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Types of Tasks & Expenses Requiring Preauthorization

Type of Expense CCAP Authorization Court Authorization
Any travel other than for oral argument CCAP is authorized to process travel requests that do not exceed $600. Travel expenses that exceed $600 must be approved by the court.
Translation CCAP is authorized to process translation expense requests that do not exceed $300. Translation expenses that exceed $300 must be approved by the court.
Extraordinary Expenses (e.g., experts, investigators, unusual copying fees, legislative research fees, etc.) These kinds of items are not currently within the scope of CCAP’s preauthorization authority. The court must authorize any extraordinary expenses for counsel to be compensated. When in doubt, discuss with your CCAP buddy.

A. Requests Within CCAP’s Preauthorization Authority

For matters covered by CCAP’s preauthorization authority, send a letter on counsel’s official letterhead addressed to your CCAP buddy. The letter should be sent via email as a PDF attachment. Successful requests include a detailed assessment of the elements outlined below. Missing information will require revisions to the letter and potential delays to processing the compensation claim. Once approved, the CCAP claims administrator will send counsel an electronic letter explaining the specific amount authorized.

B. Requests Requiring Preapproval by the Court

A request for authorization of expenses exceeding CCAP’s authority, or at the outset is anticipated to exceed the maximum dollar limit of CCAP’s authority, will be routed to the court. Such requests should be first sent to CCAP for an administrative review and recommendation on the request. The request must include proof of service on CCAP and appellant only. (CCAP does not execute service copies as this step is an administrative function only.) The Attorney General should not be served with documents pertaining to appointed counsel’s compensation. CCAP will then TrueFile the request with a recommendation to the court for a ruling. Retain one original “wet” signature hardcopy of the request in your file pursuant to current e-filing rules of court.

C. Elements Needed to Assess a Preauthorization Request

  1. Economic Element

The request must take into account that all other economical means have been attempted, are not effective, or are not feasible. The courts expect that appointed counsel will have exhausted other more common means of communication or other necessary process prior to seeking approval for an extraordinary cost.

As to travel, attorneys are compensated for the most economical means of transit, regardless of the mode used. In determining the cost of travel, CCAP and the court will examine both the expense and the attorney time. When train or plane is the most economical, attorneys are not paid for the time in transit.

  1. Cost Savings

If possible, the request should demonstrate a cost savings to the court. This can be demonstrated usually by laying out the actual and anticipated costs, versus doing it another way. For example, travel by plane may be more economical than travel by car for a long trip. By comparing the hours required to drive, the mileage, and accommodations for a long trip vs. a shorter drive to the airport, a quick flight, and rental car fees, the cost savings will be apparent.

  1. Appellant’s Circumstances

Describe appellant’s circumstances that make it necessary for counsel to incur the expense in order to effectively represent the appellant. For example, when seeking preauthorization for translator expenses, describe whether appellant was served by an interpreter during trial court proceedings or whether appellant does not comprehend written English as well as another language. For preauthorization for a prison visit, describe appellant’s physical or developmental capabilities or literacy and comprehension levels that may pose an obstacle to effective attorney-client communication.

D. CCAP’s Role and Limited Authority

For compensation purposes, CCAP stands in the shoes of the court; CCAP can preauthorize only what CCAP perceives the court would otherwise consider an appropriately incurred expense for the effective representation of the appellant. The recommendation CCAP makes must therefore meet all current court policies for expenditure of extraordinary expenses. CCAP cannot disregard current court policies. Questionable requests will be deferred to the court’s authority.