not payable and shall be reduced to the applicable rate of compensation.

Item 14. Rescind subrule 12.2(7) and adopt the following new subrule in lieu thereof:

12.2(7) Excessive claims. The amount of a claim for services provided or expenses incurred that is excessive shall be reduced by the state public defender to an amount which is not excessive. Only reasonable and necessary compensation and expenses will be approved for payment.

Item 15. Rescind subrule 12.2(8) and adopt the following new subrule in lieu thereof:

12.2(8) Review of claims after contract termination for improper billing practices. A claim submitted by an attorney whose contract with the state public defender is terminated for improper billing practice shall be paid only to the extent that the claim is supported by authentic, independent, written documentation originating from sources other than the attorney, even if such a claim would otherwise be payable under this chapter. Any portion of a claim for a service performed or expense incurred that is not independently verified by such documentation is not payable under the contract and shall be denied.

a. Acceptable documentation. Independent, written documentation that may support a claim for services performed or expenses incurred by the attorney includes, but is not limited to:

(1)Affidavits of clients, witnesses, prosecutors, service providers, department of human services staff, court staff, or other persons who can verify that the attorney performed a service for a specific length of time on a specific day. Affidavits from employees of the attorney or the attorney's firm, family members of the attorney, or other attorneys within the same law firm as the attorney are not independent documentation and are insufficient to confirm a claim for a service performed or expense incurred.

(2)Court orders or other documents in the court file that verify the attorney's attendance at a court proceeding, as well as the date, time, duration, and location of the proceeding.

(3)Deposition transcripts and other records of the certified shorthand reporter that verify the attorney's attendance at a deposition, as well as the date, time, duration, and location of the deposition.

(4)Records of a jail or correctional facility that document the date, time, and duration of visits, telephone calls, or videoconferencing sessions with clients or witnesses in custody in the facility.

(5)Records of a telecommunication provider that verify the length of telephone calls, long-distance expenses, or fax expenses.

(6)Records of an online legal research service that document the date, time, duration, and nature of legal research performed.

(7)Calculations from mapping software, such as MapQuest or Google Maps, of the distance traveled to a location where a verified service was provided.

(8)Original printed receipts for expenses incurred.

b. Pending claims. Any claims submitted by an attorney that have not yet been approved by the state public defender when the attorney's contract with the state public defender is terminated for improper billing practices shall be returned to the attorney. The attorney may resubmit any claim returned in its entirety, or a portion thereof, within the time required by paragraph 12.2(3)"d," with the additional documentation required by this subrule confirming all time and expenses claimed on the itemization. The resubmitted claim shall be reviewed consistent with the requirements of this subrule. Any claim not resubmitted within the time required by paragraph 12.2(3)"d" shall be denied.

c. Court review. An attorney whose claim is denied or reduced pursuant to this subrule may seek court review of the state public defender's action on that claim by filing a motion for court review as provided for by rule 493—12.9(13B,815). But if the attorney has sought review of the state public defender's decision to terminate the attorney's contract for improper billing practices, the court shall stay proceedings on the attorney's motion until the attorney has exhausted all administrative remedies, final judgment has been entered in any judicial review action under Iowa Code chapter 17A, and any appeal of such judgment is decided. The final judgment of any judicial review action under Iowa Code chapter 17A regarding the termination of the attorney's contract conclusively determines the applicability of this subrule. If the attorney fails to seek judicial review of the state public defender's decision to terminate the attorney's contract, the state public defender's notice to the attorney that the state public defender is terminating the attorney's contract for improper billing practices is conclusive evidence that this subrule applies, and the attorney may not challenge the termination decision or the applicability of this subrule in the motion for review of the state public defender's action on the fee claim under rule 493—12.9(13B,815).

Item 16. Rescind subrule 12.2(9) and adopt the following new subrule in lieu thereof:

12.2(9) Approval of claims. Claims shall be forwarded to the department for final processing and payment only after the state public defender has determined that payment of the claim is appropriate under this chapter and under Iowa law. No payments shall be made from the indigent defense fund except with the authorization of the state public defender.

Item 17. Rescind subrules 12.2(10) to 12.2(14).

