CIVIL LEGAL AID
The Legal Aid Board provides legal services in relation to civil law matters to eligible persons. These legal services include legal advice and legal aid. To qualify for services you must satisfy the Board's financial eligibility requirements. You must also satisfy the Board that your case has merit. All board services are governed by the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 and the Civil Legal Aid Regulations.
You can find out more information about the services most frequently sought from the Board in the information leaflets.
While the Board does not provide direct legal aid or advice in respect of criminal matters, it does hold the responsibility for the management and administration of three Ad-hoc Criminal Legal Aid Schemes, namely:
1. The Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme
2. The Legal Aid – Custody Issues Scheme
3. The Criminal Assets Bureau Ad-hoc Legal Aid Scheme
Legal advice is any oral or written advices given by a solicitor or a barrister in civil matters. It can include writing letters on your behalf and acting for you in negotiations with other persons. Legal advice is provided by solicitors in the Board's law centre network.
AVAILABLE ON THE FIRST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH - STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT.
For further information please contact Drogheda Community Services at 041-9836084.
Legal aid means representation by a solicitor or barrister in civil proceedings in the District, Circuit, High and Supreme Courts. Legal aid is available also for representation before the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.
Legal aid is not granted automatically. If you require representation for a court case, the Board will consider if it is reasonable for to grant legal aid. This procedure is called the merits test. This test is applied to each individual case. If the Board considers that it is reasonable to grant legal aid, a legal aid certificate will be issued to you and you will have legal representation for your case.
Legal aid is provided by solicitors employed by the Board in its law centres. In certain family law and asylum cases, legal aid may be provided by solicitors in private practice who are contracted by the Board and placed on a panel for this purpose.
Legal aid is available in relation to most civil matters. A limited number of matters are excluded from the scope of civil legal aid, and you should consult with your local law centre solicitor if you need more information or clarification on this.
Much of the legal aid that is provided by the Board relates to family disputes. The Board is keen to ensure that going to court is seen as the last option and you will be advised appropriately of other options available to you. The Courts Service and the Office of the Ombudsman for Children have jointly produced a video about going to the family courts. The video is aimed at parents and a separate video is aimed at children aged 13 – 15.
Volunteer lawyers provide confidential, basic legal advice for free and in person across all areas of law.
FLAC is a human rights organisation that promotes equal access to justice for all. Members of the public can access basic, confidential legal advice across all areas of law in a network of centres around Ireland.
Drogheda Community Services Legal Advice operates an appointment only system , and you will have to call in advance to book a place at 041 9836084. Below are some useful tips and information on what to expect from your visit:
- You will receive basic legal advice from a lawyer - either a solicitor or barrister - who is volunteering his or her time. You can ask a question on any area of law.
- Please bring along any documentation or correspondence which might help the advisor to assist you. Your volunteer advisor will help you to establish whether there is a legal solution to your problem, explain what options are open to you and direct you to where you may obtain further assistance where appropriate.
- You should note that if you have already consulted a solicitor about the same matter, the volunteer advisor is not in a position to second-guess that advice and therefore cannot offer guidance on that issue.
- Volunteer advisors cannot provide legal representation, which means they cannot take a case for you or go to court on your behalf. They also cannot refer you to a lawyer in private practice, so you should contact the Law Society for a list of solicitors in your area or for a particular area of law.
- However, if you have a low income you may be eligible for legal assistance from the state on a civil matter. Your advisor can help to establish this and you may then go to your local state Law Centre to apply for civil legal aid. You will then have to undergo a means and merits test. .
- For criminal matters, there is a separate state assistance scheme, operated through the courts.