Motion for Permission to Withdraw Appearance Law & Legal Definition


Motion for permission to withdraw appearance is a motion that is filed by an attorney to withdraw himself or herself from appearing for the party before court.

Example of a state statute on the subject

In Connecticut in petitions arising from criminal matters, extradition proceedings or delinquency matters, if the petitioner has requested counsel, the judicial authority can appoint a counsel if it finds that the petitioner is eligible for public defender services. (Conn. Practice Book § 23-26). A counsel so appointed if after conscientious investigation and examination of the case, concludes that the case is wholly frivolous, counsel shall so advise the judicial authority by filing a motion for leave to withdraw from the case. (Conn. Practice Book § 23-41)If the judicial authority finds that the case is wholly without merit, it shall allow counsel to withdraw and shall consider whether the petition shall be dismissed or allowed to proceed, with the petitioner pro se. However if the judicial authority concludes that the petition is not wholly without merit, it shall not allow counsel to withdraw and may direct counsel to proceed.( Conn. Practice Book § 23-42).

In addition an attorney may file motions to withdraw appearance in Civil and family cases as well as criminal and juvenile matters.[ Conn. Practice Book § 3-10]

Relevant portion of the law as it appears in the Statute:

Conn. Practice Book § 23-26--Appointment of Counsel

In petitions arising from criminal matters, extradition proceedings or delinquency matters, if the petitioner has requested counsel, the judicial authority shall refer the matter to the public defender for an investigation of indigence. If, after such investigation, the judicial authority determines that the petitioner is eligible for public defender services, the judicial authority shall appoint counsel in accordance with the provisions of General Statutes § 51-296.

Conn. Practice Book § 23-41. --Motion for Leave to Withdraw Appearance of Appointed Counsel

(a) When counsel has been appointed pursuant to Section 23-26, and counsel, after conscientious investigation and examination of the case, concludes that the case is wholly frivolous, counsel shall so advise the judicial authority by filing a motion for leave to withdraw from the case.

(b) Any motion for leave to withdraw shall be filed under seal and provided to the petitioner. Counsel shall serve opposing counsel with notice that a motion for leave to withdraw has been filed, but shall not serve opposing counsel with a copy of the motion or any memorandum of law. The petitioner shall have thirty days from the date the motion is filed to respond in writing.

(c) The judicial authority may order counsel for the petitioner to file a memorandum outlining:

(1) the claims raised by the petitioner or any other potential claims apparent in the case;

(2) the efforts undertaken to investigate the factual basis and legal merit of the claim;

(3) the factual and legal basis for the conclusion that the case is wholly frivolous.

Conn. Practice Book § 23-42. --Judicial Action on Motion for Permission to Withdraw Appearance

(a) If the judicial authority finds that the case is wholly without merit, it shall allow counsel to withdraw and shall consider whether the petition shall be dismissed or allowed to proceed, with the petitioner pro se. If the petition is not dismissed, the judge ruling on the motion to withdraw as counsel shall not preside at any subsequent hearing on the merits of the case.

(b) If the judicial authority concludes that the petition is not wholly without merit, it shall not allow counsel to withdraw and may direct counsel to proceed.

Conn. Practice Book § 3-10 Motion to Withdraw Appearance

(a) No motion for withdrawal of appearance shall be granted unless good cause is shown and until the judicial authority is satisfied that reasonable notice has been given to other attorneys of record and that the party represented by the attorney was served with the motion and the notice required by this section or that the attorney has made reasonable efforts to serve such party. All motions to withdraw appearance shall be set down for argument and when the attorney files such motion he or she shall obtain such argument date from the clerk.

(b) In civil and family cases a motion to withdraw shall include the last known address of any party as to whom the attorney seeks to withdraw his or her appearance and shall have attached to it a notice to such party advising of the following: (1) the attorney is filing a motion which seeks the court's permission to no longer represent the party in the case; (2) the date and time the motion will be heard; (3) the party may appear in court on that date and address the court concerning the motion; (4) if the motion to withdraw is granted, the party should either obtain another attorney or file an appearance on his or her own behalf with the court; and (5) if the party does neither, the party will not receive notice of court proceedings in the case and a nonsuit or default judgment may be rendered against such party.

(c) In criminal and juvenile matters, the motion to withdraw shall comply with subsections (b)(1), (2) and (3) of this section and the client shall also be advised by the attorney that if the motion to withdraw is granted the client should request court appointed counsel, obtain another attorney or file an appearance on his or her own behalf with the court and be further advised that if none is done, there may be no further notice of proceeding and the court may act.

(d) In addition to the above, each motion to withdraw appearance and each notice to the party or parties who are the subject of the motion shall state whether the case has been assigned for pretrial or trial and, if so, the date so assigned.

(e) The attorney's appearance for the party shall be deemed to have been withdrawn upon the granting of the motion without the necessity of filing a withdrawal of appearance.