Vouchers – General Information
The new electronic voucher format is implemented as of March 22, 2013 using Excel Spreadsheet forms that can be accessed below with instructions.
There are two types of vouchers: an official form, the Nassau County Claim/Voucher and the ACDP Vouchers. There is only one type of County voucher. It is explained below. There are five different ACDP form vouchers. There are electronic vouchers for criminal matters (both misdemeanors and felonies) Family Court matters and Appellate matters. Expert witnesses and court reporters use a longer form, which will eventually be replaced by an electronic voucher. No matter what kind of case you have, two copies of the County claim/voucher and two copies of the applicable ACDP voucher must be mailed
to ACDP in each case.
The County Voucher
This voucher is entitled "Claim/Voucher" and is printed by Nassau County. A sample follows this text. In its original form it is printed in triplicate but it can be duplicated by you or you can download it and print out copies as necessary. The first and second sheets of the preprinted form (or two copies if you reproduce it on your own) should be returned to this office. The third sheet or a copy is for your records and should be retained by you.
The ACDP Vouchers
1. Criminal cases (misdemeanors and felonies) This voucher is entitled "Voucher- Nassau County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan Inc. Criminal". The directions for accessing, preparing and submitting this form follows this text. This is an internal form of the 18-B office. This voucher should be filled in as instructed below. Indicated on the form itself, with in-court and out-of-court time enumerated at spaces "I" and "II". If disbursements exist, they should be listed at space "III" and a separate rider attached. If any money is received from the defendant, this should be listed at space "IV". The form should be dated and signed near the bottom, where indicated.
Note: This voucher should also be used for "attorney of the day" billing. In such cases, you should simply state "Arraignment B / 511" "Parts 11 & 12" or "Part 9" in the space marked "Client's full name", and then list the appropriate number of hours under "In-Court Time" at space "I". Follow the electronic voucher instructions below.
2. Family Court Cases – This voucher is entitled "Voucher – Nassau County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan, Inc.- Family Court". The directions for accessing, preparing and submitting this form follows this text. This is an internal form of the 18B office. Except for certain spaces in the top section which are applicable to Family Court matters as opposed to criminal cases, this voucher and the procedure regarding it are identical to the criminal court voucher discussed immediately above. It should be completed and forwarded to this office, in duplicate, together with two copies of the County claim/voucher, in the same manner as the criminal court voucher.
3. Appellate Cases – This voucher is entitled "Voucher Nassau County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan, Inc – Appeals. You can access it below. This is an internal form of the 18B office. It can be duplicated or you can download it and print out copies as needed. It should be completed as indicated, but with respect to space "II(d)", a separate rider should be attached detailing your out-of-court activity. This rider is usually in the form of an addendum. This voucher should be submitted in duplicate, together with two copies of the County Claim/Voucher (see above). Unlike other vouchers, however, appellate vouchers should be mailed by you directly to the Clerk of the appropriate appellate court.
Note: The electronic version differs from the Criminal and Family court versions.
4. Experts – This old style, long form voucher is entitled "Voucher for Compensation and/or Expenses for Investigative, Expert or Other Services". A sample follows this text. This is an internal form of the 18B office. It can be duplicated or you can download it and print out copies as necessary. It should be completed as indicated, by the investigator, expert or other service provider. If a rider is necessary, it should be included. (This is normally the case with a medical expert, investigator, or other expert. It is not normally the case with an interpreter). This voucher must be signed by the service provider and by you, the attorney, where indicated. It should be submitted to this office in duplicate, together with two copies of the County claim/voucher (see above) and two copies of the Judge's Order authorizing the service.
5. Court Reporters – This voucher is entitled "Voucher for Compensation for Court Reporters". A sample follows this text. This is an internal form of the 18B office. It can be duplicated or you can download it and print out copies as necessary. It should be completed by the court reporter and signed by the court reporter where indicated. It should be submitted to this office in duplicate, together with two copies of the short form voucher (see above) and two copies of the Judge's Order authorizing the service.
RULES APPLICABLE TO ALL VOUCHERS
Vouchers must be submitted within 45 days of the date when an attorney-of-the-day's appearance is completed or when an assigned case is disposed of by sentencing or, if applicable, by the filing a Notice of Appeal.
Each voucher should contain a detailed account of the time spent, conferences held, and outcome of same. Requests for payment for several hours for adjournments, without explanation, may be denied.
Any voucher exceeding the statutory maximum, even by a minimal amount, must be accompanied by an Affirmation of Extraordinary Circumstances. A mere statement that you performed the work as set forth on the voucher will not suffice. 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 co-defendant or multiple defendants, a highly publicized trial and/or an unusual ancillary proceeding.
