Habeas Counsel Under Prop 66

The Courts of Appeal Seek Attorneys to Represent Inmates in Death Penalty-Related Habeas Corpus Proceedings

The Regional Habeas Corpus Panel Committees for each District Court of Appeal seek qualified lawyers to represent indigent persons in death penalty-related habeas corpus proceedings in the superior courts. For information about how to apply for an appointment please use the following links:

The rate of pay for such representation has not been set.

Attorneys should send their completed application and application materials, including a resume, to the email address below for the district in which their main place of business is (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 4.562(d)(2)(C)). Attorneys whose main place of business is outside California, but who are members of the California State Bar, should apply to the email address of the First District.

Applications should be addressed to the Regional Habeas Corpus Panel Committee.

Email Addresses: 

1st District: 1DC-HabeasCounselApps@jud.ca.gov

2nd District:  2DHabeasCounselApps@jud.ca.gov

3rd District: 3DCapHabeasCounsel@jud.ca.gov

4th District: 4DHabeasCounselApps@jud.ca.gov

5th District: 5DHabeasCounselApps@jud.ca.gov

6th District: 6DHabeasCounselApps@jud.ca.gov


On November 8, 2016, the California electorate approved Proposition 66, the Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act of 2016. This act made a variety of changes to the statutes relating to review of death penalty cases in the California courts, many of which were focused on reducing the time spent on this review. Before Proposition 66 took effect, capital habeas corpus petitions were filed with, and decided by, the Supreme Court, which was also responsible for the appointment of counsel in those proceedings. The act made significant changes to the procedures for these petitions, including:

  • Making the superior courts responsible for hearing and making decisions on these petitions, unless there is good cause for another court to hear them. (Pen. Code,§1509(a).)
  • Requiring superior courts that imposed the death sentence to appoint habeas corpus counsel for indigent persons. (Pen. Code, § 1509(b); Gov. Code, § 68662.)
  • Giving both the petitioner and the People the right to file an appeal on the superior court’s decisions on these petitions with the Court of Appeal. (Pen. Code, § 1509.1.)

To recruit habeas corpus counsel, each of the Courts of Appeal has established a Regional Habeas Corpus Panel Committee, which seeks qualified lawyers to represent indigent persons in death penalty-related habeas corpus proceedings in the superior courts.