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Assigned Counsel Program

Frequently Asked Questions:

FOR INDIVIDUALS:



How do I appeal from a judgment of conviction or re-sentencing?

How do I appeal from a Family Court order?

How do I appeal from a habeas corpus, SORA or other civil order?

How do I perfect my appeal?

How long do I have to perfect my appeal?

How do I get an attorney assigned to represent me on a criminal appeal?

How do I get an attorney assigned to represent me on a habeas corpus appeal?

How do I get an attorney assigned to represent me on a SORA appeal?

How do I get an attorney assigned to represent me on a Family Court appeal?

How long does an appeal take?

Can I get a copy of my trial transcripts?

What if I believe there is a conflict of interest with my assigned counsel and I think new counsel should be assigned?




How do I appeal from a judgment of conviction or re-sentencing?

In order to appeal from a judgment of conviction or re-sentencing, you or your trial attorney must, within 30 days of the date on which you were sentenced, file a notice of appeal with the County Clerk’s Office in the county in which you were convicted. You must also serve a copy of the notice of appeal on the District Attorney or the Attorney General.

Notice of Appeal Forms



How do I appeal from a Family Court order?

A notice of appeal must be filed in the Family Court Clerk’s Office and served on all parties “no later than thirty days after the service by a party or the child's attorney upon the appellant of any order from which the appeal is taken, thirty days from receipt of the order by the appellant in court or thirty-five days from the mailing of the order to the appellant by the clerk of the court, whichever is earliest” (Family Ct Act § 1113).

Family Court Notice of Appeal Form

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How do I appeal from a habeas corpus, SORA or other civil order ?

In order to appeal from a civil order, you or your trial attorney must, within 30 days of the date on which you were served with a copy of the order you want to appeal, with notice of its entry, file a notice of appeal with the clerk of the court that entered the order. The County Clerk is the clerk of record for County and Supreme Court orders (see County Law §§ 525, 909). The Clerks of Family Court and Surrogate’s Court are the clerks of record for those courts.

Habeas Corpus and SORA Notice of Appeal Form



How do I perfect my appeal ?

After a notice of appeal has been timely filed and served, you must perfect your appeal by filing and serving a stipulated or settled record on appeal, in accordance with the rules of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. The record must include all relevant and necessary documents, including transcripts of any stenographic or audiotaped minutes (see 22 NYCRR 1000.3).

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How long do I have to perfect my appeal?

Civil appeals, such as appeals from a habeas corpus or SORA proceeding or an adoption matter in Surrogate’s Court, are subject to dismissal on motion if not perfected within 60 days of service on the opposing party of the notice of appeal (see 22 NYCRR 1000.2 [a]; 1000.12 [a]); if the motion is opposed, the Court generally grants an extension of time (30-60 days) to perfect the appeal.

Civil appeals not perfected within nine months of service of the notice of appeal are deemed abandoned and dismissed (see 22 NYCRR 1000.2 [b]; 1000.12 [b]).

Family Court appeals in which the Court has assigned counsel must be perfected within 60 days of receipt of the transcript (see Family Ct Act § 1121 [7]; 22 NYCRR 1000.2 [c] [1]), unless extended by order of the Court for good cause shown.

Criminal appeals in which the Court has assigned counsel must be perfected within 120 days of receipt of the transcript (see 22 NYCRR 1000.2 [c] [2]; 1021.1 [a] [3]), unless extended by the Court for good cause shown, or where a prior order of the Court has set a conditional dismissal date for perfection of the appeal.



How do I get an assigned attorney on a criminal appeal?

You may complete a consolidated motion form for permission to appeal as a poor person and for assignment of counsel and return the original and one copy to the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department at 50 East Avenue, Rochester, NY14604. Copies of the completed motion form must be served upon the District Attorney and the County Attorney.

Poor Person/Assignment of Counsel Form - Judgment of Conviction
Poor Person/Assignment of Counsel Form - Judgment of Conviction - Appeal by People
Poor Person/Assignment of Counsel Form - Rockefeller Drug Re-Sentencing
Poor Person/Assignment of Counsel Form - Rockefeller Drug Re-Sentencing - Appeal by People

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How do I get an assigned attorney on a habeas corpus appeal? You must file an original and one copy of a motion for permission to appeal as a poor person and for assignment of counsel with the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department at 50 East Avenue, Rochester, NY14604, and serve a copy of the motion papers on the opposing party or counsel. You must also file with your motion papers a copy of the order you want to appeal, a copy of the notice of appeal, and proof of service of the notice of appeal on the opposing party or counsel.

