Ineffective Assistance of Appellate Counsel Law & Legal Definition


PAIAAC is the abbreviation for ‘petition alleging ineffective assistance of appellate counsel’. Ineffective assistance of counsel at trial or on direct appeal violates a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial. In Florida, a petition alleging ineffective assistance of appellate counsel can be filed in the appellate court to which the appeal was or should have been taken. The petition should recite the specific acts sworn to by the petitioner or petitioner's counsel that constitute the alleged ineffective assistance of counsel or basis for entitlement to belated appeal. A petition alleging ineffective assistance of appellate counsel on direct review shall not be filed more than 2 years after the judgment and sentence becomes final on direct review unless it alleges under oath with a specific factual basis that the petitioner was affirmatively misled about the results of the appeal by counsel.

Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, Fla. R. App. P. 9.141 reads as follows.

(c) Petitions Seeking Belated Appeal or Belated Discretionary Review or Alleging Ineffective Assistance of Appellate Counsel.

(1) Treatment as Original Proceedings. --Review proceedings under this subdivision shall be treated as original proceedings under rule 9.100, except as modified by this rule.

(2) Forum. --Petitions seeking belated appeal or alleging ineffective assistance of appellate counsel shall be filed in the appellate court to which the appeal was or should have been taken. Petitions seeking belated discretionary review or belated appeal of a decision of a district court of appeal shall be filed in the supreme court.

(3) Contents. --The petition shall be in the form prescribed by rule 9.100, may include supporting documents, and shall recite in the statement of facts

(A) the date and nature of the lower tribunal's order sought to be reviewed;

(B) the name of the lower tribunal rendering the order;

(C) the nature, disposition, and dates of all previous court proceedings;

(D) if a previous petition was filed, the reason the claim in the present petition was not raised previously;

(E) the nature of the relief sought; and

(F) the specific acts sworn to by the petitioner or petitioner's counsel that constitute the alleged ineffective assistance of counsel or basis for entitlement to belated appeal or belated discretionary review, including in the case of a petition for belated appeal whether the petitioner requested counsel to proceed with the appeal.

(4) Time Limits.

(A) A petition for belated appeal or belated discretionary review shall not be filed more than 2 years after the expiration of time for filing the notice of appeal or notice to invoke discretionary jurisdiction from a final order, unless it alleges under oath with a specific factual basis that the petitioner

(i) was unaware a notice of appeal or a notice to invoke discretionary jurisdiction had not been timely filed or was not advised of the right to an appeal or to seek discretionary review pro se; and

(ii) should not have ascertained such facts by the exercise of reasonable diligence.

(B) A petition alleging ineffective assistance of appellate counsel on direct review shall not be filed more than 2 years after the judgment and sentence becomes final on direct review unless it alleges under oath with a specific factual basis that the petitioner was affirmatively misled about the results of the appeal by counsel.

(C) Time periods under this subdivision shall not begin to run prior to January 1, 1997.

(5) Procedure.

(A) The petitioner shall serve copies of the petition on the attorney general and state attorney.

(B) The court may by order identify any provision of this rule that the petition fails to satisfy and, pursuant to rule 9.040(d), allow the petitioner a specified time to serve an amended petition.

(C) The court may dismiss a second or successive petition if it does not allege new grounds and the prior determination was on the merits, or if a failure to assert the grounds was an abuse of procedure.

(D) An order granting a petition for belated appeal shall be filed with the lower tribunal and treated as the notice of appeal, if no previous notice has been filed. An order granting a petition for belated discretionary review or belated appeal of a decision of a district court of appeal shall be filed with the district court and treated as a notice to invoke discretionary jurisdiction or notice of appeal, if no previous notice has been filed.