Supreme Court Rules Table of Contents
The provisions of this rule shall apply only to preparation for and proceedings in all courts in which assigned counsel is appointed to represent indigent criminal defendants.
(1) Itemization of Bills. All bills related to fees and expenses must be itemized as to the time spent and expenses incurred on each case, and there shall be no separate charge for overhead. A copy of the Notice of Appointment of Counsel order on appointment or other supporting document must be attached to the bill with each submission.
(2) Fees. Maximum compensation is limited as follows:
(a) Time properly chargeable to case: $100 per hour for major crime cases (capital murder, homicide, aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault and first degree assault) and $60 per hour for all other cases. The paralegal hourly rate shall not exceed $35.00 and shall be included with fees of counsel for the purposes of determining the maximum fee on any case. Travel time to and from meetings with an incarcerated defendant shall be compensable; otherwise, travel time is not a compensable event unless expressly authorized by the court in advance for exceptional circumstances.
(b) Maximum fee for misdemeanors: $1,400.
(c) Maximum fee for aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault and first degree assault: $8,000, and for all other felonies: $4,100.
(d) Maximum fee (per co-counsel) for homicides under RSA 630:1-2: $20,000.
(e) Maximum fee for Supreme Court appeal: $2,000.
Only upon an express, written finding of good cause and exceptional circumstances by the court will the maximum fees be exceeded or will additional fees be authorized. All petitions to exceed the maximum fee guidelines must be approved prior to the guidelines being exceeded; provided, however, that the court may waive the requirement for prior approval when justice so requires.
When counsel represents more than one client on any particular day, the hours spent shall be allocated accordingly. Representation of more than one client on the same day and in the same court shall be noted on the bills submitted. All bills shall be reviewed by the judge who presided over the case, if practicable.
When assigned counsel is appointed in district court, that counsel shall continue as counsel of record for all purposes (such as motions to reduce bail, waiver of indictments, etc.) until and unless new counsel is appointed by superior court. The appointment of counsel shall occur in accordance with RSA 604-A:2, II. The public defender shall be appointed if that office is available. In the event that the public defender program is not available, the appointment of a contract attorney shall occur, if such an attorney is available. Lastly, in the event that neither the public defender nor a contract attorney is available, the appointment of a qualified attorney under RSA 604-A:2, I, shall occur.
The adequacy of the rates prescribed by this rule may, upon request of the supreme court, be reviewed periodically by the advisory committee on rules.
(3) Expenses - Reimbursable. In addition to the fees and fee caps listed in Section (2), above, investigative, expert, or other necessary services may be compensated only upon a finding of necessity and reasonableness by a justice of the appropriate court in accordance with RSA 604-A:6, made prior to said expense being incurred.
(a) Except for those services for which rates are established by the supreme court, the presiding justice may consider, but shall not be bound by, the prevailing rates or any rates established by a licensing agency or professional association in approving fees for services specified above.
(b) Rates for stenographers and deposition services shall be established by the supreme court. The cost of copies of depositions and transcripts shall be fifty cents (.50) per page.
(c) Rates for the services of interpreters for all parties and the court shall be established by the supreme court.
(d) No cost for investigative, expert, or other necessary services as initially approved may be exceeded prior to a subsequent finding of necessity by a justice of the appropriate court.
(e) All bills for investigative, expert, or other necessary services shall be reviewed by the judge who presided over the case, if practicable.
(f) Attorneys shall be reimbursed for the mileage expenses incurred in representing their client at the standard mileage reimbursement rate currently allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. Requests for reimbursement of mileage expenses shall specify the actual number of miles traveled.
(g) The expense of telephone calls shall not be reimbursed.
(h) In cases appealed to the supreme court, attorneys shall be reimbursed for the actual reasonable costs (not including labor) of reproducing and binding the notice of appeal or other appeal document, any appendix and briefs, whether done in-house or by an outside printer.
No reimbursement will be paid for overhead expenses including photocopies
(other than as provided in subdivision (3)(h) of this rule), postage, fax and
(4) Deadline for Filing Bills with Court. All bills related to fees and expenses must be submitted no later than sixty days after the close of the case. The court may allow late filing for good cause shown, when justice so requires.
NOTE: Appointed counsel for witnesses is covered under Rule 48 of the Supreme Court Rules.
Supreme Court Rules Table of Contents