If counsel is relieved of an assignment, there should be a reason listed on the voucher, an affirmation explaining the reason(s), or the submission of the "Relieved as Counsel" form, available from ACDP.
There is no payment for voucher preparation. Use of "research" or "file closing" as a euphemism for voucher preparation is unacceptable.
Disbursements will be paid when accompanied by receipts or other backup materials, but items such as local telephone calls and stenographic services are considered overhead and not disbursements.
When in court, the lunch break is not considered as time for which payment will be made.
Hours are to be billed on an actual time basis. This means that your voucher should note your arrival time [e.g. 9:30 a.m.] and departure time [e.g. 10:30 a.m.]. If you have several 18B cases on for the same date, you may bill only for the number of hours spent in court. For example, if you are defending two 18B clients on the same day and are in court for a total of two hours, you must allocate those two hours to those two cases. E.g. 1 hour each or 1 ½ hours on one and ½ hour on the second, etc.
New York County Law § 722-b provides a maximum fee of $2,400 for representation of a person initially charged with a misdemeanor or lesser offense and $4,400 on all other cases covered by 18B of the County Law.
New York 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. If a case is disposed of in County Court, the Indictment number or SCI number must be listed on your voucher.
Panelists should understand that the Administrator does not set counsel's fee. The fee is statutory and is set by the trial or appellate court.
Panelists should set up a separate file for each case assigned. This file must remain available for a minimum of six (6) years or possible inspection by the Nassau County Comptroller.
Nassau County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan
Electronic Voucher Instructions
In an effort to improve efficiency in the voucher process, the Nassau ACDP is experimenting with a new format. The new vouchers will run in Microsoft Excel, which is bundled with the Microsoft Office software suite.
The new form should bring several benefits to all attorneys, eliminating the need to store paper copies and enabling attorneys to easily create and edit forms over the life of each case. All calculations are done automatically, which we hope will result in faster payment turnaround from the County.
We recommend saving a separate voucher at the beginning of each case and updating it as you go along. This will most likely result in your capturing more time.
(1) Download the appropriate form from www.nassau18B org. You need only do this once – each file is a template, which will create a new document every time you open it. The file format will be "XLT."
(2) Locate the file you just downloaded and double-click it. This will open a new spreadsheet ("XLS").
(3) Fill in the form as you normally would. Please try and limit your input to the space allotted. If you need more space, place an asterisk (*) and continue in an unused portion of the "Activity" boxes elsewhere on the form (see example).
(4) In the Criminal Court form, you must put an X in one of the Felony, Misdemeanor, or Violation boxes. If you do not, the form will not calculate your time, leaving an error ("#VALUE!") in the Total field at the bottom.
(5) For In-Court Time, input the Start and End times of each court appearance in the following format: "9:30 AM" or "4:45 PM". The form will then calculate the total number of hours spent.
(6) For Out of Court Time, input only the total number of hours spent (in decimal format, "4.50").
(7) If you need additional rows for either In-Court or Out-Of-Court Time, simply continue in the appropriate section on Page 2. These will be automatically added to your total on Page 1.
(8) When you have completed the form, check to make sure that all calculations are accurate.
(9) Save often! Here's how:
To open and create a new voucher, simply double-click the file you downloaded from the ACDP website.
To save the voucher you're working on, select SAVE AS from the FILE menu in Excel, choose your save location, and click SAVE. It is recommended that you use both the Docket Number and Defendant Name as the title of your voucher.
To re-open an existing voucher, open the folder where you had previously saved it and double-click the voucher. You will be able to edit what you had previously typed or print the form.
NOTE: The Family Court form functions exactly the same as the Criminal Court form, except that calculations are not dependent on an "X" being in any box in the "Proceedings" Section.
NOTE: The Appeals form functions differently from the other two forms.
- All time should be entered in total minutes, not in hours or decimal format.
- Entries on Page 2 will not automatically calculate on Page 1, but Page 2 entries will give you total number of minutes will help you fill out Page 1.
- Page 2 should be used as an addendum for further detail about totals entered on Page 1.
(10) When you are finished, Print two copies of both the ACDP voucher, and of the County Claim/Voucher which can be printed from the list of forms below. Provide the necessary information, including your current identification number. While some may prefer to use only last four digits that is no longer mandatory and has not shown to be beneficial.
(11) Make certain all forms are signed, and then MAIL both sets to the ACDP office, or the appropriate appellate court clerk. Do not bring them to any other location for submission.