212

Rule 15: Reimbursement of Costs in Mental Health Proceedings.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-3-503(c), the Supreme Court hereby prescribes the nature of costs for which reimbursement may be allowed in judicial proceedings relating to indigent persons under Title 33, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. This rule does not apply to those costs incurred in criminal proceedings, including hearings to determine competency to stand trial, which are regulated under other Supreme Court Rules and statutes.

1. Appointment of Counsel. Counsel for an indigent person who is the subject of a judicial proceeding under Chapters 3 through 8 of Title 33 shall be appointed pursuant to Rule 13, Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The provisions of Sections 1, 2, 4 and 6 of Rule 13 shall apply to appointment of counsel in such judicial proceedings unless the context of a particular provision requires otherwise.

Counsel appointed shall, unless excused by order of the Court, continue to act for the party throughout the proceedings.

2. Compensation for Appointed Counsel. Claims for compensation and reimbursement of expenses in judicial proceedings under Chapters 3 through 8 of Title 33 shall be filed in compliance with Rule 13. The director of the Administrative Office of the Courts shall examine and audit such claims and determine the amount of compensation and reimbursement pursuant to Rule 13.

If an attorney is substituted for an attorney previously appointed for the indigent person in the same case, the total compensation which may be paid both attorneys shall not exceed the maximum compensation set by Rule 13 for one proceeding. In such cases, compensation for attorneys’ services shall not be fixed by the judge until the conclusion of proceedings, so that the judge may make such apportionment between the attorneys as may be just.

3. Clerk Fees. In all judicial proceedings under Chapters 3 through 8 of Title 33, the clerks of the several trial courts shall tax costs in a bill of costs pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 8-21-104 and 8-21-401. Appellate clerks shall tax costs to a bill of costs pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-21-501. This bill of costs on the approved Supreme Court form shall be submitted to the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

4. Sheriff Fees. In all judicial proceedings under Chapters 3 through 8 of Title 33 requiring the services of sheriffs or deputies, the sheriff shall submit a request to the clerk of the court where the proceedings were held, demanding fees pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-21-901. The sheriff's itemized statement for all travel expenses shall be appended to the bill of costs submitted to the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. The clerk of court shall tax these costs as part of the bill of costs submitted on the approved Supreme Court form to the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

5. Witness Fees. Witnesses subpoenaed to appear in proceedings held pursuant to Chapters 3 through 8 of Title 33 shall be paid fees and mileage as provided for witnesses generally (Tenn. Code Ann. § 24-4-101 et seq.). A state employee employed at a fixed compensation, serving as a witness shall not claim a witness fee (Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-23-201).

6. The director of the Administrative Office of the Courts shall examine and audit all claims for clerks' fees, sheriffs' fees, and witnesses’ fees to insure compliance with these rules and other statutory requirements. Upon the audit and approval of the clerks' fees, sheriffs' fees, and witnesses’ fees, the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts shall issue payment in satisfaction of the approved fees. The determination by the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts shall be final.

[Amended by Order filed September 4, 2001; and amended by order filed February 6, 2013, effective July 1, 2013.]

Back to Top