August 24, 2019

Chief Justice Amends Court Compensation of Expert Witnesses and Professionals Conducting Mental Health Evaluations

In an effort to control expenditures of state funds in court cases, the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court has approved a new policy that applies to expert witnesses and mental health professionals conducting examinations or evaluations (with or without subsequent testimony) who are entitled to compensation paid by the Colorado Judicial Department.

Issued in June 2012, this new Chief Justice Directive, CJD 12-03, does not apply to other professionals that are appointed and compensated by the court as provided in other Chief Justice Directives, nor does it apply to employees and/or contractors paid by the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo or other government mental health agencies for work performed at their direction.

Certain types of evaluations are also excluded inasmuch as they are governed by other program-specific statutes, rules, or policies. If the Court finds that there is not an applicable statute, rule, directive, policy, or similar guidance that governs compensation for an evaluation permitted by statute, and that payment by the Judicial Department is appropriate, the Court will enter an order requiring the expert to comply with the fee and billing requirements and limitations set forth by CJD 12-03.

The Judicial Department may enter in to agreements to provide for evaluations or examinations when it is determined that said agreements are cost-effective and in the best interest of the Judicial Department.

This new Chief Justice Directive is applicable to all appointments made on or after July 1, 2012.

Chief Justice Directives 87-01 (Court compensation of experts in felony cases) and 93-03 (Compensation, mental condition examinations in criminal and civil cases) are repealed by CJD 12-03.

For all details about CJD 12-03, including Fees, Expenses, and Guidelines for Payment, click here.

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