Legal Aid

April 9th, 2009 at 3:12 pm by David Farrar

Do you get when you sue for ?

Stuff reports:

A man convicted for his part in the abduction of his grandson wants legal aid to fund an appeal, despite having $1 million in assets held in a family trust.

The family fortunes of , 70, were revealed in the High Court in Hamilton this week. He was appealing a Legal Services Agency refusal to grant him legal aid.

In December Headley and his daughter, Kay Skelton, 38, were sentenced in the same court.

Skelton was ordered to complete nine months’ home detention and 300 hours’ community work, while Headley was ordered to serve 12 months’ home detention.

The nasty little kidnappers got off lightly.

Headley claims the Legal Services Agency treated him unfairly when it refused to grant him legal aid during those legal proceedings. A legal review panel later found in favour of the agency, a decision Headley’s lawyer claims was an “error of law”.

Headley was appealing that decision in an effort to get legal aid to appeal his sentence.

So do you get legal aid when suing for legal aid?

Tags: ,

5 Responses to “Legal Aid”

  1. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    12 months home detention? he should thank god and shut the hell up!

    The legal aid system does piss me off. “rich pricks” getting shafted.

    quick question – say i get charged with something and get off.. its cost me 50 grand.. can i get that back cause im innocent? or is it tough shit?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. F E Smith (3,275 comments) says:

    dime, just because you get off doesn’t mean you are innocent. As far as the police are concerned you will always be guilty. Plus the Costs in Criminal Cases Act is archaic and you would get back less than one hours costs for full each day your lawyer worked on the case.

    It annoys me no end when people with assets in trust are granted legal aid. Clients should get legal aid because they can’t afford a lawyer, not because they are technically eligible. I get very angry (in private, of course) when a person who has the means to pay privately obtains aid, not least because I get a very much reduced rate of pay!! Effectively I become the charity that gives them cut price legal assistance, but with full price service (curse those ethics!).

    We get 2 hours prep time to do a Legal Aid Review Panel request. Ironically, if he is on Legal Aid in his case it would be Civil Legal Aid, so effectively one part of the LSA would be funding the case against another part of it. Part of the criteria for a grant of civil aid is whether the case has a good chance of winning. It would be interesting to see what the Agency grants officer said about that!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. dave strings (608 comments) says:

    Probably not
    But I bet you can get legal aid, to appeal a decision not to grant legal aid, for an appeal against a decision not to grant legal aid to defend a criminal proceeding.

    Personally, I think it is time the abomination of Family Trusts to avoid taxes, fines and liability for ones actions were stopped totally. A trust that exists only to provide something specific (say education) for a subsequent generation I can abide. However, a trust that the settler benefits from is, to me, abomination!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    “Skelton was ordered to complete nine months’ home detention and 300 hours’ community work, while Headley was ordered to serve 12 months’ home detention.”

    So dad and daughter got a slap with a wet bus ticket. If the paternal side of the family had abducted the child then dad could expect to serve five years-hard jail time. As a disgruntled litigant I have made many applications for legal aid to appeal various Family Court matters, however they have all been rejected. I watch developments in this case with interest. They should be billed for the massive police hunt.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    F E Smith – cheers for that.

    I should really get the ‘Dime Trust” sorted eh.. not that i plan on living a life of crime heh

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.