Discretionary appointment of counsel - prisoners

Key_development Question_mark

Litigation, Prisoners

The Iowa Supreme Court has said the trial court has the inherent power to appoint counsel for prisoners. Larson v. Bennett, 160 N.W.2d 303 (Iowa 1968).


One example of the exercise of this discretion is Bolds v. Bennett, 159 N.W.2d 425, 426, 429 (Iowa 1968) (citations omitted) (finding trial court may abuse its discretion in not appointing counsel in habeas case where "complex factual data must be developed in order to support the prisoner's position", as in such "peculiar" factual situations, "it may be reversible error for the district court to fail to appoint counsel to assist the applicant or to assure in other ways that the prisoner receives a fair and meaningful hearing" as required by federal constitution; court relies on federal cases).

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no