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Rule 9-17. Appointment of Counsel for Indigent Parties

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   A. Applicability. This rule shall apply in every proceeding in which the laws of the United States or the laws of the State of Nebraska establish a right to be represented by counsel. All parties who have a right to be represented by an attorney shall have their eligibility for appointment of an attorney at public expense determined in conformity with this rule.

   B. Application. An individual requesting an appointment of an attorney at public expense shall complete and file with the court a notarized financial affidavit provided by the clerk of the district court setting forth the defendant’s income, assets, and obligations.

   C. Determination of Indigency. After reviewing the information contained in the affidavit and , if applicable, the party’s testimony, the court will determine whether the party is indigent. An indigent party is one whom the court determines is unable to retain legal counsel without prejudicing the party’s ability to provide economic necessities for the party or the party’s family based on a comparison of the party’s available funds and the anticipated cost of counsel.

   D. Review of Indigency Determination. A party’s indigency status may be reviewed in a formal hearing at any stage of a court proceeding if additional information regarding financial circumstances becomes available to the court. A party has the right for reconsideration in a formal hearing of the findings and conclusions regarding the party’s indigency.

   E. Inadmissibility of Information. No information provided by a party pursuant to this rule may be used in any criminal or civil proceeding against the party except, in a prosecution for perjury or contempt committed in providing such information or in an attempt to enforce an obligation to reimburse the State for the cost of counsel.

   F. Fees. Court-appointed counsel shall be paid an hourly fee established by the court. Fee requests shall be verified and shall itemize the service provided, time involved, and expenses incurred.

Approved September 9, 2010.

This page was last modified on Friday, November 9, 2012