United States Supreme Court
545 U.S. 605 (2005)
Halbert (plaintiff) pled nolo contendre to two counts of criminal sexual conduct and was convicted on both counts. In Michigan, a defendant convicted by a plea of guilty or nolo contendre must apply for leave to appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Halbert asked for a lawyer to help him apply for leave to appeal. The trial court and appellate court denied Halbert’s request for appointed counsel. The Michigan Supreme Court declined review. The Supreme Court granted certiorari. Halbert argued that the denial of his request for appointed counsel violated the Due Process of the Fourteenth Amendment and Equal Protection Clauses. The state of Michigan (defendant) argued that Halbert was not entitled to appointed counsel because appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals was discretionary.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)
Dissent (Thomas, J.)
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