Friday, 4 June 2010

Legal Aid and Advice

Q: Even a simple consultation with a Lawyer is expensive. Are there any alternatives?



A: Part 1

The Legal Aid and Advisory Authority is a unit of the Ministry of Legal Affairs established under the Legal Aid and Advice Act, 1976, to provide legal advice and representation for citizens who may not be able to afford the services of an Attorney, for an application fee of TT$10.

Eligibility
-Salary maximum of TT$3000 per month
-Reasonable grounds for taking, defending, continuing or being a party to any proceedings.
-In Criminal High Court and Magistrates’ Court matters, the decision is up to the Judge reviewing the application, but legal aid is usually granted in the interest of justice.


Legal Matters
The Authority can provide an Attorney for almost all legal matters.

Other costs
Section 24(2) also provides that the applicant may be requested to make a small contribution towards the cost of his matter in Civil High Court matters.

Application Procedure
To apply for legal aid, you must visit one of the legal aid offices, and:
•Fill out a form providing basic information about yourself and the nature of the problem.
•You will then be interviewed by the Legal Officer to determine your eligibility for Legal Aid.
•If you are not eligible you will be given legal advice and referred to a private attorney.
•If eligible, an application form will be given to you. This form is an affidavit and requires that you go before the Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner of Affidavits to swear to the information you provide is true and correct.
•In the case of civil actions, the application form must be returned together with requested documents to the office from where it was obtained. You will be interviewed by an investigator who will prepare a report on your matter.
•This report will be considered by the Authority at its monthly meeting and you will be informed in writing whether or not Legal Aid has been granted.
•If the matter is in the Magistrates Court or Criminal High Court, the application forms are sent to the relevant Courts where the request for Legal Aid is considered by a Magistrate or Judge.
You must sign that your application is true. It is an offence to obtain legal aid with false information.

Nine offices around the country

Head Office
Port of Spain
• Corner Oxford and Edward Street, Port of Spain
Tel: 625-0454
Legal advice: Monday to Friday
8:00am - 4:00pm

San Fernando
• 102-104 Coffee Street, Howard Lane, San Fernando
Tel: 652-2978 or 657-0684
Legal advice: Monday to Friday
8:00am - 4:00pm

Sangre Grande
• Social Welfare Office,
Cor. Savi St and Boodooville Circular Rd, Sangre Grande
Tel: 668-3366
Legal Advice: Mondays
8:00-12:00 noon

Arima
• Registrar General's Office
Pro Queen Street (Upstairs Willies Ice Cream), Arima
Tel: 667-1700
Legal Advice: Wednesdays
8:00-12:00 noon

Couva
• Family Services Centre, Camden Road, Couva
Tel: 636-5267
Legal Advice: Thursdays
8:00 am -12:00 noon

Debe/Penal
• Debe/Penal Regional Corporation,
Dookie Street, Penal
Tel: 647-6302
Legal Advise: Fridays
8:00 am - 12:00 noon

Siparia
• Siparia Regional Corporation
High Street, Siparia
Tel: 649-2348
Legal Advice: Tuesdays
8:00am - 12:00 noon

Chaguanas
• Chaguanas Borough Corporation
Rate Paying Office
24 Ramsaran Street, Chaguanas
Tel: 671-0577 / 665-9640
Legal Advise: Tuesdays
8:00am - 12:00 noon

Tobago
• Fairfield Complex Scarborough Tobago
Tel: 639-6531
Legal Advice: Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:00pm

92 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi I got a letter from your Arima office dated 20th November,2012 .I am the landlord in this matter ,your letter re:Breach of implied covenant,of notice to quit.
This tenant has been very verbally abusive,refusing to allow a plumber to fix leaks ,although paid for by the landlord ,refuses to pay rent,electricity outstanding $600,cable over $1200 outstanding and also water rates .
I say I am sadden by your office writing a letter without proper investigating ....This tenant has indicated that she is not willing to pay rent or any other utilities .
Can you now say what should one do to recover outstanding monies??? Or can people just use water,electricity,cable and stay on someone`s property for free??? this is not just.

shaz said...

