Court-Appointed Attorneys / Public Defenders

Qualifying for an Attorney

When a person is charged with a crime that has the potential of a penalty of time in jail, the court may appoint an attorney to represent their interests. A crime is defined as something more serious than a petty misdemeanor. In other words, you are not eligible for a court appointed-attorney unless there is the prospect of being sent to jail. These cases include misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and felony allegations.

Financial Eligibility

In order to appoint an attorney, the court must also determine if a person charged with a crime is financially eligible. An application form must be obtained from Court Administration, which must be truthfully completed and verified. If the court determines a defendant does not make enough money to hire counsel, an attorney most often called a public defender will be appointed.

Public Defenders

Currently, the Public Defenders serving Anoka courts are located at:
901 West Main Street
Anoka, MN 55303

They can be reached by calling 763-422-3350.


There are only a few instances in which the court is authorized to appoint an attorney at government expense in a non-criminal matter. These cases only include paternity matters, civil commitment proceedings, and occasions where a party is looking at the potential of jail time for contempt of court in child support matters. In all other civil and family matters, an individual is advised to hire their own attorney to represent them in court.