If your client is serving a sentence or on remand, and has received no income during the previous seven days, you should:

  • Enter their income as “nil”
  • Note that they are “serving a sentence” or “on remand” when answering how they are supported

However, you must be clear that they did not receive any income during this seven day period.  You must also ask them about any savings or other capital they could use to fund their case.

If you are seeing a client in the custody court, you must assess their income and capital to establish eligibility, even though verification may be difficult.  Clients should be told to provide financial verification at the earliest opportunity and should sign a mandate allowing you to contact third parties  as appropriate if this is not provided within 14 days. Where it is not practicable to see verification, we should be advised of this in the notification.

Verification where client is in prison

You should bear in mind that the resources of spouses and partners have to be taken into account when assessing financial eligibility except where:

  • The spouse or partner has a contrary interest in the case, (co-accused, complainer or Crown witness)
  • The parties are living separate and apart
  • In all the circumstances of the case it would be inequitable or impractical to do so

The parties are not living separate and apart solely on the basis that your client is in prison. For the parties to be living separate and apart, the marriage or relationship must be at an end.

You need to satisfy yourself as to the spouse or partner’s financial resources and obtain verification of this, unless one of the exceptions apply.

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