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The applications record

EOS can generate an applications record report for each law centre.  This is a list of all applicants awaiting the provision of legal services from the law centre.  It includes those awaiting a first consultation as well as those who have already had a first consultation and are awaiting the provision of further legal services after the first consultation.

The Board aims to give all financially eligible applicants an appointment with a solicitor within a period of one month from the acceptance of a fully completed application form. 

Responsibility for the management of the applications record lies with managing solicitors.

For EOS purposes there are effectively two parts to the applications record:

  • The first part consists of all applications where the applicant has been found financially eligible for legal services, but have yet to receive a first consultation (this corresponds to the APP003.First Consultation workflow). This includes all priority applications that have not yet received an appointment,
  • The second part consists of those cases which have received a first consultation and are now awaiting a second consultation (this corresponds to the APP006.Awaiting Second Consultation workflow).

The majority of law centres now operate an applications record only of applicants who are waiting for a first consultation.  The remainder of this chapter is written on the basis that this is the system in operation. Centres who continue to operate a two-part applications record should refer to the version of this Chapter in the Administrative Procedures Handbook, 11th edition (2017) where appropriate.

Who is on the applications record?

The applications record on EOS is maintained in the order that an applicant was found financially eligible for legal services. For EOS purposes, the date the applicant is placed on the Applications Record is the date the milestone “Applications changed from an enquiry to a specific case type” is completed.

An application form that does not contain all the relevant information is not a completed form and an applicant cannot be placed on the applications record until all relevant information is provided. Processing of applications should generally be carried out within 48 hours of receipt of the application and the application placed on the applications record or written to refusing legal services (under s29 or s26(2) of the Act), as appropriate.  

Procedure 5.1 – Placing an applicant on the applications record

Update the case type:

  1. Click the twisty beside the case number at the top of the page,
    1. Choose the new Case Category (Family or non-Family Law),
    2. Choose the new Case Type (eg Divorce, Contract etc),
    3. Click “Save Updated Case Details”.
  2. Ensure that the milestone “Application changed from an enquiry to a specific case type” is completed. Complete, or mark as not needed as appropriate, any remaining milestones in the APP001 workflow.
  3. In EOS, put the case into the APP003.First Consultation workflow.
    Send the applicant the letter placing the applicant on the applications record below.
  4. Place the application form and associated documents on a lever arch file marked “Applications Record”. The application should be placed on a lever arch file in order of the date it was received.
  5. If the application is to receive priority, arrangements should be made for an appointment with a solicitor and the person’s name taken off the applications record.

It is important that the case be updated to a Family Law or Non-Family Law case type at this point, as it will not be placed on the applications record in EOS if you do not do so. If the application form is unclear as to what the correct case type then the nearest approximate case type should be used and, if necessary, the case type updated again to the correct case type following the first consultation.

  • Complete the “Application changed from an enquiry to a specific case type” milestone in EOS. This completes the “APP001.Application Received” workflow.
  • It is important that the case be updated to a Family Law or Non-Family Law case type at this point, as it will not be placed on the applications record in EOS if you do not do so
  • When you update the case type, the risk and priority settings are reset back to the default settings for that particular case type. Users must review the Risk and Priority settings after updating the case type and change if necessary

APP003.Placed on applications record
APP003.First Consultation workflow

PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL

Mr. John Smith

1 Main Street

Ballymore

Co. Dublin                                                                                1 September 2016

RE: APPLICATION FOR LEGAL SERVICES                 

I refer to your application for legal services received on [date stamped]

[Due to a conflict of interest your application has been forwarded by (location) Law Centre to this law centre]

Based on the information you have provided, you have been deemed financially eligible for legal services.  This does not necessarily mean that a solicitor will act for you in court proceedings as this will also depend on the merits of the case. 

Owing to the demand for legal services at the law centre, we are not in a position to offer you an appointment with a solicitor at the moment. The waiting period for a first appointment is approximately [number] weeks. When we are in a position to offer you an appointment with a solicitor we will contact you.  Your legal advice contribution will be [€30] which is payable at the time of your first consultation. 

Should it be necessary to bring legal proceedings, and if you are granted a legal aid certificate, your legal aid contribution will be [€130], which is payable on acceptance of the certificate.  Your solicitor will discuss this further with you at your consultation. 

