Q: If I request for my public defender to file a motion to lift detainer and release to justice related services only, do they have to do so? I want to get my detainer lifted and be put in the care of justice related services. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: Must your PD file a petition to lift detainer if you request him or her to do so? My understanding is that the Allegheny County PD does not do so because detainer work is not a critical stage of prosecution. It is considered extra, peripheral work and them being so overwhelmed with work to begin with, they do not touch detainers. Unless the PD has changed their policy. I was a PD many years ago and that was their policy back in the 90’s. You can hire a private criminal attorney to do so. The other thing you can do is write to JRS and request them to interview you. You can also request your counselor at the jail to contact JRS and facilitate the process.