Habeas Corpus Poor Person Assigned Counsel form



How do I get an assigned attorney on a SORA appeal?

You do not need to make a formal motion for assignment of counsel on appeal if you were represented by assigned counsel in the trial court for the risk level determination proceeding. The assignment of counsel continues throughout the pendency of the appeal (Corrections Law § 168-n [3]).

If you were not represented by assigned counsel in the determination proceeding but think that you are entitled to assigned counsel on appeal, or your trial counsel can not continue to represent you on appeal, you or your assigned trial counsel must file and serve a formal motion for permission to appeal as a poor person and for assignment of counsel.

The motion must be served on all necessary parties or counsel and the County Attorney for the county in which the order was entered.

You must file the original and one copy of the completed motion with this Court, together with a copy of the order you are seeking to appeal, a copy of the notice of appeal, and proof of service of both the notice of appeal and the poor person motion papers (22 NYCRR 1000.14).

SORA Poor Person Assigned Counsel form



How do I get an assigned attorney on a Family Court appeal?

You do not need to make a formal motion for assignment of counsel on appeal if you were represented in Family Court by an assigned attorney, by a legal aid society or legal services organization, or by private counsel working on behalf of such society or organization and your attorney files a certification stating that you have indicated an intention to appeal, that you are eligible for the assignment of counsel, and that you continue to be indigent and unable to retain counsel to represent you on appeal (Family Ct Act § 1118).

Attorney Certification of Indigency Form - Family Court Appeal

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If you were not represented by assigned counsel in Family Court but think that you are entitled to assigned counsel on appeal, or your trial counsel did not file a certification of continued indigency on your behalf, you must file and serve a formal motion for permission to appeal as a poor person and for assignment of counsel.

The motion must be served on all necessary parties (including the Attorney for the Child, if any) and the County Attorney for the county in which the order was entered.

You must file the original and one copy of the completed motion with this Court, together with a copy of the order you are seeking to appeal, a copy of the notice of appeal, and proof of service of both the notice of appeal and the poor person motion papers (22 NYCRR 1000.14).

Poor Person/Assignment of Counsel Motion - Family Court Order



How long does an appeal take?

The appeal process can be lengthy. An appellate attorney cannot evaluate or discuss specific legal issues relating to an appeal until he or she has read all the court documents and transcripts of proceedings. The appeal cannot be considered by the Court until all the transcripts and court documents are reviewed and stipulated to by appellate counsel for all necessary parties, or settled by the trial court, and appellate counsel has filed and served the stipulated or settled records and briefs.

After records and briefs have been accepted for filing, an appeal is placed on the calendar for the next available term of Court for oral argument or submission to a panel of Justices. The Court schedules eight terms of Court annually. Generally, decision-orders of the Court are released two weeks after the conclusion of each term.

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Can I get a copy of my trial transcripts?

If transcripts have been filed in the county clerk’s office, you may purchase a copy of the transcripts at a fixed rate (see CPLR § 8019 [f]). You may need to provide the clerk’s office with a copy of the order of this Court granting you permission to appeal as a poor person. If you do not have a copy of the poor person order, you may contact the Court to request that a copy be sent to you. If an attorney has been assigned to represent you, the transcript prepared at taxpayer expense is provided to that attorney to perfect the appeal for you. Assigned counsel is not required to provide you with your own copy of the transcript.

In a criminal matter, if you are represented by assigned counsel,you may request a free copy of the transcript from the Court, after the filing of counsel’s brief, in order to prepare your own pro se supplemental brief.



What if I believe there is a conflict of interest with my assigned counsel and I think new counsel should be assigned?

Whether there is a genuine conflict of interest that requires reassignment of appellate counsel in a particular case is a legal determination to be made by the Court. Before making such determination, the Court frequently requests information from the appellant and from counsel. New counsel will not be assigned absent proof that a genuine conflict of interest precludes assigned counsel from effectively representing you on appeal.

In order to warrant reassignment of appellate counsel on the grounds of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, where that attorney or another attorney in the same office has been assigned to represent you on appeal, specific instances of acts or omissions alleged to constitute the ineffective assistance of trial counsel must be alleged that would be apparent upon review of the record on appeal.

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