Is there a number you can be contacted at

Trinbago Rights said...

Contact me via e-mail first (see "About Me" section).

shaz said...

Sir; I have to thank you though I had just found you site and browse through I saw the service you are providing, you are one in a million and you are truly "walking the talk" in giving back.

Trinbago Rights said...

You're making me blush... thanks!

shaz said...

Sir, what is you thought on the resent decision of Justice Rampersad to clear the way for eTeck lawsuit. where the State relied on Section 14 of the legislation, which postpones the limitation period when facts have been deliberately concealed. Does that applied to other cases as well?

Trinbago Rights said...

Justice Rampersad was right in referring to s.14 of the LCA. It applies to any case where there was fraud, concealment or mistake.

shaz said...

Thank you again Sir, you have no idea what that means to me. its the glimpse of light after go though a very long and dark tunnel. Not that I had never given up on my matter but it is clear that all the relevant players in my matter has. When I read news as al layman of the law believing what I understand it to mean it gave me a little more hope.
As for blushing, I take it to mean that you heart and soul is in the right place. Because my wife always tell me that I'm the biggest blusher she know even in front of people and that I have a very kind heart.

Patrice Pilgrim said...

Hello, if i have signed a contract with a company, can this company force me to wear the uniform of another company even if this was not stated verbally or in the same contract?


Trinbago Rights said...

That doesn't make sense. How can one company ask you to wear another company's uniform?

shaz said...

Congrats on your 100 posts. You have just left your stands position and it’s not a 100 meter dash to the finish line but rather like marathon. Hold fast to your passion to give back and surely for every mile you will receive your rewards in full.

Anonymous said...

my sister in law was savagely beaten by her next door neighbor, what recourse does she have, can she sue him in civil court....

Anonymous said...

my sister in law was savagely beaten by her next door neighbor other than filing charges in criminal court, can she sue for damages in civil court also......one love

Trinbago Rights said...

Absolutely. Send me a private e-mail.

Anonymous said...

my ex-girlfriend is taking me to court alleging that I harassed her. Thus far I have spent 1500 for a consultation with a lawyer and may end up spending anywhere between 5000 - 10000 for legal representation. If these allegations are unproven is there any chance that I can sue her for legal costs.

Trinbago Rights said...

Firstly, you're being ripped off. You need to send me a private e-mail.

Secondly, you can ask the judge to order costs if the claim is proven to be frivolous or vindictive.

Anonymous said...

hi i have a problem at hand..my wife and i have been seperated for over two years now,and we have a child togeather who is a minor,since the brake up she has been giving me a hard time in me having our son on weekends..recently she made reports to the station that i am threating her life,in even that if i go b4 the JP i would only have supervised visits on the grounds that i am a violent person..what i need to know is that whats the first steps do i need to take,or may i be able to have a talk with you in person or via email...thanks in advance...this is a problem i want to sort out quickly..

Security Officer said...

hi gd day im writing with some deep concerns that im having a couple of months ago i was in a serious accident in one of the company's vehicle and have not been able to work since and the company refuses to pay me the security van in which i was in overturned with me in it resulting in a broken hand that to date have not been healed and i may have too do surgery on and some how they are refusing to pay i have child to take care of i am a single parent and i have bills to be paid i need to know how can i deal with this matter.
Thank you
Security Officer

Security Officer said...

my employers refuse too pay me after getting into an accident a few moths ago where security van overturned with me resulting in a broken arm that is yet too heal that i may also have too do surgery on up to date i ave not recieved any money i am a single mom who has bills that needs to be paid please guide me in the right direction.
Thank you.

Trinbago Rights said...

What's the reason for non-payment? Was the accident your fault? Were you driving?

Security Officer said...

the reason they gave for non-payment was because i was on my way home from work and not on my way too work. No i was not driving.

Anonymous said...

