Since the Court of Appeals was apparently unaware of the
indigent petitioner's initial request for appointment of counsel to
represent him on appeal from a conviction, and mistakenly believed
that he had never filed a financial affidavit with the trial court,
petitioner's habeas corpus application, brought to this Court after
the Court of Appeals had dismissed his appeal, is treated as a
petition for certiorari, which is granted, and the case is remanded
to the Court of Appeals to determine whether the appeal had been
Certiorari granted; vacated and remanded.
The petitioner is a disbarred attorney convicted of security
fraud. At his trial, the court appointed advisory counsel for him,
finding that he qualified as an indigent. He was convicted. He
later filed with a judge of the Court of Appeals a request for
extension of time in which to submit his brief on appeal. This was
granted. But an accompanying inquiry concerning appointment of
counsel to handle the appeal was ignored. His right to have
appointed counsel here is clear. 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(c); * cf. Douglas
v. California, 372 U. S. 353
(1963). Subsequently, the petitioner requested another extension of
time and renewed his request for appointed counsel. The Government
opposed both motions; they were denied, and the appeal was
Page 414 U. S. 13
The petitioner, still acting , then brought this application for
habeas corpus to this Court.
In his response to the application, the Solicitor General
informed the Court that it appeared that the judge below was
unaware of the petitioner's initial request for counsel, and
mistakenly believed that the petitioner had never filed a financial
affidavit with the trial court. The Solicitor General therefore
suggested that this Court should treat the application as a
petition for certiorari, and grant certiorari and remand the case
to the Court of Appeals for determination of whether the
petitioner's appeal had been improvidently dismissed.
On examination of the record, we follow the suggestion of the
Solicitor General, grant certiorari, vacate the judgment of the
Court of Appeals, and remand the case to that court.
MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST dissents.
* Section 3006A(c) reads in part as follows:
"A person for whom counsel is appointed shall be represented at
every stage of the proceedings from his initial appearance before
the United States magistrate or the court through appeal."