FORMS FOR ATTORNEY USE
These forms are designed for use by the trial attorney, who has all of the appropriate information which they want us to know in preparation for our receipt of the appeal. Family or friends seeking information or services for a defendant should use the Comments page. These forms are not immediately responded to as we await formal appointments, so family or friends will be disappointed by the delay.
To accomplish our goals, we have developed a number of forms. These are meant to be brief and not create a lot of work for the trial attorney. The local Public Defender Offices under contract to us have the forms available. We also request private counsel, who seek to withdraw at this stage, to complete the forms as an aid to our handling the case. The forms are available from the local Public Defender Office, the director, any supervisor or this web site.
The report forms are available here as an online report, to be completed and sent electronically -- this can be done in stages (first after conviction, second after sentencing and then multiple offender, if applicable) OR as one total report for all the information on a case. (The old paper forms can still be sent, but we prefer electronic information.)
The sample motions are available in 3 formats - web page and downloadable WordPerfect format and downloadable MS Word format.
It should be noted that the procedures vary slightly in some areas. These variances relate to previously established differences in handling matters in the various districts. Much as we would prefer uniformity, this has not yet been possible. Different areas produce routinely different forms of the transcripts -- some include voir dire, opening and closing statements, pre-trial hearings. We prefer to have the entire proceeding produced in the record. But some districts are concerned about costs and time to produce the total proceedings, so restrict the transcripts to the absolute minimum required by the appellate courts. If you know of an issue from voir dire or during the arguments, please designate that part of the record to be sure it is included.
Note that the law changed a few years ago. It is no longer necessary to file the assignments of error in the trial court. We will file our own assignments of error after the record is lodged and we review it.
Capital cases have a separate set of forms -- see the bottom of the page.
NON-CAPITAL CASES ONLY
NEW REPORT OPTIONS (PREFERRED METHOD OF REPORTING) -- Public defenders will see an option on the client page of the public defender data system to click a button to send the appeal. Clicking that button pops up a form where it is possible to enter information which will become a note attached to the automatically created LAP database entry. NO other report is necessary.
Our second choice, for those not using the public defender database and in an effort to make reporting easier, and recognizing that many attorneys send a report after the entire matter is complete, we have designed a single comprehensive report, to be completed on-line. To complete the form online, click here.
Feel free to use the public defender pop up form OR single report form here OR the prior 3-step process of the initial, second (or sentencing) and multiple offender reports listed below. The steps, motion samples and notice to the court remain the same and are listed below.
One set of forms, starting with the steps in handling the cases, are used by the district (or private counsel withdrawing at this stage of the proceeding) in sending new work to us. These same forms work for sending appeals from felony-grade juvenile adjudications to us. THESE FORMS ARE SAMPLES ONLY -- FEEL FREE TO ADAPT THEM AS NEEDED IN YOUR DISTRICT. TO OBTAIN AN APPEAL IN THE LOUISIANA COURTS REQUIRES A MOTION AND ORDER (unlike federal court which uses a notice of appeal, without any judge's order.) Specifically the forms are:
|Steps in handling appeals - This is an overview of the steps to be taken to obtain an appeal for the client and conveying it to our office. Click here for the instructions in PDF format for your circuit: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 15th-JDC-(only)|
|First report - Report sent to us immediately after a loss at trial or plea which will lead to an appeal. To complete the form online, click here. |
|Motion for appeal with designation of record - a general motion for appeal, used in districts which allow the designation of the entire record in the same motion. To download this form in Word Perfect format (6/7/8/9/10/11/12/X3/X4/X5/X6/X7), right click on the appropriate circuit: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 15th-JDC-(only) To download this form in MS Word format, right click on the appropriate circuit: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 15th-JDC-(only)|
|Motion for appeal - Orleans Parish - with designation of record - a specific motion for appeal for Orleans Parish, designed at the request of the Fourth Circuit staff. To download this form in Word Perfect format (6/7/8/9/10/11/12/X3/X4/X5/X6/X7), right click here To download this form in MS Word format, right click here|
|Motion for appeal - Optional Form - similar to the one for Orleans, it allows for checking off items to be designated for the record. To download this form in Word Perfect format (6/7/8/9/10/11/12/X3/X4/X5/X6/X7), right click on the appropriate circuit: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 15th-JDC-(only) To download this form in MS Word format, right click on the appropriate circuit: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 15th-JDC-(only)|
|Motion for appeal (without designating record) - a general motion for appeal, used in districts which want specific designations of parts of the record or where the practice has been to file a separate designation. To download this form in Word Perfect format (6/7/8/9/10/11/12/X3/X4/X5/X6/X7), right click on the appropriate circuit: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 15th JDC (only) To download this form in MS Word format, right click on the appropriate circuit: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 15th-JDC-(only)|
NOTE: No forms have been supplied for designating the record, since that would have to be specifically done in those areas which require it. Nor is a form provided for assigning error. In all circuits, the appellate attorney handles this task after the record is lodged.
