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April 24, 2020
To All Contract Attorneys of the State Public Defender’s Office,
You, as contract attorneys, are an integral part of the public defender system and I want to again thank you for all of the work you do representing indigent clients during these unique times.
There is justifiable concern that, during this emergency, the suspension of trials and continuance of many hearings, which would ordinarily have served as dates of service for your claims, would no longer be occurring. As a result, in many cases, attorneys would not be eligible for payment. The resulting delays could potentially cause significant financial difficulties for your firms and for many of you individually. It was important this issue be addressed.
Today Governor Reynolds issued a further Proclamation of Disaster Emergency. As part of this declaration, the Governor has suspended some of the rules relating to the filing of interim claims with our office.
Attached you will find the Provision Governing Submission of Interim Fee Claims During Disaster Declaration. This sets out temporary rules for the submission of fee claims, specifically for Juvenile, Criminal and Post-Conviction Relief claims, which has been continued during this emergency.
Section a) in the attached document sets out the provisions for filing Interim Fee Claims in Juvenile cases and Section b) sets out the provisions for filing Interim Fee Claims for Criminal cases which are not Class A felonies and for Post-Conviction Relief cases. There are no changes to Appellate cases at this time and Class A felonies already have a provision for interim claims.
I would like to make it clear that all cases may still be filed by any normally accepted date of service. These provisions are intended to supplement and not supplant existing billing procedures.
My office and I will be happy to address any questions anyone has.
I wish all of you the best. Be safe.
State Public Defender
Provision Governing Submission of Interim Fee Claims During Disaster Declaration
a) Iowa Adm. Code rule 493-12.3(1). The limitation on the submission of interim claims in juvenile cases is suspended to the extent provided as follows: During the pendency of the Governor's Declaration of Emergency relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to times when an interim juvenile claim may otherwise be submitted for payment, a juvenile interim claim may be submitted at the continuance of a dispositional or post-dispositional hearing. The claim must include the electronically filed order. The order must include language indicating the type of hearing that is continued. The date of service for the claim is the date the continuance order was filed by the court. Any interim claim is subject to the fee limitation of the billable event that is continued, and all subsequent interim and dispositional review claims will be aggregated and subject to the fee limitation. All rules not affected by this interim claim provision shall apply to the submitted interim claim.
b) Iowa Adm. Code rule 493-12-3(4). The limitation on the submission of interim cases in other cases is suspended to the extent provided as follows: During the pendency of the Governor's Declaration of Emergency relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to times when an interim claim in other cases may be submitted for payment, an interim claim for an otherwise payable adult criminal matter or post-conviction relief matter, may be submitted at the continuance of a trial. The claim must include the electronically filed order. The date of service for the claim is the date the continuance order was filed by the court. All interim and final claims will be aggregated and subject to the respective fee limitation. All rules not affected by this interim claim provision shall apply to the submitted interim claim.
DATE OF SERVICE GUIDANCE CONCERNING THE SUBMISSION OF INTERIM SPD CLAIMS
On April 24, 2020 the Governor issued a further Proclamation of Disaster Emergency changing some of the rules relating to the submission of interim SPD fee claims.
Attorneys may now submit interim claims in adult criminal, juvenile, and PCR cases that have been continued or delayed because of the COVID-19/Novel CoronaVirus outbreak. IAC 493-12.3(1)&(4).
The Date of Service for these interim claims will be as follows:
For COVID-19 continuances ORDERED between March 9, 2020 and including April 24, 2020 the Date of Service will be APRIL 24, 2020.
For COVID-19 continuances ORDERED after April 24, 2020 the Date of Service will be the FILE STAMPED DATE on the continuance ORDER.
Attorneys will have the 45 days from the Date of Service above to submit interim fee claims. Iowa Code § 815.10A(2).
For adult and PCR claims please use the drop down Disposition Menu and select Disposition/Other/Interim Claim COVID-19. For juvenile claims select Other and free type ‘interim claim COVID-19’.