It is very important that you notify the law centre immediately of any changes in relation to your address or your means.

[(To be included for family law related applications only) I note that you are applying for legal services in relation to a family law matter. A solicitor will give you advice when we are able to offer you an appointment. In the meantime you may wish to consider attending relationship counselling (if you have not already done so and if you believe that it may be of assistance to you). If you are of the view that the relationship is over, you and your spouse/partner may wish to consider attending mediation. Mediation is a process that encourages parties to try and reach their own agreement on issues that generally arise following a relationship breakdown e.g, child welfare, maintenance, property matters. The mediator’s role is to try and facilitate both parties in reaching an agreement. Mediators do not impose a solution. There is a relatively limited State funded mediation service which is free. Private mediators also provide mediation services though there is a fee to attend. There are waiting lists in relation to the State funded scheme.  If you are interested in seeking mediation, you might contact this office for details of some of the mediation services available.  You may also wish to make an appointment to get further information from a non solicitor member of staff.  Your solicitor will talk to you about these matters in due course.]

[I note proceedings are pending.  You may wish to send a copy of the attached letter to the relevant court office and to the solicitor for the other party to these proceedings. You would attend at Court on the ………….. 2016, taking with you a copy of the attached letter, and make an application for an adjournment on the basis that you are awaiting legal representation.  You might then advise me of the adjourned date.]

 [(To be included in relation to personal injuries and medical negligence only). I note that you are applying for legal aid in relation to a claim in medical negligence / a claim in negligence/assault in personal injuries. Private solicitors will often agree to take on such cases on the basis that they will not charge you unless a settlement to your benefit or judgement in your favour is obtained (in which case they will generally take their costs out of the settlement or judgement and will agree this in advance). You should arrange, at the earliest opportunity, to visit a private solicitor and ask them to take on your case on that basis. If (s)he refuses to do so you should obtain a letter or other evidence to that effect and visit a second private solicitor and repeat the process. If after this a private solicitor will not take on your case on this basis you should retain any letters or evidence you have obtained and bring them with you to your first consultation.

We will continue to process your application even if you fail to provide these letters.  If you do not provide us with them, however, this may be a reason for refusing you legal aid, should an application for a legal aid certificate ultimately be made on your behalf]

*Please note that your application for legal aid will be assessed following your first appointment with a solicitor.  A decision as to whether to grant you legal aid will be made subsequent to that assessment. 

If you have any questions in relation to any of the above please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

_______________
Jane Jones

Law Centre (                         )

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  • It is important to ensure the “Application changed from an enquiry to a specific case type” is Completed. If this milestone is marked not needed, the case will not appear on the Applications Record reports.
  • Complete the “Place on applications record” milestone.

Except for a priority application, and subject to the provisions in section 8 of this Chapter in relation to referrals to private practitioners, applicants are given appointments to attend for a triage appointment with a solicitor by reference to their position on the applications record. An incomplete form should be re-dated to the date on which all relevant information was provided. Separate applications records may be maintained where a centre is operating a part-time or a conflict clinic.

Having been found financially eligible or passported, an applicant is considered to be on the applications record until one of the followings things happen:-

CircumstanceAction to be taken on EOS
They request to be removed from the applications record (effectively, they withdraw their application for legal services)Mark all steps on current workflow as Not Needed then close application with the outcome “Application not pursued” or “Closed after first consultation (triage) appointment”, as appropriate.

They are given an appointment
Complete APP003.First Consultation workflow and APP006.Awaiting Second Consultation workflow and place in case-specific Second Consultation workflow.
They are referred to a private practitionerComplete APP005.Refer to Private Practitioner workflow and close file.
They fail to attend an appointment.Complete APP003.First Consultation workflow (making sure to mark “First Consultation Attended” as “Not Needed”) and close file with the status “Application not pursued”.

For reporting purposes only, all applicants in the APP005.Refer to Private Practitioner workflow are excluded from the applications record reports while they remain in that workflow. See also Chapter 6.

Placing a priority application on the applications record

Priority applications are placed on the applications record in exactly the same way as regular applications. Until they receive their first consultation, they should be placed and remain in the APP003.First Consultation workflow in EOS.

Viewing the applications record

Users can view the applications record by running the report Applications Record – Awaiting First Consultation. This report is correct as of close of business the previous day. For information on how to run reports, see Chapter 10.