Your state appointed public defender may not agree with you concerning your criminal case. If you and your public defender are irreconcilable, you are entitled to file a Marsden motion. A Marsden motion is a request to the court to replace your current public defender. Once filed, a hearing will take place in which you must plead your case to the judge. The procedure for filing a Marsden motion varies from state to state but, if you know where to look and who to ask, can be done without the help of a lawyer.
Discover the procedure for filing a Marsden motion in your state (procedures may vary county by county in your state). Search online for your nearest law library open to the public and ask the law librarian for help researching the procedure. Also, go to the trial courthouse and ask the court's clerk about filing the motion.
Obtain the proper paperwork for filing the motion from the law library or clerk. In some states you may need to write a free-form letter to the judge explaining your reasons for filing.
Fill out the paperwork completely or write a concise free-form Marsden request. You must prove that you are receiving inadequate representation. Reasons for inadequate representation may include poor communication between you and counsel or irreconcilable differences in opinion.
File the paperwork the appropriate way. You may just need to file the paperwork with the trial court's clerk. You may be required to mail the paperwork certified to the judge, public defender and prosecutor.
Receive notification that your Marsden motion has been accepted and a hearing has been set. Go to the hearing and explain the reasons why your current public defender is inadequate. You must prove inadequate representation, poor communication about your case or irreconcilable differences.