|Notice to appellate court - the trial attorney is required by C.Cr.P. Art. 915 to notify the court that a new appeal motion has been filed. This is a sample letter for that purpose since the law does not provide a form. To download this form in Word Perfect format (6/7/8/9/10/11/12/X3/X4/X5/X6/X7), right click on the appropriate circuit: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 15th-JDC-(only) To download this form in MS Word format, right click on the appropriate circuit: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 15th-JDC-(only)|
|Second report - sentencing - the report to be sent to us after sentencing. To complete the form online, click here. |
|Multiple offender report - report to be sent to us after a multiple offender adjudication, if needed. To complete the form online, click here. |
The other set of forms are those used by our office to notify the district clerk, the PDO and the appellate court of the specific attorney assigned. We have a form letter we send to the client promptly to let him/her know who the attorney is and what will be done. A fact sheet is enclosed with that letter. The fact sheet varies, hence three forms are attached, depending on whether or not we get the transcript which we could in due course send on to the client. These are offered only for your information -- these are forms we use.
|Assignment of case letter - the letter our supervisor sends to notify everyone of the particular attorney assigned to the case.|
|Initial letter to client - the assigned attorney always sends a letter promptly to the client so that he or she is aware who the attorney is and what to expect.|
|Fact sheet - the assigned attorney includes this with the initial letter to the client to explain the appeals process and answer some preliminary questions.|
CAPITAL CASES ONLY
NOTE: For purposes of an appeal, the only capital cases are those in which a death penalty was actually imposed. Otherwise the case is non-capital, even if tried as a capital case and even if there was a verdict of first degree murder. If there was no death penalty, use the non-capital forms above. LAP is not involved in capital cases. In such cases contact the Capital Appeals Project and the Capital Case Coordinator at LPDB -- see Capital Appeals (tab above).
OUT-OF-TIME APPEAL (Pro Se)
The responsibility to file the motion for appeal and appointment of counsel to the appeal does not belong to LAP. Our work is limited to the appellate courts. Usually the trial attorney will file the motion after sentence is imposed or after a motion to reconsider the sentence is acted upon. Sometimes the filing is delayed until after any multiple offender proceeding. LAP is not involved in this process. LAP becomes involved solely after receiving notice of an appointment by the court. Until we are appointed, we cannot represent any defendant or render legal advice. Requests for LAP to file such motions are fairly common and cannot be accommodated. What follows is some generic information, meant only to point you in an appropriate direction without any advice that this would be in your best interest and without any assurance that this is the correct process or will be successful for you.
That said, sometimes trial counsel cannot or will not file the motion for appeal. There may be valid reasons for not doing so (such as there was no trial, but a plea; there was no reservation of rights to appeal a plea; there was an agreement not to appeal in return for a lighter sentence or to lower any multiple offender bill or prevent such a bill). We do not know if you are entitled to an appeal and will not see the record unless we are appointed. Based on an assumption that you know or believe you are entitled to an appeal, and you are no longer represented by counsel, you can file your own motion. Often a motion for an out-of-time appeal (after 30 days post sentencing) will work if filed by the defendant. Since we do not know your circumstances, we cannot be sure this form will succeed or assist you, but here is a form which might contain the correct information to obtain such an appeal. Out of time appeal sample.pdf This form can be printed and filled in with the appropriate information by hand or can be copied into a computer word processing program and completed and then printed.
Some judges insist that the request must be by means of an application for post conviction relief on the form available from the Louisiana Supreme Court site. http://www.lasc.org/rules/supreme/appA.pdf
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