Appellate Program

Frequently Asked Questions: Appellate Program  

How do I provide feedback? 

Please mail or email your comments to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Appellate Program Manager
Washington State Office of Public Defense
P.O. Box 40957
Olympia, WA  98504-0957

Who can provide feedback?

Comments may be received from any party (clients, judges, other attorneys, court staff, other OPD contract attorneys ) that work with the Appellate Program. 

The pdficon grsmall Complaint Form requires release of information and should only be filed by the client.    

What is the process?

When we received a complaint, praise or comment about the program or defense counsel, we review it to decide if action is required.  We attempt to resolve most concerns or complaints informally.  Depending on the type of feedback, we may contact you or the attorney for additional information.

What is the purpose of filing a complaint?

The purpose of the complaint process is two fold: 1) To assist in solving problems between one of the OPD contract attorneys and his or her client.  2) To help OPD evaluate ways to improve the Appellate Program.   

Who can I file a complaint against?

You can file a complaint against OPD Appellate Program contract attorneys who represent clients in Divisions I, II, and III of the Washington State Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.  For cases before other courts, please contact the appropriate local public defense agency.

Will my attorney know that I filed a complaint?  

Yes.  We will need to speak with your attorney regarding your complaint to see if we can help resolve the situation.  We will need to provide the attorney with a copy of the complaint form so your attorney will be able to understand your concerns. 

Why can't a complaint be anonymous?

Complaints that do not include the name of the person and circumstances involved are difficult to resolve.  The complaint process requires the informed consent and authorization for release for release of our protected information.

What do I need to know if I am thinking about submitting a complaint?

Because OPD is a state agency, we are subject to request for public records, which could include information related to your complaint.  We will take all reasonable steps to protect your private information. 

What if I want a new attorney?

Only the court can order the assignment of a new attorney.  If you want a new attorney assigned, you need to ask the appellate court in writing.  Check with your attorney or the appellate court clerk's office for guidance on the procedure.

How do I fill out a complaint form?

The forms are provided in pdf format.  In order to view, fill out, save and print PDF forms, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you may download for free from the Adobe website.The hyperlink will exit the OPD website.  There are two ways to complete the form:

1) Print the form, fill out the form, and return it to OPD via U.S. Mail or scan and email as an attachment;

2) Fill in the form online, print, sign, and return to OPD via U.S. Mail or scan and email as an attachment;

 


 

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