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Home | Case-Filing | Appealing a Case in the Second Circuit | How to Appeal a Criminal Case

Motion to be relieved as counsel


Trial counsel who wishes to be relieved on appeal must move in the Court of Appeals after filing the Notice of Appeal. This motion must set forth the reasons for relief, and it must be based upon one of the following:


(1) A showing that new counsel has been retained or appointed to represent the defendant;


(2) The defendant's completed application for appointment of counsel under the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. ยง 3006A(a) to (k) ("CJA"), or a showing that such application already has been filed in the Court of Appeals;


(3) A defendant's affidavit or signed statement setting forth that the defendant has been advised of the right to retain new counsel or apply for appointment of counsel and expressly stating that the defendant does not wish to be represented by counsel but elects to appeal pro se;


(4) A defendant's affidavit or signed statement setting forth that the defendant has been advised of the defendant's rights with regard to the appeal and expressly stating that the defendant elects to withdraw the appeal; OR


(5) A showing that exceptional circumstances prevent counsel from meeting any of the requirements stated in (1)-(4) above. Note: if the motion asserts exceptional circumstances under this paragraph, the motion must be accompanied by proof of service on the defendant and the Government.


If counsel is not admitted to the Court, counsel must contact the clerk's office before filing the motion to be relieved.


If the sole reason for not proceeding as counsel on the appeal is that the defendant appellant cannot pay the legal fee, the defendant must submit an application for the appointment of counsel together with a completed Financial Affidavit Form CJA-23. In all likelihood if appellant meets the criteria for IFP status, trial counsel will be appointed as counsel under the CJA for the purpose of pursuing the instant appeal.



Last modified at 1/11/2012