July 14, 2020
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CS/HB 7161

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to court-appointed counsel; amending s.
3938.29, F.S.; specifying that a lien for the cost of
4court-appointed counsel against a parent for services
5provided to a child does not expire upon the emancipation
6of the child or upon the child reaching the age of
7majority; amending s. 57.082, F.S.; clarifying proceedings
8in which a party may qualify for court-appointed counsel;
9revising provisions relating to the payment of an
10application fee by a person eligible for court-appointed
11counsel; amending s. 39.0134, F.S.; revising a cross-
12reference relating to enforcement of liens for court-
13ordered payment of attorney's fees and costs; specifying
14circumstances under which a parent receiving assistance of
15appointed counsel shall be liable for payment of an
16application fee and attorney's fees and costs; providing
17for payment of such fees and costs; providing for deposit
18and disposition of fee proceeds; providing an effective
21Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
23     Section 1.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
24938.29, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
25     938.29  Legal assistance; lien for payment of attorney's
26fees or costs.-
27     (2)
28     (b)  A judgment showing the name and residence of the
29defendant-recipient or parent shall be recorded in the public
30record, without cost, by the clerk of the circuit court in the
31county where the defendant-recipient or parent resides and in
32each county in which such defendant-recipient or parent then
33owns or later acquires any property. Such judgments shall be
34enforced on behalf of the state by the clerk of the circuit
35court of the county in which assistance was rendered. The lien
36against a parent shall remain in force notwithstanding the child
37becoming emancipated or the child reaching the age of majority.
38     Section 2.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (1) and subsection
39(5) of section 57.082, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
40     57.082  Determination of civil indigent status.-
41     (1)  APPLICATION TO THE CLERK.-A person seeking appointment
42of an attorney in a civil case eligible for court-appointed
43counsel, or seeking relief from payment of filing fees and
44prepayment of costs under s. 57.081, based upon an inability to
45pay must apply to the clerk of the court for a determination of
46civil indigent status using an application form developed by the
47Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation with final
48approval by the Supreme Court.
49     (d)  A person who seeks appointment of an attorney in a
50case under chapter 39 proceeding, at shelter or during the
51adjudicatory process, during the judicial review process, upon
52the filing of a termination of parental rights petition, or upon
53the filing of any appeal, or if an appointed attorney is
54requested in a reopened proceeding, at the trial or appellate
55level, for which an indigent person is eligible for court-
56appointed representation, shall pay a $50 application fee to the
57clerk for each application filed. The applicant shall pay the
58fee within 7 days after submitting the application. If the fee
59is not paid within 7 days, the court shall enter an order
60requiring payment and the clerk shall pursue collection under s.
6128.246. The clerk shall transfer monthly all application fees
62collected under this paragraph to the Department of Revenue for
63deposit into the Indigent Civil Defense Trust Fund, to be used
64as appropriated by the Legislature. The clerk may retain 10
65percent of application fees collected monthly for administrative
66costs prior to remitting the remainder to the Department of
67Revenue. A person found to be indigent may not be refused
68counsel. If the person cannot pay the application fee, the clerk
69shall enroll the person in a payment plan pursuant to s. 28.246.
70     (5)  APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL.-In appointing counsel after a
71determination that a person is indigent under this section, the
72court shall order that any applicable application fee be paid by
73each person requesting appointment of counsel and first appoint
74the office of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, as
75provided in s. 27.511, unless specific provision is made in law
76for the appointment of the public defender in the particular
77civil proceeding.
78     Section 3.  Section 39.0134, Florida Statutes, is amended
79to read:
80     39.0134  Appointed counsel; compensation.-If counsel is
81entitled to receive compensation for representation pursuant to
82a court appointment in a dependency proceeding or a termination
83of parental rights proceeding pursuant to this chapter,
84compensation shall be paid in accordance with s. 27.5304. The
85state may acquire and enforce a lien upon court-ordered payment
86of attorney's fees and costs in accordance with s. 938.29(2)
88     (1)  A parent whose child is dependent, whether or not
89adjudication was withheld, or whose parental rights are
90terminated, and who has received the assistance of the office of
91criminal conflict and civil regional counsel or any other court-
92appointed counsel or has received due process services after
93being found indigent for costs under s. 57.082 shall be liable
94for payment of the assessed application fee under s. 57.082,
95together with reasonable attorney's fees and costs as determined
96by the court.
97     (2)  If reasonable attorney's fees or costs are assessed,
98payment of the fees or costs may be made part of any case plan
99in dependency proceedings at the court's discretion; however, no
100case plan may remain open for the sole issue of payment of
101attorney's fees or costs. At the court's discretion, a lien upon
102court-ordered payment of attorney's fees and costs may be
103ordered by the court in accordance with s. 938.29(2).
104     (3)  The clerk of the court shall transfer all attorney's
105fees and costs collected under this section monthly to the
106Department of Revenue for deposit in the Indigent Civil Defense
107Trust Fund, subject to legislative appropriations and consistent
108with s. 27.5111.
109     Section 4.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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