Item 18. Amend rule 493—12.3(13B,815) as follows:

493—12.3(13B,815) Interim claims. Claims will be paid at the earlier of the conclusion of the case unless one of the following applies: or when legal representation of the client under the original court appointment is concluded, except as provided for in subrule 12.3(1), 12.3(2), 12.3(3), or 12.3(4).

12.3(1) Juvenile cases. An initial claim for services in a juvenile case may be submitted after the dispositional hearing, if any. Subsequent claims may be submitted after each court hearing held in the case. A court hearing does not include family drug court, family team meetings, staffings or foster care review board hearings.

12.3(2) Appellate cases. A claim for work performed to date by an attorney having an appellate contract with the state public defender may be submitted in appellate cases after the filing of the attorney's proof brief. A subsequent claim may be submitted at the conclusion of the case after the procedendo is filed.

12.3(3) Specific cases Class A felonies. Interim claims in Class A felony cases may be submitted once every three months, with the first claim submitted at least 90 days following the effective date of the attorney's appointment.

12.3(4) Change of employment. If an attorney is changing law firms, the attorney may submit a claim to end billing at one firm and start billing at the new firm. If payments are to be made to someone other than the law firm which the attorney is leaving, both the attorney and the law firm must advise the state public defender in writing that the attorney is leaving the firm and where the payments should be made.

12.3(5) 12.3(4) Other cases. In all other cases, claims filed prior to the conclusion of the case will not be paid except with prior written consent of the state public defender.

12.3(5) Change of employment. A change of employment is not a basis for submitting an interim claim. An attorney changing firms must wait to submit a claim until the conclusion of the case unless the attorney withdraws from the case or subrule 12.3(1), 12.3(2), or 12.3(3) applies. Because indigent defense contracts are with the attorney and not with the law firm, the state public defender shall send payments to whatever person or law firm the departing attorney directs.

12.3(6) Approval of interim claims. Approval of any interim claims shall not affect the right of the state public defender to review subsequent claims or the aggregate amount of the claims submitted.

Item 19. Rescind and reserve subrule 12.4(3).

Item 20. Rescind rule 493—12.5(13B,815) and adopt the following new rule in lieu thereof:

493—12.5(13B,815) Payable attorney time.

12.5(1) Maximum daily hours. An attorney appointed as counsel or guardian ad litem must not perform services for indigent persons or submit claims to the state public defender for payment for such services for more than 12 hours of the attorney's time in any calendar day except as provided in this subrule.

a. An attorney may perform services for indigent persons and submit claims to the state public defender for payment for such services for more than 12 hours and less than or equal to 16 hours in a calendar day if and only if the attorney is in trial or other contested court hearing lasting more than one day or the attorney is preparing for such a trial or hearing that will be occurring within the next seven days.

b. If an attorney performs services for indigent persons and submits claims to the state public defender for payment for such services for more than 12 hours and less than or equal to 16 hours in a calendar day, the attorney shall include with each claim form submitted to the state public defender that claims time for that date, even if the amount claimed on that claim form is less than 12 hours, a letter specifying the total hours worked for indigent persons, any additional time billed to other private clients on that date or certifying that no other time was billed to any other client, and explaining the need to work more than 12 hours.

c. Any time claimed by an attorney appointed as counsel or guardian ad litem in excess of 12 hours on a calendar day, except as permitted by this subrule, and any time claimed in excess of 16 hours on a calendar day, shall not be paid. If the time is claimed on multiple claims, the most recently submitted claim claiming time on a particular calendar day shall be reduced so as not to pay more than the maximum authorized daily hours. If more than the maximum authorized amount is inadvertently paid by the state public defender, the attorney shall reimburse the state public defender upon written notice of the improper payment.

12.5(2) Standardized and estimated billing prohibited. All time submitted on the itemization of services must be the actual time worked providing services to the client. Attorneys are prohibited from using standardized billing estimates for tasks, such as billing 0.1 for every page of a document reviewed or 0.2 for every e-mail sent or received, or 1.0 hour for every court proceeding. Attorneys must also not use standardized billing for cases, such as billing the same set of standard tasks in every case regardless of whether the task was actually performed.

