Appellate Program

Right to Counsel on Appeal

The Washington Court of Appeals will appoint an appellate attorney at public expense in any case where there is a right to counsel on appeal.  A party seeking appointment of counsel on appeal must establish:

  • A federal or state constitutional or a statutory right to counsel; and
  • That the party is indigent, i.e. unable by reason of poverty to pay for all or some of the expenses of appellate review.   The procedure for establishing indigency and right to counsel are found in RAP Title 15.Exiting the OPD website

Criminal Cases

Criminal defendants have a right to counsel to appeal the judgment and sentence.

Discretionary Review

Criminal defendants do NOT have a right to counsel to seek discretionary review.  The appellate court will appoint appellate counsel only if it grants review of the case.

Dependency and Termination Cases

Parents in dependency and termination cases have a right to counsel at all stages of proceedings including both appeals as of right and discretionary review.

Sexually Violent Predators

Respondents in SVP cases have a right to counsel at all stages of proceedings including both appeals as of right and discretionary review.

Other Cases

See RAP 15.2Exiting the OPD website.  for other categories of cases where counsel will be appointed on appeal.

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