Civil attorneys to be paid more for representing Sacramento's indigent

Wages have remained stagnant since 2006

Those tasked with representing the poor are about to get a long-awaited pay bump.

On Tuesday, Sacramento County supervisors were slated to approve pay increases for the first time in nine years to the civil attorneys and paralegals who provide mandated representation to those who cannot afford it.

These probate and family law attorneys currently earn $80 an hour, while their paralegals make $15 an hour. Under the proposed rate increases, attorneys would earn the same amount for guardianship or conservatorship cases, $10 more an hour for contempt cases and $20 more an hour when arguing whether to terminate parental rights. Paralegals would see their hourly wages bumped 37.5 percent to $24 an hour.

Both parties would also start receiving annual cost-of-living increases ranging from 2 percent to 4 percent.

Tuesday’s expected action follows a November decision to increase the pay of attorneys and investigators representing the indigent in criminal cases.

According to a county staff report, the rate increases will allow the Sacramento Superior Court to retain and attract experienced family law and probate attorneys. The annual cost to the county is estimated at $45,000, based on the historical number of hours billed, the report says.