Eligibility for Court Appointed Attorney
Persons who are charged with a crime and who cannot afford to hire an attorney may request the court appoint an attorney at state expense. In addition, a court appointed attorney may be requested in a juvenile dependency (abuse or neglect), termination of parental rights, or juvenile delinquency proceeding
Persons who are involved in a civil proceeding, such as domestic relations matters, personal injury, landlord / tenant, bankruptcy, or employment cases are not eligible for a court appointed attorney at state expense.
A person is financially eligible for court appointed attorney at state expense if the person is “unable to retain adequate counsel without substantial hardship in providing basic economic necessities to the person or the person’s dependent family”. The court shall order individuals with sufficient financial resources to pay in full, or in part, the administrative costs of determining eligibility and the anticipated costs of representation. A clerk will review the application for court appointed attorney to determine a person’s financial eligibility and their ability to pay an application fee and, if appropriate, a contribution amount towards the court appointed attorney.
If you would like to apply for court appointed attorney you will need to complete an Affidavit of Eligibility. If you are out of custody, you may apply in person at the Indigent Defense window located at 1120 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204 on the 3rd floor of the Justice Center. If you are in custody, you will be assigned an attorney at your first court appearance. There is typically a $20.00 application fee, and depending on your financial situation the court may charge an additional contribution amount.