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 and to provide advice, education and support to attorneys representing people on felony charges in trial courts.

In 2006 the scope of practice was expanded to allow representation on appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court to a juvenile adjudicated delinquent in Youth Court. The following year, the Mississippi Legislature created the Public Defender Training Division within Indigent Appeals to work with the Mississippi Public Defender Association to provide training and services to public defenders practicing in all state, county and municipal courts.

Services include continuing legal education, research and technical assistance. In addition to these services the division is charged with providing information to the Legislature pertaining to the needs of public defenders in Mississippi.

On July 1, 2011, the Office of Indigent Appeals and the Training Division, became divisions of the newly formed Office of the State Public Defender. Under this reorganization employees of Indigent Appeals may work in whole or in part in another division. The scope of services of OSPD was expanded again in 2016 to include authority to provide representation to indigent parents in child welfare cases including on appeal and to train attorneys in these cases.

The Indigent Appeals Division (IAD) provides direct representation in most felony direct appeals. IAD may also represent people appealing Youth Court matters at the direction of the State Defender. IAD also provides training and technical assistance to trial defenders as needed.

IAD may only provide direct representation if the person is found indigent and granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis by a court.

To engage the services of IAD, attorneys should contact George Holmes. Trial attorneys are encouraged to contact IAD as they prepare for trial for assistance with law updates and preservation of issues. For representation on appeal attorneys should contact George immediately after sentencing.

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 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 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