12.5(3) Nonbillable time. The following activities are not reasonable and necessary legal services for the indigent client, and therefore time and expenses for such activities are not payable under the attorney's appointment and will be denied:

a. Clerical work, including but not limited to opening and closing files; making photocopies; opening or sending mail; sending cover letters; transmitting copies of documents to a client, another party or clerk of court; sending faxes; picking up or delivering documents; drafting internal file memos; giving instructions to support staff; scheduling; or billing;

b. Preparation of motions to withdraw from a case, and other time related to withdrawing from a case, when the withdrawal is made in order to retire from the practice of law, discontinue or reduce indigent defense representation, pursue another job, or is otherwise for the attorney's personal benefit;

c. Overhead, including time spent managing the operations of the attorney's law practice, office lease payments, or support staff salaries;

d. Preparation of the fee claim, itemization of services, or other time-keeping activities;

e. Preparation of an application or proposed order to exceed the fee limitations, court time obtaining such an order, or review of the order granting or denying the application;

f. Preparation of a motion for judicial review of the state public defender's action on an attorney fee claim, preparation for or attendance at a hearing on such a motion, review of an order granting or denying the motion, preparation of appellate briefs or other documents in an appeal of such a court order, preparation for or participation in oral arguments in the appeal, or review of an appellate decision regarding such a court order.

12.5(4) Travel time. Time spent by an attorney or guardian ad litem traveling is only payable when the travel is reasonable and necessary to represent the indigent client and the attorney or guardian ad litem is traveling:

a. To and from the scene of a crime in a criminal case or juvenile delinquency proceeding;

b. To and from the location of a pretrial hearing, trial, or posttrial hearing in a criminal case if the venue has been changed from the county in which the crime occurred or if the location of the court hearing has been changed, without changing venue, to a different county for the convenience of the court;

c. To and from the place of incarceration of a client in a postconviction relief case, criminal appeal, or postconviction relief appeal;

d. To and from the place of detention of a client in a juvenile delinquency or criminal case if the place of detention is located outside the county in which the action is pending;

e. To and from the location of the placement of a child in a juvenile case if the guardian ad litem is required by statute to visit the placement and the placement is located in Iowa, but outside the county in which the case is pending;

f. To and from the location of the placement of a child in a juvenile case if the guardian ad litem is required by statute and court order to visit the placement and the placement is outside the state of Iowa;

g. To and from the location of a family team meeting at which the attorney is representing a parent who is also attending the meeting, if the place of the meeting is located outside the county in which the action is pending and the court approves that the location of the meeting is appropriate;

h. To and from a court of appeals or supreme court argument;

i. To and from the location where the deposition of an expert witness is being taken; or

j. To other locations for which travel authorization is obtained from the state public defender.

12.5(5) Substitute counsel time. Work performed by substitute counsel on behalf of an attorney appointed as counsel or guardian ad litem is payable only as provided for under this subrule. The appointed attorney is at all times personally responsible for the representation of the client and must ensure that substitute counsel is qualified to perform the work directed and that the client is effectively represented at all times. The appointed attorney is responsible for compensating substitute counsel. Claims for payment directly by substitute counsel or claims for payment by the appointed attorney that are inconsistent with this subrule shall be denied.

a. Court time. An attorney appointed as counsel or guardian ad litem must handle all court appearances unless the appointed attorney has an unavoidable scheduling conflict, illness, or other personal emergency, in which case the matter may be covered by substitute counsel. Unless substitute counsel appears for the sole purpose of alerting the court of the appointed attorney's unavailability and requesting a continuance, substitute counsel may not cover for the appointed attorney at a suppression hearing, final pretrial conference, trial, or sentencing in criminal cases, or a removal hearing, adjudication hearing, dispositional hearing, permanency hearing, termination of parental rights trial, or any other contested court proceeding in juvenile cases. Substitute counsel may never cover for oral arguments in appellate cases.

b. Out-of-court time. Substitute counsel may not perform out-of-court legal services, except that in a juvenile case substitute counsel may attend a department of human services staffing or family team meeting if appointed counsel has an unavoidable scheduling conflict, illness, or other personal emergency.

c. Exceptional circumstances. Substitute counsel may be used in situations that would otherwise be impermissible if the state public defender concludes that use of such substitute counsel would be in the best interest of the client and the administration of justice and provides prior written consent to the appointed attorney.