What is the limits of the power of the disciplinary comittee if you win a case of negligence/ misconduct against an attorney in awarding money to the claimant? does the committe pay a flat amount and order the attorney to pay the rest?

Anonymous said...

We were given permission by my husband father to construct our home down stairs of his. My sister-in-law who also lives with her parents is causing a lot of confusion. She wants us out, She even caused and argument where she took a pipe and strike my husband in the eye, she contacted the police and told them my husband hit her and a door hit him in the eye which caused his bruise. The police did nothing because it was a domestic dispute. My sister-in-law is now making accusations that my husband and i abuse our daughter a 4year old and is threatening to contact Child Services. I really need some guidance and how to put an end to her mischief.

Trinbago Rights said...

Of course she can bring him up in the Magistrate's court. But if you say 'savagely beaten', why weren't the police involved?

Trinbago Rights said...

If you'd like to retain me to deal with it for you, send me a private e-mail.

Anonymous said...

I have been separated from my husband for 7 months (he voluntary left to be with someone else, the separation is not legal) and he will be filing for divorce soon. I recently discovered that he intends to buy a house with her. Do I have any rights to his assets in this situation? We have a child together.

Trinbago Rights said...

You don't have rights to anything.

Anonymous said...

if someone file for letter of administration under false declaration what action can be taken against this person

Anonymous said...

is a legal aid attorney in a criminal case paid by the state or by the alleged person. and if the answer is the state? is it the lawful for an legal officer to ask for a salary ($40,000 to start ) to do the case.I know in some cases you give a small contribution.

Trinbago Rights said...

That doesn't make sense. Why would a Legal Aid Lawyer ask for $40,000?

If it doesn't make sense, it's usually not true... or maybe plenty info is missing.

michelle sullivan said...

my mom passed away 2yrs ago and has some money in the Credit Union but its in my youngest sisters name and now she want;s me to take care of it because she has no time to do any thing about it she also recived a check the same year ower mom died and the rest of money was to be devided between the rest of children tell me will i be able to do it for her because she sent me a letter and a coppy of her ID and a coppy of the Credit Union letter please i need advice

Trinbago Rights said...

Your sister needs to make you her Power of Attorney.

Send me a private e-mail if you guys want to get it done.

Trinbago Rights said...

I can't answer this without facts... e-mail me.

Anonymous said...

Hi my common law husband, of 14 yrs and I have been seperated for a year now based on him always being in trouble with the law. We have two kids together but unfortunatley due to my living situation now i was forced to leave my kids to sleep by him since we only live walking distance from each other, but prior to our seperation he was in prison for 3 yrs. Within that 3 yrs i took care of my kids maintained the home we lived in and paid all bills on my own even while he was there i spent i came into some money which i spent fixing our home,but when we seperated i left without anything and now he doesnt even want me to step foot on the premises not even to see my kids i have to stay in the road.I just wanted to know what are my legal rights after 14yrs am i not entitled to anything or has no claim or rights on anything right now i live in a small room at my moms house all cause everything i had i used it in his home and left empty handed i dont really even have my kids .

Trinbago Rights said...

Of course you have rights. You need to send me a private e-mail.

Renee Maingot said...

Good Evening,

I am considering changing my name (putting my middle name first). I went to a few Commissioner of Affidavots to get information on the process etc but they all said that its a long drawn out process. What i want to know is how can i change my name and what happens after i do. I have a number of certificates that have my current name what would happen to them if i do?

Thanking you in advance.

Trinbago Rights said...

Your question was answered in my latest post on the site.

Anonymous said...

My mother has been working for a store for the last 10 years and she has no sick leave or vacation leave benefits. She is also not paid when she stays at home. When the store closed for two weeks renovation she was not paid and she is also not paid for public holidays. Sometimes her employer will tell her that the story is not busy and that she should not come to work that day and is not paid for the day. Is there anything that can be done?

Trinbago Rights said...

