Court appointed counsel guide

The Ministry of Justice manages the expenditure of funding for court-appointed counsel (including Youth Advocates, Lawyer for the Child and other court-appointed counsel). From 1 December 2009, the Ministry requires invoices and requests for extensions submitted by court-appointed counsel to follow the processes set out below.

Invoicing

Invoices must adhere to the following conditions:

  • The invoice must be mathematically correct.
  • The provider’s GST number must be shown clearly, if GST is being charged.
  • No part of the invoice can be part of a previous invoice (ie, date overlap).
  • The invoice amount shall not exceed the total amount committed/extension amount.
  • The invoice must itemise the hours/work undertaken.
  • If an agency is involved, the agency invoice must form part of the submitted invoice.
  • Tax invoices for all disbursements claimed (ie, airfares, rental car, fuel, etc) must be provided.

All invoices must contain specific and detailed date and time periods for the work being billed (eg, 17/09/2009, 10:00am-11:45am).

Invoices need to be for one client/case only and a signed statement is to be added to all invoices, as per below:

I certify that I have not received or claimed payment in respect of the time claimed herein from any other organisation or person, and further certify that I will not make any such claim in the future.

Signature of claimant………………………………….…..

Extensions

Any request for an extension must be made in writing setting out the reason why the request has been made. Urgent requests can be made and approved verbally, but must be followed up by written confirmation.

The following information must be provided in a request for an extension:

  • Purpose of the extension.
  • Number of hours or dollar amount of the extension requested (including disbursement details).
  • Date for completion of work, and space for the court to note approval on the document.

This was published in LawTalk 741, 16 November 2009, page 9.