Where the curator ad litem appointed by the sheriff in the proceedings:
That curator can make an application as a solicitor, for legal aid on behalf of the incapable adult or child to us. In such an application this person will be both the nominated solicitor and the incapable adult’s or child’s representative.
In spite of this:
Charges associated with spending time with relevant persons, children, other individuals or carers (unless the time is spent obtaining precognitions from these people because they are witnesses or potential witnesses) will not be met from the Fund as, again, we consider these charges to be curatorial in nature.
We take this approach, where:
There is nothing to prevent a curator, whether a practising solicitor or not, from instructing a solicitor to represent them, as opposed to the incapable adult or child. However, children’s legal aid is only available to:
It is not available to anybody else, irrespective of any office that they hold. Therefore, such a Curator ad litem cannot receive legal aid by a registered children’s solicitor.
A curator appointed by a sheriff in respect of an incapable adult or child in the proceedings can instruct you to act for the incapable adult or child.
Here, if you are acting for the incapable adult or child you can apply to us for legal aid on behalf of the incapable adult or child and you will be the nominated solicitor. The curator’s details can be inserted in the “representative” section and they can sign the application on behalf of the incapable adult or child. Therefore, the curator named in the representative section of the form will differ from the nominated solicitor.
We must apply the statutory merits tests:
You will have to satisfy us that these tests have been met.
If we are grant legal aid to the incapable adult or child, you can send us your account for work instructed by the curator on behalf of the incapable adult. We will pay for all reasonable and necessary work.
None of curator’s work can be paid from the Fund. Unlike the position for safeguarders, there is no statutory payment mechanism for curators.
Availability of Advice and Assistance
This page includes a list of example questions you may want to ask clients when assessing their financial eligibility for advice and assistance, and relevant information you should see. It includes questions to ask child applicants; married or cohabiting applicants; and applicants with more than one dwelling house. It also covers the issue of deprivation of resources, and what to do if the client is unable to answer these questions at a first meeting.