Tips for Filling Out Your Public Defender Application

If you haven’t already, click here to for the application.

Indigent Defense Application Tips:

In General:
– Do not leave any question blank. If the answer is Ø (zero), enter ‘Ø’. If the answer is ‘not applicable’, enter ‘n/a’ or ‘not applicable’. If the question is asking for a number value, write Ø (zero). Writing ‘not applicable’ or ‘n/a’ for a value question may lead to the application being rejected. If there are multiple answer areas, make sure that each one has some answer (Ø or n/a) in it.
– Err on the side of providing more detail than you think may be required.
– Do not cross or X out any questions or sections, or make modifications to the questions as they are written on the form.

Part A:
For mailing address: list an address where you are confident that you will receive mail – best case somewhere that mail could be forwarded/delivered to you at Standing Rock if you are planning to be here for a while. This does not have to be your permanent address.

Part B:
-If you do currently receive public assistance or government/welfare benefits of any kind, note them here. If you receive benefits, this will increase the likelihood that you will qualify for appointed counsel.
-If you receive out-of-state public assistance or food support that is called something other than what is listed on the form, write it in or check the box for the benefit most similar to what you receive, and make a note stating where you receive it and what it’s called there.
-If you are filling in the form out of custody and have access to documentation that you receive government assistance, include any available documentation. It’s worth the additional effort.

Parts C and D:
-If you are filling in Ø or n/a for income or asset questions, add a note of explanation. If there is no space in the form, use an asterisk and make a note in the margin.
–I was recently diagnosed with a chronic medical condition and did not receive accommodations, so I quit.
–I have used up my unemployment benefits and my application for SSI is pending. [income]
–I do not own a house or land, and I drove here in my 1985 pickup truck (value: $1) with all of my personal belongings, none of which have any resale value. [assets]

Part E:
List any person to whom you regularly give material support, even if you do not claim that person as a dependent, and regardless of how small or informal the support might be. (Example: $20 cash bimonthly to adult grandson)

Part F:
Do not ignore this question!
Candidly list debts, ailments, or other obstacles that limit your income and/or access to liquid funds. [Examples: student debt, medical costs, layoffs, cost of living increases, outstanding taxes]

Part G:
-Sign with your own name, and write down the accurate date. Your application will not be considered complete without a date and signature.
-You do not have to fill out the race/ethnicity and military service questions – however we are recommending that you do so in this instance to eliminate any possible argument of incompleteness. If you choose to answer the race/ethnicity question, you are free to use whatever language you believe accurately reflects your identity
-Do not fill out any of the section marked ‘FOR COURT USE ONLY’

Submitting Your Application

Once you have filled out and signed your form, you can either scan it and email it to the Morton County Clerk at, or mail it to:

Clerk of Court
210 2nd Ave NW
Mandan, ND 58554