Tips for PAC to Get Paid Faster (aka not have your fee application returned)
A new week means a new week in review, but this week, we're doing things a bit differently.
This week’s post includes tips and insights from IDS fee app specialists that can speed up the processing time and get you paid without issue. Special thanks to Chad Boykin for helping to narrow down the issues for juvenile defenders filling out the Juvenile Delinquency Trial Level Fee Application (AOC-J-411).
Seriously, fill it all out. LEGIBLY. Attorneys, like doctors, are known for awful handwriting but remember that upholding this nefarious reputation for illegibility can derail your paycheck.
It’s ok to put juvenile information (name, address) on these forms; IDS protects the juvenile’s identity in NCAS.
Consolidate. All charges disposed for the same client before the same judge on the same day go on one fee application.
Appointment date: list the date you were appointed to the earliest charge in the charges listed on this fee application. Juvenile delinquency representation can have a fluid nature, contact us if you need help making this determination.
In the Original Charge section, write the name of the offense out – this is a huge one for returned fee apps. For attorneys picking up a case on transferred disposition, include the charge details from the original jurisdiction.
Use the “other” box as little as possible, and if you must use it, include adequate detail. So write small.
If it’s a contempt matter, indicate whether the contempt charge is against the parent/guardian or the juvenile.
IDS has no authority to pay for representation of undisciplined charges in delinquency court
Use the current hourly rates. The good news is that they have been going up! Effective January 1, 2022:
Potentially LWOP felony: $100/hour
Non-potentially LWOP class A-D felonies: $85/hour
Everything else: $65/hour
Keep documentation of anything that is dismissed; those cases disappear from the system quickly and IDS may need additional documentation.
Special Instructions for Interim Fee Applications: Cross through “disposition” and write “ending.” Include the end date of the work done for this fee application. When AOC created the juvenile fee app form, they did not include “beginning date” and “ending date” as they did for other fee applications. IDS needs the last date worked to be able to key in the information and send you money for an interim fee application.
8. For those of you who have long awaited the answer to the question about the “waiting in court” section: the three sections are separate!
Time in Court: Active time in Court working on the case, do not include the time waiting
Time in Court Waiting: Time waiting to be heard. Divide amongst the number of cases for which you waited that day.
Time Out of Court: Self-Explanatory
Total Time: for this fee application
In-house copies: $0.10/page (single-sided), $0.16/page (double-sided)
Indicate # of pages, single or double-sided, and total
Outsourced copies are reimbursed with a receipt at an actual cost up to the in-house rates above
Misc. expenses such as parking or postage do not need a receipt if less than $25
In-house paralegal or legal assistant time may be reimbursed up to $15/hour if approved by a judge. List under “other.” Include itemized billing record of time worked on this case.
No reimbursement for overhead such as office supplies
Be sure to include your phone number and email in a legible manner – if it’s an easy question, IDS can sometimes reach out by phone or email instead of returning the fee app.
Signatures are required. You knew that. And if the judge signs Section IV, that signature covers Section II as well.
Dual jurisdiction issues arise, and you will get paid for your time if you’re required to attend A/N/D hearings. Use the “other” box under the original charge section and write “DSS/child welfare hearing.”
Check out the attached PowerPoint from Chad that gives detailed instructions for each section of the fee application. We all want you to get paid as quickly as possible, and we hope these tips help keep your fee applications flowing smoothly. As always, thank you to everyone for all the fantastic and important work that you do!