Legal aid can be free for individuals, however, sometimes there may be a charge for some or all of the legal services you receive
Legal aid does not cover every type of law. The focus areas of legal aid are criminal, family law, administrative law, and immigration and refugee law.
If you are a youth (between ages 12- 17), legal aid will cover your matter if you meet the financial requirements.
If you are an adult and are charged with an indictable offence (serious offences such as murder, theft, etc.) legal aid will cover your matter if you meet the financial requirements.
If you are charged with a summary offence (often less serious offences) legal aid will determine whether your matter will be covered, provided you meet the financial requirements. This is based on different factors, such as whether you may be convicted, lose your job if convicted, etc.
Provided your meet the financial requirements, legal aid will determine whether or not you will be covered and represented. It is their discretion, and just because your matter is an area they practice or have practiced before, does not mean your case will be covered
Legal aid usually covers disputes such as divorce, separation, and child custody and access. There are other areas of family law, such as child and spousal support, that they may cover. However, you must meet the financial requirements. As with criminal law matters, family law matters are at the discretion of legal aid as to whether or not they will be covered.
If you have a hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board legal aid may be available for you. This is at the discretion of legal aid.
If there is a risk of you losing employment, possibly going to jail, or have another special circumstance legal aid may cover traffic tickets and driving offences.
Legal aid may also cover administrative law issues, such as labour and employment issues like grievances and employment insurance appeals, social assistance appeals, among other areas. This is at the discretion of legal aid, provided you meet the financial requirements.
To apply for legal aid you must fill out an application form found online here.
You must fill out this application in full. If not, your application may be rejected.
If you receive income support from the Department of Advanced Education and Skills you must also fill out a consent form, found online here.
You may then mail your application or drop it off in person to one of the locations below. You may also arrange an appointment with a legal aid office.
Legal aid is available to individuals who meet financial requirements.
This is assessed on a case by case basis . Many factors may determine whether you qualify financially. Legal aid will examine your income(s), your spouse's income(s), your costs of living (housing, food, utilities,), transportation, debts, and many other factors.
It is at the discretion of legal aid whether you qualify financially.
Most areas of the law are not covered by legal aid. These include, but are not limited to: Civil law suits (ex: suing someone for a car accident), Corporate and commercial law, Contract disputes and Property disputes.
After you have been notified that you will not receive legal aid you may appeal the decision. You will be sent a "Notice of Appeal" form with your letter of denial. You must complete and send the form to the address listed on your Notice of Appeal form within 14 days to appeal.
The appeal form may also be found online here.
You will then be contacted by the Provincial Directors Office for more information. You will be notified if you have successfully appealed your decision.
If you are denied your appeal, you may make a final appeal to the Appeal Board of the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission. The notice to appeal the provincial director form may be found online here.