Yes, send me a private e-mail.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I would like to know that if someone has gotten their name spelt wrong on a deed, is it legal? I have this person's birth certificate & his lawyer made his name wrong & he signed the wrong name, also. My common'law husband is trying to get my entire property on his name. His family pressured me into taking 2 Quicksilver capsules & I had a severe stroke now, my speech isn't heard properly. He has taken, $ 15000.00 from me, he claimed he was going to purchase a vehicle for me, but he has taken the money, & he got a new vehicle for himself.
Please, I will really appreciate any advice & assistance from someone at Legal Aid!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Good Day,

I've got a question. Is an employee ALWAYS entitled to a copy of any documents or contracts signed by them in there work place?

Trinbago Rights said...

We have no laws in Trinbago on this... I'm working on it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi I was appointed to be a supervisor with my company and had to relocate because of this. Six weeks after the manager sent an email to HR which stated that I was heard in a party saYing something about him and another Co worker and that I called the Co owners husband and told them they were having an affair all of these were false allegations however I was suspended until an investigation was completed. They could not prove that I said or did what I was accused of but they decided to send me back to my previous job instead they said it was a conflict of interest since I was going out with one of my Co workers. Mind u someone wrote a report stating that the Co workers were in fact together but nothing was done about them being together. What can I do? I asked for a transfer so I would not have to relocate again and they told me no.

Trinbago Rights said...

I'm not sure I understand what you're talking about. Send me a private e-mail.

Anonymous said...

I did

Anonymous said...

Did you get my email I haven't seen a reply

concerned citizen said...

hi good day, i have a personal situation and need to know my legal rights however its a bit complicated and length....therefore i would like to email you privately...can you please indicate what your private email address is. thanks.

concerned citizen said...

what is you private email

Anonymous said...

Hello how can I get a copy of my father's will? I am bothered about something wondering if to fire my lawyer. Apparently my dad has a will but we didnt find a copy. The lawyer claims they dont have a copy of the will but they know the name of the executor is that possible? Can I get a copy of the will on my own and if I can how? We don't know the executor and can't find her and I not going to spend money to find her without knowing whats on the will can u answer my questions and please advise me. We do not even know who is the lawyer that did the will for my dad, (we meaning me and my siblings) I am feeling very lost and not sure what to do, all this is occurring in Trinidad please provide me with some advice. I went to a lawyer to apply for a letter of administration and he discovered there is a will.

Anonymous said...

Hi i have been married for 4yrs to my husband i came in to the marriage with 2 children of my own he only excepted one we have 2 together I meet him with 4 I have been physically, emotionally and financially abuse ,also he is very controlling I need to get out of the mess he is a counselor and plays a lot of mind games on me he said if i leave i cant get any thing from him i have not been able to work because he does not let me how do i approach this so i can live

Trinbago Rights said...

This is going to be a complicated divorce, so you'll need a Lawyer. I know you're not working, but legal aid is only going to frustrate you and you'll end up looking for a Lawyer in the end. Consider finding the money to get a Lawyer from the beginning.

Trinbago Rights said...

If there's a Will, you should be applying to have it probated, so that it can be executed. You have a Lawyer already, he should be telling you this.

Anonymous said...

I only got it today and I replied to you.

Corrine Newallo-Croney said...

I was injured on the job in 2013 and was on sick leave for the period 2013-2014. However my employment was terminated at the end of 2014 due to medical reasons. I accumulated vacation days of 13 in 2013 and 25 in 2014. I was only paid for the vacation in 2013 because I was told that I had not worked in 2014 due to being on sick leave and vacation entitlement is only given to employees that actually work. Can you please advise if this is legal?

Anonymous said...

Hi good day sir..my situation is i own 2 lots of land where my deed states that only one dwelling house should be there...but my brother and sister have also put up houses there and they made a false affidavit stating that they are on squatting land to get electricity connected...what can i do?

Trinbago Rights said...

If it's false, it's fraud. If it's fraud, it's easy to get the issue resolved in court.