d. Supervisory time. Time spent by the appointed attorney directing, reviewing, or correcting the work of substitute counsel is not payable.

e. Qualification of substitute counsel. Unless the state public defender has given prior written consent to use the attorney as substitute counsel, substitute counsel must have an active contract with the state public defender to perform indigent defense services, although the contract need not cover the type of case or county of the case for which the claim is submitted.

f. Inapplicability to co-counsel in Class A felonies. The previous paragraphs of this subrule do not apply to a co-counsel who is separately appointed in a Class A felony. Each separately appointed co-counsel in a Class A felony shall submit a separate indigent defense fee claim that claims only the work actually performed by the appointed attorney submitting the claim. The use of substitute counsel is not permissible in a Class A felony in which co-counsel has been separately appointed.

Item 21. Rescind subrule 12.6(3) and adopt the following new subrule in lieu thereof:

12.6(3) Appellate cases. Except as otherwise provided in this rule with respect to simple misdemeanor appeals to the district court and juvenile petitions on appeal, there is no fee limitation established for appellate cases. Nothing in this subrule is intended to in any manner diminish, increase, or modify the state public defender's authority to review any and all claims for services as authorized by the Iowa Code.

Item 22. Amend subrule 12.8(1) as follows:

12.8(1) The state public defender shall reimburse the attorney for the following out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the attorney in the case to the extent that the expenses are reasonable and necessary:

a. Mileage for automobile travel at the rate of 35 39 cents per mile. The number of miles driven must be listed in the itemization of services and each day shall be separately itemized on the itemization of services, specifying the date of the travel, the origination and destination locations, the total number of miles traveled that day and, if it is not otherwise clear from the itemization, the purpose of the travel. If the travel is to perform services for multiple clients on the same trip, the mileage must be split proportionally between each client and the itemization must note the manner in which the mileage is split. The total miles traveled for the case shall also be listed on the claim form. Other forms of transportation costs incurred by the attorney will may be reimbursed only with prior approval from the state public defender.

b. The actual cost of lodging, limited by the state-approved rate, is reimbursed only if the attorney is entitled to be paid for travel time for the travel associated with the lodging and the attorney is required to be away from home overnight. An itemized receipt showing the expenses incurred must be attached to the claim form.

c. The actual cost of meals, limited by the state-approved rate, is reimbursed only if the attorney is entitled to be paid for travel time for the travel associated with these meals. An itemized receipt showing the expenses incurred must be attached to the claim form.

d. Necessary photocopying at the attorney's office at the rate of 10 cents per copy. The number of copies made each day must be listed separately itemized in the itemization of services. The total number of copies must also be listed or on the claim form.

e. Ordinary and necessary postage, toll calls, collect calls, and parking for the actual cost of these expenses. Toll and collect calls will be reimbursed at 10 cents per minute or the actual cost. A receipt for the actual cost of the toll or collect call must be attached to the claim form. A statement from a correctional facility or jail detailing a standard rate for such calls shall constitute a receipt for purposes of this paragraph. For parking in excess of $2, a receipt must be attached to the claim form. Claims for the cost of a parking ticket will be denied. Unless a receipt is provided, any postage, toll calls, collect calls, or parking shall be separately itemized on the itemization of services, specifying the date on which the expense was incurred and, if it is not otherwise clear from the itemization, the purpose of the expense.

f. Receiving faxes in the attorney's office at the rate of 10 cents per page. There is no direct cost reimbursement for sending a fax unless there is a toll charge associated with it. Any fax charges claimed shall be separately itemized on the itemization of services, specifying the date on which the expense was incurred and, if it is not otherwise clear from the itemization, the purpose of the expense.

g. The actual cost of photocopying or faxing for which the attorney must pay an outside vendor. A receipt for the actual cost must be attached to the claim form.

h. Other claims for expenses such as process service, medical records, DVDs, CDs, videotapes, and film photographic printing will be reimbursed for the actual cost. A receipt or invoice from an outside vendor must be attached to the claim form.

i. Other specific expenses for which prior approval by the state public defender is obtained.

