FAQs for the Public

What kinds of cases does the Commission provide lawyers for?

Generally, the Commission provides lawyers to indigent people in criminal cases, juvenile cases, child protective cases, involuntary commitment cases, and emancipation cases. There are a few other types of cases that the Commission is responsible for, but those cases are rare. The Commission does not supply attorneys for civil cases such as divorce, eviction, protection from abuse, small claims or foreclosures.

How do I apply for a commission assigned attorney?

The judge will decide if you are eligible for an attorney paid for by the state based on your financial situation and based on the nature of your case. At the court, you will have to fill out a motion for assignment of counsel and a financial affidavit. This affidavit should be filled out with the assistance of a MCILS Financial Screener if your court has one. Then a judge will review your request. The judge or the clerk will tell you whether or not you qualify and if you qualify whether or not you will be ordered to repay some or all of the attorney fees. If you do, the judge or the clerk will give you the name of an attorney assigned to your case. It is possible, but unlikely, that later on the Commission will decide that a different attorney should represent you.