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Any attorney authorized to practice law in Iowa may request a contract with the State Public Defender to represent indigents. If your contract is approved your name will be placed on a list of attorneys eligible to accept appointments in a particular county. The list indicates whether the attorney will take adult, juvenile or appellate cases. The list is sent to the clerks of court in each county on or about the first Friday of each month.
One of the benefits of entering into a contract with the State Public Defender is the contract attorney receives priority over non-contract attorneys in court appointments. Under Iowa Code section 815.10 the court first appoints the local public defender to a case. If the local public defender has a conflict of interest or if the local public defender is unable to handle a case because of a temporary overload of cases, the local public defender returns the case to the court. The court must first appoint a contract attorney. Appointments by the court should be on a rotational or equalization basis considering the experience of the attorney and the difficulty of the case. If no contract attorney is able or available to take the case, the court may appoint a private non-contract attorney who has agreed to take the case. Each month the state public defender's office sends an updated list of contract attorneys to each county by e-mail.
There are separate contracts for trial and appellate casework. Trial casework includes adult cases, juvenile cases and juvenile petitions on appeal. To enter into contracts with the State Public Defender you must complete the following four steps:
Note: These forms require Adobe Acrobat version 3.0 or higher. Click on this link for a free download of Adobe software.
STEP 1: Review the Indigent Defense Legal Services Contract No. 493-14.
STEP 2: Complete the Contract Acceptance and Approval Form. Open, complete, and print out the Contract Acceptance and Approval Form. Indicate the type(s) of contract(s) the attorney has entered into with the State Public Defender. Instructions are included with this form. Initial Eligibility Verification
STEP 3: Independent Contractor Form. Open, print out and fill in the answers detailing the nature of the employment relationship that exists between you and the office of the State Public Defender. Instructions for the Independent Contractor Form are also provided.
STEP 4: SPD Substitute W-9 and Payment Authorization. Open, complete electronically or print and complete the form. In completing this form, if your firm is a LLC or PLC, check either "partnership" or "corporation," not "other."
Sign and date all of the forms in steps 2, 3, and 4.
STEP 5: Return all three signed forms (do not fold or staple) to:
State Public Defender
Fourth Floor, Lucas Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0087
You have now completed the registration process. Notification of approval will be sent to you.
If you are unable to complete this process, you may call us at (515) 242-6158 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, to request a packet of information to be mailed to you.
If you would like to have payment of your claim automatically deposited into your bank account please complete the Electronic Funds Transfer Authorization Form and submit to the address listed on the form. Do not send this form to the State Public Defender.
The State Public Defender automatically sends out a renewal contract at least 30 days before your contract expires. The renewal is for three years.
If you would like to change any information on your contract, such as types of cases or counties, submit your changes on the Request to Amend Form to the State Public Defender either by fax (515) 281-7289, e-mail email@example.com or mail to State Public Defender, Fourth Floor, Lucas Building, 321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0087. Include all types of cases and counties in which you would like to receive appointments, regardless of whether they are on your current contract.
If you change your federal identification number, firm name or address you must complete a new Substitute W-9/Vendor Update Form and send to the State Public Defender either by fax (515) 281-7289, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to State Public Defender, Fourth Floor, Lucas Building, 321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0087.
To cancel your contract with the State Public Defender send us notice in writing that you are canceling your contract either by fax (515) 281-7289, e-mail email@example.com or mail to State Public Defender, Fourth Floor, Lucas Building, 321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0087. The cancellation request must be signed by the contracting attorney.