The District of Kansas Local Rule 83.5.3 (f) addresses procedures to be followed by court-appointed counsel who represent indigent parties in civil cases. Counsel must follow these procedures if they wish to seek reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenditures which counsel are reasonably compelled to incur, which the client is not able to pay, and which are not otherwise recoverable in the action (including settlement).
As stated in the Rule, “To qualify for reimbursement, all expenditures must be approved in advance bythe court.” The form for court appointed counsel and instructions can be found on the public web site at www.ksd.uscourts.gov.
When seeking advance approval for expenses, counsel should complete Items 1 through 9 of the “Authority to Reimburse Court Appointed Counsel (CIVIL)” form and submit it to the clerk’s office. The clerk’s office will forward the form for approval by the presiding judge and, if he requested amount exceeds $3,000, by the chief judge as well. Counsel may expect to be contacted by the presiding judge and/or he chief judge if further explanation of the request is necessary. If the request is approved, counsel will be notified that they are authorized to incur the expenses. The original form will be mailed to the attorney for retention until the termination of the case.
Once the case is closed, counsel seeking reimbursement should complete Items 11 through 13 and return it to the clerk’s office. Upon receipt of the completed form, the clerk’s office will forward the form to the appropriate judge for approval of payment.
Please remember that if you settle the case and do not recover your expenses or reserve the right to seek costs, the judge will likely deny reimbursement. Since these funds are being paid from the Court’s Bar Registration Fund over which the Court has a responsibility to all members of the Bar that these funds are properly spent, the Court must be careful about its stewardship of these funds.
Accordingly, counsel will be required to make a showing of continuing indigency of the plaintiff at the time reimbursement is sought. While the Court appreciates the pro bono services of counsel, approval and authorization of expenditures will be limited.
IT IS REQUIRED THAT COUNSEL SEEK COURT APPROVAL IN ADVANCE OF INCURRING ANY EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS SOUGHT.