HOW TO GET LEGAL AID?
1. Who is eligible for obtaining legal aid ?
- the persons under the conditions for receiving monthly social support under the Regulations of Application of the Law of Social Support; - the persons lodged in specialized institutions of providing social support – houses for elderly people, Centres for rehabilitation and social integration of disables people, Centres for temporary lodging of homeless people; - adopting family or to family or relatives or close persons, where a child is lodged under the order of the Law for Protection of the Child.
2. Legal aid is NOT provided to : s ole p roprietor s ; legal entities – trade companies, co operative societ ies , etc .
3. Types of cases which providing legal aid covers :
- penal cases; - civil cases – concerning property, partition, renting, amounts due, labour cases, wedlock cases, payment support money, granting parental rights, adoption, ascertain child’s, etc.; - administrative cases;
4. Types of legal aid:
- consultation with the purpose to achieve a settlement before initiation of court proceedings or filing a case; - preparation of documents for filing a case; - litigation when the case is already filed in court; - litigation in event of detainment by the bodies of the Ministry of Interior.
5. Documents needed for being provided legal aid :
а) a standard application form for legal aid – it can be downloaded from the internet site of NLAB, or you can get it from the local Bar association by a permanent address; b) a declaration for family and property status of the applicant – it can be downloaded from the internet site of NLAB, or you can get it from the local Bar association by a permanent address; c) Order of the Director of the Directorate "Social Support" that you receive monthly social support under Art. 9 from the Regulations of Application of the Law of Social Support /you have to require the order to be issued by the Directorate "Social Support" by your permanent address /. d) In event you have NOT exercised your right of monthly social support under the Regulations of Application of the Law of Social Support, you must submit to the NLAB a certificate, issued by the director of the Directorate "Social Support" that you meet the requirements to receive monthly social support under Art. 9 from the Regulations of Application of the Law of Social Support /you have to require the certificate to be issued by the Directorate "Social Support" by your permanent address /. e) Contract with specialized institution for granting social services – contract with a house for elderly people, contract for granting social services with Centres for rehabilitation and social integration of disables people as well as with Centres for temporary lodging of homeless people. f) Court decision for lodging a child under the Child Protection Act.
6. Where to apply for legal aid :
- at the NLAB – if you apply for consultation and preparation of documents for filing a case. In this case you must attach one of the documents from items „c”, „d” or „e”, mentioned above besides the declaration for family and property status;
- at the respective court – when a case is already filed in court. In this case you must attach the declaration for family and property status as well as other document certifying your age; job – a certificate from Labour Office Directorates; health status – decisions from Territorial Expert Medical Commissions, Order of the Director of the Directorate "Social Support" certifying that you receive social integration allowances under the LAW of Integration of People with Disabilities; a certificate from the National Insurance Institute justifying the amount of the received pension, etc.
7. How to choose an attorney ?
- from the National Legal Aid Register – a list of the attorneys providing legal aid by Bar Associations is published on the web page of the National Legal Aid Bureau; - access to the list of the attorneys providing legal aid which it is put up in a prominent place at every Bar Association. When choosing an attorney you may count on the officials from the Bar Association who will orientate you and will appoint an attorney appropriate to your specific problem.
8. What to expect from the attorney appointed to provide you legal aid ?
- to explain to you what exactly is your situation at that very moment; - to advise you of your rights; - to determine whether or not there is a legal interest for filing a case; to help prepare you for court; to determine whether or not your claim is grounded or admissible, as well as if the legal terms have been спазени ли са законните срокове; - to assess what other possibilities for your protection there; - to give you a list of documents needed for filing the case; - to explain to you what taxes and expenses you owe for the legal proceedings; - to tell you if there is any possibility to be exempt from taxes;
- to tell you what are the possible consequences of the trial; - to assess if there is a grounding to appeal the court decision, the sentence or other court deed.
9. What do you owe for provided legal aid ?
Before and during the trial you do NOT owe anything to the attorney.
If you are sentenced or you lose the case fully or partially, then you WILL HAVE TO PAY BACK to the NLAB the expenses due to the lawyer who defended you.
Legal aid does NOT include the payment of taxes and expenses for experts unless you are exempt from taxes by the court because you are in the lowest income bracket.
10. Other particularities concerning providing legal aid :
- There are no attorneys working at the NLAB who may give/offer consultations to citizens - The officials working at NLAB will give you details on the documents needed for obtaining legal aid, the institution where they can be issued from, the office where to submit your application for legal aid according to the specific case - you also can get information on how to be provided free legal aid at the regional Bar Associations.