VOUCHERS

Information Page

Important Application Instructions:
1. Download the PDF to your computer.
2. Open the PDF using Adobe Acrobat Reader, not your internet browser (right click -> open with). Click here to get Adobe Reader.
3. Fill out the form in Adobe Reader, when finished - click "file -> save as", and save it to a place you will remember.
4. Attach the newly saved PDF to your email and send completed forms to:
assigndesk@scacp.org

Vouchers must be submitted within 45 days of the date when an assigned case is disposed of by sentencing or, if applicable, by your filing a Notice of Appeal.  Late vouchers will not be processed until the current fiscal year vouchers are processed for payment. 

ALL VOUCHERS MUST INDICATE THE “NATURE OF CASE” AND “DISPOSITION”.  IF ANY CASE HAS GONE TO TRIAL, YOU MUST CLEARLY INDICATE THAT ON THE FRONT OF ALL VOUCHERS and include a detailed time sheet for in-court and out-of court time spent, conferences held, and outcome of same.  ANY VOUCHERS SUBMITTED WITHOUT THE NATURE OF CASE AND DISPOSITION ON  THE FRONT PAGE WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY RETURNED. Requests for payment for several 
hours for adjournments, without explanation, will be denied.

If an inordinate number of adjournments are listed on a voucher, there should be a reason listed on the voucher or an Affirmation explaining the reason(s). If counsel is relieved of an assignment, there should be a reason listed on the voucher or an Affirmation explaining the reason(s).

There is no payment for voucher preparation. Use of "research" or "file closing" as a euphemism for voucher preparation is unacceptable. "File Close out" will not be accepted.

When completing voucher time sheets, please remember to use time in decimal format (Time conversion chart attached). This is important because we process thousands of vouchers each year and have to check for mathematical 
errors before sending them to the County, where county personnel systematically review our calculations for errors before payment is processed.

 

 

FILLING OUT VOUCHER FORMS

 

 

The Assigned Counsel Defender Plan must receive three (3) original Voucher sets (the courts keep one copy for their 
records) as follows:

1.     VOUCHER FOR COMPENSATION FORM (LONG FORM): A total of three (3) copies. Photocopied signatures are not accepted by Audit and Control and will be returned if any of the signatures from the attorney or the Judge are photocopied. Fill out one form without signatures, make three (3) photocopies, and then sign all copies. PLEASE USE BLUE INK TO AVOID ANY CONFUSION.

2.     Detailed Time Sheet: You must include a separate, detailed time sheet for all assigned cases. The time sheet
should itemize your in-court and out-of-court time.

3.     Original Carbonized Payment Voucher: Only fill out Vendor Name, Vender Code, Address and the Additional
Comments Box. You will find what to write in the "Comments Box" on the bottom of the back page of the Voucher
For Compensation Form. Fill out the carbon without signatures, make three photocopies, and then sign where
indicated on all copies.

4.     When you have completed the voucher forms, send the whole packet (4 copies with original signatures) to the
appropriate Judge. The Judge will forward the appropriate sets to our office for further processing. Once the voucher is reviewed and approved by Mr. Besso, it is forwarded to the County Attorney for payment. 
 

 

VOUCHERS OVER THE STATUTORY CAP

 

 

Any voucher exceeding the statutory maximum, even by a minimal amount, must be accompanied with the following 
documents:

1.     An Affirmation of Extraordinary Circumstance A mere statement that you performed the work as set forth on the
voucher will not suffice;

2.     Order signed by the Judge approving the fee.

Extraordinary circumstances include the nature and extent of the services, the actual time spent, the necessity of the time spent, the professional standing of counsel, the results achieved, the complexity of the issues, the seriousness of the charge, the cost of such services if provided by private counsel, the inclusion of a co-defendant or multiple defendants, a highly publicized trial and/or an unusual ancillary proceeding.