Item 23. Amend subrule 12.9(1) as follows:

12.9(1) Motions for court review. Court review of the action of the state public defender is initiated by the filing of a motion with the trial court requesting the review. The following conditions shall apply to all such motions:

a. The motion must be filed with the court within 20 days of the action of the state public defender. This time limit is jurisdictional and will not be extended by the filing of another claim, submitting a letter or e-mail requesting reconsideration, or obtaining a court order affecting the amount of the claim.

b. The motion must set forth each and every ground on which the attorney intends to rely in challenging the action of the state public defender.

c. The motion must have attached to it a complete copy of the claim, together with the notice of action or returned fee claim letter that the attorney seeks to have reviewed.

d. A copy of all documents filed must be provided to the state public defender.

e. It is unnecessary for the state public defender to file any response to the motion.

Item 24. Amend paragraph 12.9(2)"f" as follows:

f. If a ruling is entered modifying the state public defender's action on the claim, the attorney must file a new claim with the state public defender within 45 days of the date of the court's order modifying the state public defender's action on the claim. A copy of the court's ruling and the original claim form and supporting documents must be attached to the claim form. The "date of service" on the claim form for such a claim is the date of the court's order.

Item 25. Adopt the following new subrule 12.9(4):

12.9(4) Other court orders. Any court order entered after the state public defender has taken action on a claim that affects that claim is void unless the state public defender is first notified and given an opportunity to be heard.

Item 26. Amend rule 493—12.10(13B,815) as follows:

493—12.10(13B,815) Payment errors. If an error resulting in an overpayment or double payment of a claim is discovered by the attorney, by the state public defender, by the department, or otherwise, the claimant shall reimburse the indigent defense fund for the amount of the overpayment. An overpayment shall be paid by check. The check, made payable to the "Treasurer, State of Iowa," together with a copy of the payment voucher containing the overpayment or double payment, shall be mailed to the Office of the State Public Defender, Lucas State Office Building, 321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. The attorney shall notify the clerk of court of the overpayment or double payment.

Item 27. Adopt the following new paragraph 13.2(1)"d":

d. Timely claims required. Claims for services are timely if submitted to the state public defender for payment within 45 days of completion of services in the case. Claims that are not timely will be denied.

Item 28. Amend paragraph 13.2(2)"d" as follows:

d. Claims for services completed before September 1, 2007, are timely if submitted to the state public defender for payment before October 15, 2007. Timely claims required. Claims for services completed after August 31, 2007, are timely if submitted to the state public defender for payment within 45 days of completion of services in the case. Claims that are not timely submitted will be denied.

Item 29. Rescind paragraph 13.2(2)"e."

Item 30. Amend subparagraph 13.2(4)"b"(3) as follows:

(3)Itemization of services. If the transcript is for a deposition, the itemization must include the including date of deposition, persons deposed, arrival and departure time at the deposition, number of pages and the cost per page, travel time and listing of any other charges. If the transcript is for an audio or video recording, the itemization must include a description of the recording being transcribed, the length of the recording transcribed, the number of pages and the cost per page, and a listing of any other charges.

Item 31. Amend subparagraphs 13.2(4)"d"(1) to (3), (6) and (7) as follows:

(1)Hourly rate when no transcript ordered. Fees for attending depositions when no transcript is ordered will be paid at the rate of $45 per hour for the actual time the certified shorthand reporter is present at the depositions including setup and takedown of equipment. If multiple witnesses are deposed in a deposition session on a single day, this hourly rate shall only apply if no transcript is ordered for any of the witnesses. If the transcript is ordered for some of the witnesses, the hourly rate when a transcript is ordered shall apply for the entire deposition session.

(2)Hourly rate when transcript ordered. Fees for attending depositions when a transcript is ordered will be paid at the rate of $35 per hour for the actual time the certified shorthand reporter is present at the depositions including setup and takedown of equipment. Fees for performing a transcription of an audio or video recording will be paid at the rate of $35 per hour for the actual length of the recording transcribed.

(3)Travel time. Fees for travel time will be paid at the rate of $15 per hour for travel outside of the county of the certified shorthand reporter's office location. Travel time within the county of the certified shorthand reporter's office location will not be paid. No travel time is payable for the delivery of a transcript or related to the transcription of an audio or video recording.

