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 representation in felony direct appeals that are not death penalty. IAD may also represent people appealing Youth Court matters in the discretion of the State Defender. IAD can also provide technical assistance and law updates to trial defenders as needed.

IAD may only provide appellate representation to persons found indigent and granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis by the trial court. To engage the services of IAD, attorneys should contact George Holmes.

There are two ways to involve the IAD in an appeal. Substitution of counsel can be sought in the trial court before an appeal is perfected or in the appellate court after the appeal has been perfected. Sample motions for each method are provided below for download.

If counsel wants the IAD to perfect the appeal, trial counsel should use the applicable form below to have the trial court appoint the IAD. Please notify the IAD upon the trial court substituting the IAD as appellate counsel. Do not rely on court administrators and circuit clerks to notify the IAD of substitution.

If trial counsel perfects the appeal, substitution of counsel can be sought in the appellate court. In this instance notify George Holmes prior to filing a motion to substitute, and we will provide you our entry of appearance form as required by MRAP 46(c). 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