The Mississippi Office of Indigent Appeals was created by the Legislature in 2005 to provide legal representation on appeal for indigent persons convicted of felonies but not under sentence of death. The office became operational and was fully staffed in January of 2007. The following year, the Mississippi Legislature created a Public Defender Training Division under Indigent Appeals to provide training and resources to Mississippi's public defenders. On July 1, 2011, Indigent Appeals, the Training Division, and the Office of Capital Defense Counsel were merged to become the Office of the State Public Defender.

The appointment of the Indigent Appeals Division (IAD) is governed by MRAP Rule 6.

There are two ways to have the IAD substituted as counsel for an appeal. 1) A motion to withdraw as counsel can be filed with the trial court with the request that IAD be appointed as counsel, in which case IAD will perfect the appeal. 2) Trial counsel may perfect the appeal (by filing the notice of appeal, designation of record and certificate of compliance) and then file a motion to withdraw with the appellate court and have the IAD substituted as appellate counsel. This should be done as soon as the case is docketed (please do not wait until the briefing schedule is issued).

In either instance, there needs to be a finding by the trial court that the defendant is indigent and the trial court must authorize that the appeal proceed in forma pauperis. If you are retained trial counsel and need to withdraw after the appeal is perfected, contact us.

Copies of sample motions are provided below for download. Please notify us prior to filing a motion to substitute. If your motion is filed in the appellate court, we will provide you with our entry of appearance form prior to any motion to withdraw as required by MRAP 46(c). All post-trial motions, the Notice of Appeal, Designation of the Record and Certificate of Compliance should be filed before requesting our substitution. The appellate court will prepare its own order.

Under MRAP Rule 6, counsel who are allowed to withdraw remain under a continuing duty to assist the IAD as needed. This usually only requires a review of the record in the circuit clerk’s office before it is sent to the appellate court.

Trial Court Motion Form and Order

For Retained Counsel:

Motion to Withdraw and for Appointment of Appellate Counsel and for Other Relief

Click here Word version.

Click here for .pdf version.

For Appointed Counsel:

Click here for Word version.

Click here for .pdf version.

Appellate Court Motion Form

You'll need to contact George Holmes to get his entry of appearance form. You may call him at 601-576-4290, or by email.

Click here to email George.

Click here for Word version.

Click here for .pdf version.

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Mississippi OSPD