(6)Cancellation fees. No cancellation fees will be paid as long as the certified shorthand reporter is given notice of cancellation at least 24 hours before the time scheduled for a deposition. If the deposition is canceled with less than 24 hours' notice, a fee for two hours or the actual time that the certified shorthand reporter is present at the site of the deposition including setup and takedown of equipment, whichever is greater, is payable at the rate set forth in subparagraph 13.2(4)"d"(1). A certified shorthand reporter is deemed to have been given notice of cancellation when an attorney or representative of the attorney delivers notice of a cancellation to the e-mail address provided by the certified shorthand reporter or leaves a message on voicemail or with a representative of the certified shorthand reporter at the telephone number provided by the certified shorthand reporter, not when the certified shorthand reporter actually hears or reads the message. No cancellation fee will be paid related to the transcription of an audio or video recording.

(7)Minimum time. One hour minimum, exclusive of travel time, will be paid for a deposition or transcription of an audio or video recording that takes less than one hour.

Item 32. Amend paragraph 13.2(4)"e" as follows:

e. Timely claims required. Claims for services are timely if submitted to the state public defender for payment within 45 days of the date on which services are completed. For depositions, services are completed on the date the deposition transcript is delivered or on the date of disposition of the case if no transcript is ordered, whichever date is earlier. For trial transcripts or transcripts of an audio or video recording, services are completed on the date the trial transcript is delivered. Claims that are not timely shall be denied.

Item 33. Amend rule 493—13.5(13B,815) as follows:

493—13.5(13B,815) Payment errors. If an error resulting in an overpayment or double payment of a claim is discovered by the claimant, by the state public defender, by the department, or otherwise, the claimant shall reimburse the indigent defense fund for the amount of the overpayment. An overpayment or double payment shall be repaid by check. The check, made payable to "Treasurer, State of Iowa," together with a copy of the payment voucher containing the overpayment or double payment, shall be mailed to the Office of the State Public Defender, Lucas State Office Building, 321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0083. The claimant shall notify the clerk of court of the overpayment or double payment.

Item 34. Rescind the definition of "Timely claim" in rule 493—14.2(13B,600A,815).

Item 35. Amend rule 493—14.5(13B,600A,815) as follows:

493—14.5(13B,600A,815) Claims for attorney fees. Claims for attorney fees shall be submitted on Juvenile claim forms. Except as provided in this rule chapter, claims for attorney fees for representing the respondent in proceedings for termination of parental rights cases under Iowa Code chapter 600A shall be reviewed by the state public defender in the same manner as provided in 493—Chapter 12.

14.5(1) Claim forms. Claims for services provided at the trial level shall be submitted on a Juvenile claim form. Claims for services provided on appeal shall be submitted on an Appellate claim form. For cases to which the attorney was appointed on or after May 5, 2005, the order of appointment must contain the following additional findings:

a. The respondent requests appointment of counsel;

b. Both the petitioner, or the person on whose behalf the petition is filed, and the respondent are indigent, unless the petitioner is a private child-placing agency as defined in Iowa Code section 238.2, in which case the petitioner need not be indigent;

c. The respondent, because of lack of skill or education, would have difficulty in presenting the respondent's version of a disputed set of facts, particularly when presentation requires the examining or cross-examining of witnesses or the offering or dissecting of complex documentary evidence; and

d. The respondent has a colorable defense to the termination of parental rights, or there are substantial reasons that make termination of parental rights inappropriate.

14.5(2) Required documents. For cases to which the attorney was appointed on or after May 5, 2005, in In addition to the other requirements provided in 493—Chapter 12, the attorney shall submit a copy of both the petitioner's and respondent's financial affidavit and any order of the juvenile court determining that the state public defender rather than the petitioner is responsible for payment of the respondent's attorney fees must accompany the claim.

14.5(3) The provisions for review of the state public defender's action provided in 493—Chapter 12 shall apply to claims submitted under this chapter.

14.5(4) If the petitioner or prospective parent is responsible for payment of the indigent respondent's attorney fees and expenses, the state public defender does not receive, review, or pay the fee claim. Any such claims submitted to the state public defender will be returned to the attorney who submitted the claim.

State Public Defender


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Official Document

  • Claims for services, amendments to chs 1, 4, 7, 12 to 14
  • Published on 4/30/2014
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Iowa Code 815.9
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