Anonymous said...

I used to rent a apartment I lived their for almost four years I paid $2100 every month. every Christmas I repaint the apartment, the land lord said I could paint it in any colour I like the land lord decided to raise my rent again an I call that quit I move out the apartment but the land lord don't want to give me back my down payment which is $2100, he said that I breach the colour of the apartment I have to paint back the apartment in order to get back my money what can I do .

Trinbago Rights said...

Did he ever enter the apartment and saw the colour without saying anything? Do you have texts, e-mails or letters?

Anonymous said...

hi i applied for legal assistance 10 of march they give me a form to carry back to the court house an then they told me to come back on the 23 to find out if i got any representative i was then told to come back on the 25 when i got there waited for a while the clerk called me and tell me i was denied my court day is on the 31 of march what can i do do i have to represent my self. what i claiming for is two grand where an how can i pay a lawyer for the amount i am claiming for do we really have justis i need to know thk

Trinbago Rights said...

Legal Aid needs reform...

Anonymous said...

Hi so my boy friend is married but he and his wife has been separate for 5 years now and there going to get a divorce she went legal aid she got some forms to fill out she told him she has to get get a copy of his birth certificate,they haven't gone to court no summons nothing, my question is does she need his copy of his birth certificate?

Trinbago Rights said...

No

Anonymous said...

I need some advise on a land issue. Is it legal to sell someone a piece of land with a spring on it and not inform buyer?

Trinbago Rights said...

You need to contact me directly.

Anonymous said...

I just want justice knowin that my kid dad never mind her an the court order him to pay $60 a week

Anonymous said...

I am the director of a company together with a partner of mines. We are no longer seeing eye to eye with business decisions. How can I can legally buy over the business and remove him as a director?

Trinbago Rights said...

This requires legal advice, so you should find a Lawyer who is versed in Business Law.

Email me, so I could put you on to someone.

Anonymous said...

Hi, How long does a divorce take to happen? Does it depend on the number of years the couple was married or anything of that sort?

Trinbago Rights said...

4-6 months.

Unknown said...

I'm faced with an issue that arised out of my son's school where after provocation from a classmate my son retaliate cuffing the child in the temple by mistake.The boy's mother took him to westshore medical and sent the bill to me via the school.Do you think that i should pay such bill after their son started the incident?

Trinbago Rights said...

It's not what I think, it's what the law says. Your son caused injury, so he has to pay. How do you intend on proving that the fight was started by another student?

Anonymus said...

I have lived with my grandmother and father since I was born 21 years ago. My grandmother died and had a will stating that my dad and two other siblings were to inherit her property. One of my aunts took the will and does not return anyone's call.
We heard from the second aunt that she said that there was another will without my father's name on it.

I have lived there all my life, niether of the aunts have lived there with us.

Is there a way to know when a will was done?
We have never heard of another will before over 2 years after my gradma died.
Can we be moved fro the property if she shows up with another will?
I have lived form birth, can I claim adverse possession?
The house is very run down and I want to erect two rooms on the property as my wife has a baby on the way, can my father give me permission to do so?

Are ther copies of will's filled with the registrar's office?

Unknown said...

Hi gooday,my husband tried to sell a person a piece of land the lawyer have him three months to pay the balance which he did not do. This had been two years now and now he decided to pay of the rest or carry my husband in court.we had to beg him to pay us he kept on fooling us and he wants to sell the land to make profit for himself he even gav us the address of Trinidad when he really lives in Tobago. Can my husband sell the land to someone else and not him? Can I get an affidavit stating that the land can only sell with my signature as co owner of the land since we have benn married for nine years in order to not sell the land for him?

kimba stewart said...

Hi my father died 3 years ago and where he use to work they has money inside for him they told me in order for me to get the money i need a letter stating that was my father how can i go about it?

Kiran Singh said...

Can you tell me how to file a certificate of service

Kiran Singh said...

Is there a special form to file a certificate of service and how is it done? Thanks

Seeking Knowledge said...

