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General Exemptions

In general, disputes involving rights and interests over land are excluded from the scope of civil legal services.

General exemptions

Section28(9)(c)

However there are a number of exemptions to the general provision where we cannot grant legal aid for disputes concerning rights or interests in or over land. These can be found in section 28(9)(c) of the Act.

Section 28(9)(c)(i) provides for an exemption for legal proceedings under

  • the Landlord and Tenant Acts, 1967 to 1994 (in so far as they relate to residential property),
  • the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 
  • the Married Women's Status Act, 1957
  • the Family Home Protection Act, 1976
  • the Family Law Act, 1981 
  • proceedings arising out of a dispute between spouses as to the title to or possession of any property.

Section 28(9)(c)(ii)(I) provides for an exemption for legal proceedings arising out of a dispute as to the title to or possession of any property and are between engaged or cohabiting persons.

Section 28(9)(c)(ii)(II) provides for an exemption for legal proceedings arising out of a dispute as to the title to or possession of any property where the parties were formerly engaged or cohabiting and at the time they were engaged or cohabiting either or both of them owned the property concerned.

Section 28(9)(c)(iii) provides for an exemption where the subject matter is the applicants home (or what would be the applicant’s home but for the dispute), but only where the following two criteria are met:

  • the applicant suffers from an infirmity of mind or body due to old age or to other circumstances, or
  • the applicant may have been subjected to duress, undue influence or fraud in the matter,
                and in either case:

that a refusal to grant legal aid would cause hardship to the applicant.