Appointed Counsel

Online Voucher System

The payment of court-appointed counsel for the legal services provided to indigent clients is governed by the provisions of W. Va. Code 29-21-13a.

The payment begins with the attorney's preparation of a "voucher." A voucher is essentially an invoice from the attorney for the payment of legal services and the reimbursement of expenses.

The governing statute dictates that "vouchers ... shall specifically set forth the nature of the services rendered, the stage of proceeding or type of hearing involved, the date and place the service was rendered and the amount of time expended in each instance." Further, "all time claimed on the vouchers shall be itemized to the nearest tenth of an hour."

Public Defender Services is to "establish guidelines for the submission of vouchers and claims for fees and expenses." Finally, Public Defender Services is to refuse to requisition payment for any voucher which is not in conformity with ... the voucher guidelines established ... "

In fulfillment of its statutory obligation, Public Defender Services developed an online system for the preparation of vouchers, known commonly as the "OVS System." The use of this system is mandatory and requires that you establish a "WV.Gov" account. To register for the OVS System, follow the steps located here.

The governing statute was updated on July 1, 2019. The most significant part of the legislation from your perspective is that you will now receive an increase of $15 per hour for the services you perform. The second significant part of the process apart of the legislation involves the process by which your vouchers are submitted and approved. A summary of some of the changes, including important changes to paralegal billing, can be found in the video below. 

You should refer to the statute, our legislative rules (SOS site or PDF), and the guidelines on this website for full details.