Legal Services Act 2000

  • repealed
  • Legal Services Act 2000: repealed, on 1 July 2011, by section 145 of the Legal Services Act 2011 (2011 No 4).
9 When legal aid may be granted: civil matters
  • (1) The Agency must, subject to this section and sections 10 and 11, grant legal aid to an applicant in respect of proceedings to which section 7 applies (civil proceedings) if the applicant is—

    • (a) a natural person, whether resident in New Zealand or not; or

    • (b) a trustee corporation (as defined in section 2(1) of the Administration Act 1969) that applies for legal aid in connection with proceedings in which it is concerned in a representative, fiduciary, or official capacity.

    (2) The Agency must refuse to grant legal aid to an applicant whose income or disposable capital exceed the relevant thresholds prescribed in regulations made under this Act, unless the Agency is satisfied that there are special circumstances having regard to—

    • (a) the likely cost of the proceedings to the applicant; or

    • (b) the applicant's ability to fund the proceedings if legal aid is not granted.

    (3) The Agency must refuse to grant legal aid if the applicant has not shown that the applicant has reasonable grounds for taking or defending the proceedings or being a party to the proceedings.

    (4) The Agency may refuse to grant legal aid to an applicant in any of the following circumstances:

    • (a) the Agency is unable to obtain full information concerning the applicant's financial affairs because of the default or failure of the applicant:

    • (b) in the opinion of the Agency, the prescribed repayment amount will exceed the likely cost of the proceedings for which legal aid is sought:

    • (c) the applicant is not resident in New Zealand and the Agency considers that the proceedings might reasonably be brought in a jurisdiction other than New Zealand:

    • (d) in the case of original proceedings,—

      • (i) the applicant's prospects of success are not sufficient to justify the grant of legal aid; or

      • (ii) the grant of legal aid is not justified, having regard to the nature of the proceedings and the applicant's interest in them (financial or otherwise), in relation to the likely cost of the proceedings; or

      • (iii) for any other cause where it appears unreasonable or undesirable that the applicant should receive legal aid in the particular circumstances of the case:

    • (e) in the case of an appeal (whether or not in respect of proceedings in which the applicant has received legal aid), the Agency considers that for any reason the grant of legal aid or further legal aid is not justified.

    (5) The Agency may refuse to grant legal aid to an applicant in respect of any original proceeding under an enactment specified in Schedule 4, if the Agency considers that the grant of legal aid is not justified.

    (6) In determining under subsection (5) whether a grant of legal aid is not justified, the Agency must have regard to—

    • (a) any previous proceedings in the matter to which the application relates; and

    • (b) any personal protection issues such as (without limitation) any orders relating to domestic violence, protection of personal property rights, compulsory treatment, or compulsory care; and

    • (c) the interests and welfare of any other person who may be affected by the outcome of the proceedings; and

    • (d) whether there are any complex factual, legal, or evidential matters that require the determination of a court; and

    • (e) whether it is in the public interest that legal aid be granted.

    (7) To avoid doubt, legal aid in respect of civil proceedings is not available to any body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate, except as provided in subsection (1) and section 42.

    (8) Subsections (2) and (4)(a) and (b) do not apply to—

    • (a) applications for legal aid in respect of victims' claims proceedings; or

    • (b) applications for legal aid by a victim in respect of—

      • (i) an inquest held by a coroner for the purposes of Part 3 of the Coroners Act 2006; or

      • (ii) a hearing of the New Zealand Parole Board (other than one in a proceeding specified in section 6(c)(i)) that concerns an offender and is a hearing at which the victim may appear as of right or with the Board's leave; or

    • (c) applications for legal aid by a person of a class specified in regulations as exempted from the application of subsections (2) and (4)(a) and (b); or

    • (d) applications for legal aid in respect of a proceeding of a class specified in regulations as exempted from the application of subsections (2) and (4)(a) and (b).

    (9) Subsections (1), (2), and (4)(a) do not apply to applications for legal aid under section 42 in respect of certain proceedings before the Waitangi Tribunal.

    (10) Subsection (4)(d)(i) does not apply to original proceedings under an enactment specified in Schedule 4.

    (11) The Agency may grant legal aid to an applicant in respect of a civil proceeding under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 if the Agency considers that the interests of justice require that the applicant be granted legal aid.

    (12) In considering whether or not the interests of justice require that an applicant be granted legal aid under subsection (7), the Agency must have regard to—

    • (a) whether there are any serious consequences for the applicant if legal aid is not granted; and

    • (b) whether there are any complex factual, legal, or evidential matters in the proceeding that require the applicant to be legally represented.

    (13) Subsections (3) and (4) do not apply to an application for legal aid in respect of a civil proceeding under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009.

    Section 9: substituted, on 1 March 2007, by section 6 of the Legal Services Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 5).

    Section 9(8): substituted, on 17 February 2010, by section 6 of the Legal Services Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 69).

    Section 9(11): added, on 1 December 2009, by section 209 of the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 (2009 No 8).

    Section 9(12): added, on 1 December 2009, by section 209 of the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 (2009 No 8).

    Section 9(13): added, on 1 December 2009, by section 209 of the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 (2009 No 8).