What is Civil Legal Aid available for?
Civil legal aid is available for most proceedings in the Isle of Man High Court including personal injury, medical negligence, possession and family matters as well as domestic proceedings in the Summary Courts.
It is also available for some other proceedings such as Inquests, Mental Health Review Tribunals, Advocates Disciplinary Tribunals and Data Protection Tribunals.
If you are unsure whether legal aid is available for your case please contact the Legal Aid Office for clarification.
Isle of Man Courts of Justice
Isle of Man
+44 1624 685977
+44 1624 685367
What to do when Legal Aid is granted
Once you have been granted legal aid it is important that you:
- conduct your case in a reasonable manner
- maintain a reasonable level of contact with your Advocate
- notify the Legal Aid Office and your Advocate as soon as possible, should your financial situation change
- retain evidence in support of your financial situation e.g. bank statements, pay slips etc.
Paying towards the cost of Legal Aid
You may be required to pay towards the cost of legal aid if:
- you qualify for legal aid as a contributor
- you do not conduct your case in a reasonable manner
- you do not inform the Legal Aid Office when your circumstances change
- you do not respond to requests by the Legal Aid Office for financial information which may lead to your certificate being revoked.
If you qualify for legal aid as a contributor (see Prescribed Amounts) you will be sent a letter which will explain how much you have to pay and the payment terms. Payments are made on a monthly basis.
You can pay your contributions by sending us a cheque through the post or by calling in to the Public Counter of the Isle of Man Courts of Justice. Cheques must be made payable to 'Isle of Man Government'. You must ensure that your legal aid reference number is quoted with every payment. This will help ensure that your payment is allocated correctly.
Failure to pay your contributions without prior agreement from the Legal Aid Office may result in your legal aid certificate being discharged.
If you are finding it difficult to pay your contributions you should write to the Legal Aid Office to state why. You will need to enclose a list of your income and your outgoings with your letter. Please note however that only in exceptional circumstances will the period in which to pay your contributions be extended. Should you experience any difficulty paying your contributions please contact the Legal Aid Office immediately for advice and assistance.
What happens to the information I submit to your office?
All information/evidence submitted to the Legal Aid Office is treated in strictest confidence. No other sections within the Treasury or other Government Departments have access to the information you supply, except for the Internal Audit Section of Isle of Man Government, who have legislative authority to access information and examine our records for the purposes of ensuring that our procedures are being carried out correctly.
None of the information will be supplied to any other person or body without your express consent.
What should I do if I am receiving legal aid and my situation changes?
You must notify the Legal Aid Office immediately. This will assist us in re-assessing your financial situation as quickly as possible and reduces the likelihood that you will become liable for costs at a later date.
The opponent in my case is in receipt of legal aid but I don't think they have declared everything and may be ineligible, what can I do about it?
You should write to the Legal Aid Office stating why you feel the assisted person should not be receiving legal aid. If possible you should send evidence with your letter which supports your contention.
Upon receipt of your letter, we can either:
- send a copy of your letter to the assisted person
- write to the assisted person and paraphrase your letter
In each case we will seek the comments of the assisted person and when they have been received we will consider whether any further action needs to be taken.
When this process has been completed we will respond to you to confirm the outcome of our enquiry.
Can the Legal Aid Office provide legal advice?
No. The administrative staff in the Legal Aid Office must be impartial and in any event, are not legally qualified. You must consult an Advocate for legal advice.
Our legal aid guidance document should be read in conjunction with our guidance document entitled 'Prescribed Amounts and Financial Determination Examples'.