Selected State Statutes: New York

Statutes: New York

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Sec. 35. Assignment of counsel to indigent persons and appointment of physicians in certain proceedings

1. a. When a court orders a hearing in a proceeding upon a writ of habeas corpus to inquire into the cause of detention of a person in custody in a state institution, or when it orders a hearing in a civil proceeding to commit or transfer a person to or retain him in a state institution when such person is alleged to be mentally ill, mentally defective or a narcotic addict, or when it orders a hearing for the commitment of the guardianship and custody of a child to an authorized agency by reason of the mental illness or mental retardation of a parent, or when it orders a hearing to determine whether consent to the adoption of a child shall be required of a parent who is alleged to be mentally ill or mentally retarded, or when it orders a hearing to determine the best interests of a child when the parent of the child revokes a consent to the adoption of such child and such revocation is opposed or in any adoption or custody proceeding if it determines that assignment of counsel in such cases is mandated by the constitution of this state or of the United States, the court may assign counsel to represent such person if it is satisfied that he is financially unable to obtain counsel. Upon an appeal taken from an order entered in any such proceeding, the appellate court may assign counsel to represent such person upon the appeal if it is satisfied that he is financially unable to obtain counsel.

b. Upon an appeal in a criminal action or in a proceeding in the family court or surrogate's court wherein the defendant or person entitled to counsel pursuant to the family court act or surrogate's court procedure act, is financially unable to obtain counsel, the court of appeals or the appellate division of the supreme court may assign counsel other than in the manner as is prescribed in section seven hundred twenty-two of the county law only when it is satisfied that special circumstances require such assignment.

2. The chief administrator of the courts may enter into an agreement with a legal aid society for the society to provide assigned counsel in the proceedings specified in subdivision one of this section. The agreement shall be in a form approved by the chief administrator and shall provide a general plan for a program of assigned counsel services to be provided by such society. It shall also provide that the society shall be reimbursed on a cost basis for services rendered.

3. No counsel assigned pursuant to this section shall seek or accept any fee for representing the person for whom he or she is assigned without approval of the court as herein provided. Whenever it appears that such person is financially able to obtain counsel or make partial payment for the representation, counsel may report this fact to the court and the court may terminate the assignment or authorize payment, as the interests of justice may dictate, to such counsel. Counsel assigned hereunder shall at the conclusion of the representation receive compensation at a rate of seventy-five dollars per hour for time expended in court, and seventy-five dollars per hour for time reasonably expended out of court, and shall receive reimbursement for expenses reasonably incurred. For representation upon a hearing, compensation and reimbursement shall be fixed by the court wherein the hearing was held and such compensation shall not exceed four thousand four hundred dollars. For representation in an appellate court, compensation and reimbursement shall be fixed by such court and such compensation shall not exceed four thousand four hundred dollars. In extraordinary circumstances the court may provide for compensation in excess of the foregoing limits.

4. In any proceeding described in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of this section, when a person is alleged to be mentally ill, mentally defective or a narcotic addict, the court which ordered the hearing may appoint no more than two psychiatrists, certified psychologists or physicians to examine and testify at the hearing upon the condition of such person. A psychiatrist, psychologist or physician so appointed shall, upon completion of his services, receive reimbursement for expenses reasonably incurred and reasonable compensation for such services, to be fixed by the court. Such compensation shall not exceed two hundred dollars if one psychiatrist, psychologist or physician is appointed, or an aggregate sum of three hundred dollars if two psychiatrists, psychologists or physicians are appointed, except that in extraordinary circumstances the court may provide for compensation in excess of the foregoing limits.

4-a. In any proceeding under article ten of the mental hygiene law, the court which ordered the hearing may appoint no more than two psychiatrists, certified psychologists or physicians to examine and testify at the hearing upon the condition of such person. A psychiatrist, psychologist or physician so appointed shall, upon completion of his or her services, receive reimbursement for expenses reasonably incurred and reasonable compensation for such services, to be fixed by the court in accordance with subdivision (a) of section 10.15 of the mental hygiene law.

5. All expenses for compensation and reimbursement under this section shall be a state charge to be paid out of funds appropriated to the administrative office for the courts for that purpose. Any rules and orders respecting the assignment and compensation of counsel, and the appointment and compensation of psychiatrists, psychologists or physicians pursuant to this section and the form and manner of processing of a claim submitted pursuant to this section shall be adopted by the chief administrator. Each claim for compensation and reimbursement pursuant to subdivisions three and four of this section shall be submitted for approval to the court which made the assignment or appointment, and shall be on such form as the chief administrator may direct. After such claim is approved by the court, it shall be certified to the comptroller for payment by the state, out of the funds appropriated for that purpose.

6. Assigned counsel and guardians ad litem appointed pursuant to the provisions of title two of article nine-B of the social services law shall be compensated in accordance with the provisions of this section.

7. Whenever the supreme court or a surrogate's court shall appoint counsel in a proceeding over which the family court might have exercised jurisdiction had such action or proceeding been commenced in family court or referred thereto pursuant to law, and under circumstances whereby, if such proceeding were pending in family court, such court would be authorized by section two hundred forty-nine of the family court act to appoint an attorney for the child, such counsel shall be compensated in accordance with the provisions of this section.

8. Whenever supreme court shall exercise jurisdiction over a matter which the family court might have exercised jurisdiction had such action or proceeding been commenced in family court or referred thereto pursuant to law, and under circumstances whereby, if such proceedings were pending in family court, such court would be required by section two hundred sixty-two of the family court act to appoint counsel, supreme court shall also appoint counsel and such counsel shall be compensated in accordance with the provisions of this section.