Section 815.10 of the Iowa Code provides that when appointing court-appointed counsel, the court must appoint the public defender office, nonprofit organization, or attorney designated by the State Public Defender to accept those types of cases. If the local public defender declines the case or no office has been designated for a particular case then the Court must appoint a contract attorney unless no contract attorney is available.

Claims for payment by attorneys appointed contrary to section 815.10 after October 1, 2009, shall be denied by the State Public Defender. Accordingly, appointments of contract attorneys in a county covered by a designation must indicate that the State Public Defender's designee has declined or withdrew from the case prior to the appointment of a contract attorney.

Designations of the State Public Defender are submitted to the Clerk of Court in each county. The State Public Defender files one designation letter for adult cases and a second letter for juvenile cases.

Designation Summaries

Adult Criminal case designations are summarized in this map.

Specific adult criminal case designations are listed by county in the Adult Designations.

Specific juvenile case designations are listed by county in the Juvenile Designations

It is important that the courts follow the statutory designations, and that attorneys double-check their appointments to ensure that they are valid, because claims from private court appointed attorneys will not be paid unless the designation is followed.

Sample Forms

A financial affidavit and appointment order for adult and juvenile cases is provided along with a sample order and a sample motion to withdraw for conflict appointments.

Adult - Financial Affidavit/Application for Appointment of Counsel/Order

Juvenile - Financial Affidavit/Application for Appointment of Counsel/Order

Order Appointing Private Counsel

Motion to Withdraw and Order Appointing Conflict Office

Designation of Preferred Certified Shorthand Reporter

State Public Defender Rule 13.2(4)(f) provides that the State Public Defender may designate a certified shorthand reporter as the preferred certified shorthand reporter in a county. If the State Public Defender makes such a designation, claims by any other certified shorthand reporter for depositions shall be denied unless the claim includes written documentation that the preferred certified shorthand reporter was unavailable.

View a summary of the State Public Defender's designations of Certified Shorthand Reporters.