 

 

 

CASES TRANSFERRED TO COUNTY COURT

 


Any cases that are transferred to another court cannot be included on one voucher. If a case has several billable hours for arraignment and/or appearances in District and/or a Village Court and then transferred to County Court, two separate vouchers must be submitted. The District Court and/or Justice Court Voucher disposition must state that defendant has been indicted to County and/or case was dismissed to indictment, etc.. A Village Justice and/or District Court Judge cannot sign off on a voucher with County Court appearances and vice-versa. The only exception to this is if there is an arraignment and/or one or two appearances in District Court and an indictment occurs.

 

 

RATES/FEES

 

 

FELONY RATES: Attorneys are compensated at a rate of $75.00 per hour for both in and out of court time for Felony, 
Family Court and Appeal cases. Pursuant to statute, fees for all non misdemeanor cases are capped at $4,400.

MISDEMEANOR RATES: Attorneys are compensated at a rate of $60.00 per hour for in and out of court time. 
Misdemeanor cases are capped at $2,400.00.

In extraordinary circumstances the trial court may approve fees in excess of these limits. When making such an application it is necessary to submit an affirmation supporting the extraordinary circumstances and documenting the time spent on case. Thereafter, the Judge should submit approval with an order supporting andlor granting your request.

You should understand that the Administrator does not set counsel's fee. The fee is statutory and is set by the trial or 
appellate court.

 

 

DISBURSEMENTS

 

 

Disbursements will be paid when accompanied by receipts or other backup materials, but items such as local telephone 
calls, postage, office expenses, mileage, travel time to and from Court are considered overhead and not disbursements.

 

EXPERT FEE

 

 

Suffolk County Law §722-c provides a maximum fee for experts (i.e. services other than counsel) of $1,000. In the event 
such expenses exceed $1,000, the attorney should first secure a Court Order authorizing the payment in excess of 
statutory fee, and such Order should be submitted in duplicate with the expert voucher. Please make sure that the Ex-Parte Order contains the language that the defendant, respondent and/or petitioner is indigent and such services are required.

 

COMPENSATION GUIDELINES

 

 

1.      In-Court and Out-of-Court Time:

 

a)   In-Court time is time spent at court facilities in the presence of the Judge, either in the courtroom or in chambers, on a matter appearing on the court’s calendar for that day.

 

b)   All other time expended in representing the client, including time spent at court facilities for purposes other than an appearance before a judge, e.g., reviewing files, meeting with client, is out-of-court time.  Please take are in reparing your voucher and specify the nature of the out-of-court work performed, the date and time spent. "Open file", "close file", "review  file", "setting up file", "preparing file for storage" is not permitted.  Any euphemisms will automatically be omitted.


2.       Double-billing Prohibited

Double-billing is the practice of rendering legal services on multiple cases in a given period, and then requesting         
payment for the entire period on the voucher for each case.  For example, waiting at court one hour for two cases to
be called, and then requesting payment for one hour for each case, would be double-billing.

3.       Expenses of Representation

The following expenses are not paid by the 18b program, i.e.: out-of-pocket expenses incurred by an attorney on behalf of a client.  Reasonable expenses will be covered when accompanied by a receipt.  Legible receipts in the form of a cancelled check or other document that clearly indicates that the bill was paid must be submitted with the voucher.

EXPENSES NOT COVERED:  Office overhead - Expenses for in-office computer-assisted legal research (Westlaw and 
Lexis) are considered overhead and will not be reimbursed.  This includes "webcrims" and "calendaring".  Time spent performing administrative duties, including secretarial tasks; voucher preparation time; faxes; telephone charges, facsimile transmission; photocopying, mail; postage; parking; travel expense.  Time spent traveling to and from court is not compensable.  le.  TRANSCIPTS ARE NOT PAID ON THE VOUCHER.  COURT REPORTERS BILL SEPARATELY.  THE PROPER FORM IS ON THE WEBSITE.

Any reimbursement to be considered must be accompanied with appropriate documentation, including receipts and 
cancelled checks of other documents which indicate the bill was paid.

Process service fees may be reimbursed.  Documentation must be provided.

Please contact our office for additional information and/or assistance. 

Copyright © 2018 Suffolk County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan. All rights reserved.