Richland County Attorneys To Boycott Cases Until Pay Change

  • 10/15/2019 4:40:35 PM
  • Sartaj Singh
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - Multiple attorneys in Richland County have signed a letter stating their intent to remove their names from the court appointed list for all felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases both criminal and traffic. 

The boycott goes into effect today, October 15th. 

In a letter addressed to the Richland County Commissioners, attorneys state that the Richland County Commissioners have failed to adopt the recommendations of the State Committee for court appointed fees after legislature passed a budget which will greatly increase reimbursement to Richland County. 

The state committee announced this year that the budget for reimbursement fees for court appointed attorneys is expected to almost double next year, according to Attorney at Law Bernard Davis. 

"We are talking about very little compared to what the going rate is." Davis said. "It's not fair to the guys that are doing this work, and it's not fair to the people who are being represented."

The State Committee recommends that court appointed attorneys be paid $75 dollars per hour and caps for their work in and out of the courtroom.  The current rate in Richland County is set at $50.  

The number was stated in the letter to county commissioners, stating that those signed will remain on court appointed lists should the commissioners adopt and enact a resolution adopting the recommendations of the new rate of $75 per hour and caps. 

The attorneys also stated in the letter that they will complete work on any cases that were assigned to them before October 15th. 

During a County Commissioners meeting, an agreement was reached between the three commissioners where the pay rate and caps for attorneys would be raised by ten dollars, from $50 to $60. This increase will go into effect on January 1st, 2020. This is the first increase for court appointed attorneys in nearly two decades, according to Davis. 

Commissioner Darrell Banks also stated that the board will revisit the discussion on pay rate during a meeting in January. 

"Taxpayers could be hurt by this." Commissioner Banks stated after the meeting. "They are paying for all of those, whether it's state money or county money, taxpayers are paying it." 

Banks later stated that he does understand that the current pay rates and caps need to be reviewed, and expects to thoroughly discuss the topic during Decembers meeting. 

"We have been waiting, they did not make any effort to come talk to us," Commissioner Banks said in response to the boycott. 

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