Good day,
I have membership with a skybox company. They sent me an invoice which I queried because the amount was far above what it should be.Throughout the inquiry they kept changing the reasons why my invoice couldn't be adjusted. Long story short, they have denied my request to have the invoice adjusted stating that:
1) I did not pay for duties and vat on a previous invoice so they added it to this one (this was not clearly stated on the invoice, it just showed one charge).

My question is, can they legally do this, hide an omitted charge from a previous invoice in a subsequent one without advising that the charge was included?

Even when I add the amount due on duties from the previous invoice it is not adding up.

babita poon said...

Greetings I am in need of some help. My husband and I have been married for 9 years but he left 6 years ago. I have a daughter with him he has never supported her and I do not want or depend on him to take care of her. I have a common law husband and I really want to get my divorcé from him I so not know where he is or how to find him. My question is can legal aid assist me with the divorcé ?because I cannot afford a lawyer. He is already out of our life can I get help to legally have him out of our life for good by getting the divorcé?

Ornella Webber said...

My common law husband was married from before but he want to get an anull how can he apply for it. They have been separated foe 14years now and the other person is not compromising to get the divorce, becsuse they have asked in the petition form to put the child name and date of birth on the paper. Please send me a message at ornella Webber25@gmail.com

Unknown said...

I worked at a private school. I make below minimum wage. Never made that an issue but my issue is:

I use to get paid on the 24th of each month. 3 days prior to getting paid, I had to resigned due to an unfortunate circumstance (sick cousin who's in need & now have to relocate far from job). I verbally and formally wrote a notice.

I am now told that according to board policy; they have withheld my pay since you did not give a 1 month notice of resignation.

I've never signed any contract with them, I was never informed of such. When I was hired, it was merely a letter stating when I start, position and pay rate.

Can a job lawfully refuse to pay an employer?

Trinbago Rights said...

1. You worked below minimum wage and didn't make that an issue? And now you want to complain? I don't understand why you'd let a company exploit you.

2. They cannot withhold your pay.

Anonymous said...

gd day i will like to know if an attourney's assistant can give legal advice where a marriage is concern in the absence of the attourney

Anonymous said...

if you got injured in a car accident and your job requires that you stand for long hours can you lose your job

Trinbago Rights said...

If you're not fit to work and your employer has no alternative position, yes.

Anonymous said...

Good Day I would like to know if I can seek legal assistance for a matter in which I loaned a sum of cash to a friend in need at the time with the agreement of it being paid back to me on a particular date which to date has not been done. There was no written and signed agreement however I do have messages of them agreeing to repay me on numerous occasions. Is this something I can take legal action to resolve or do I count my loses.

Trinbago Rights said...

Yes, file a claim
Under 50K - Magistrate's court
Over - High Court

Unknown said...

Good morning if you had a balance less than 500 on a loan. The agreement for repayment was that u would visit a specific place weekly. The organization closed that place an did not contact you over a period of more that 2yrs. Now they have sent a letter staying that u now owe 9000 because of added interest. Do i have to pay this 9000 or can I seek legal action not to on the grounds that I was not informed of their closure an how to make turther payments
or contacted for more than 2yes?

Trinbago Rights said...

Write a letter to them stating exactly what you just told me. When you get their response, let me know.

Shawna Clemence said...

Hello. I'm a Canadian law student writing my thesis on the legal aid system in Trinidad and Tobago. I'm reaching out to see if you could provide me with some information about the system from your personal professional perspective. I've looked for your personal work email with no success.

Trinbago Rights said...

Hey, I feel your pain. T&T is backward... little info online. When doing my masters from England, I had to travel to T&T twice to do research.

You would have to do the same. The absolute best person to talk to is Israel Khan SC, Chairman/Director of the Legal Aid and Advisory Authority of T&T. He is very approachable and always willing to share knowledge with young legal minds... speaking from experience. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi I just text about a situation that's happening now . can u tell me what steps to take plz