Family Lawyers & Mediators in Brighton
01273 684666

Changes to Gateway Evidence for Legal Aid

On 8 January 2018, the Legal Aid Agency introduced significant changes to the gateway evidence requirements for private law matters. As well as being on a low income, you need to be able to provide one of the documents from the list below.

Gateway evidence for applications for legal aid for divorce, financial matters and injunctions

1. Arrest for a relevant domestic violence offence
– A copy of the bail sheet from the police
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
– Newspaper clippings about the arrest
The evidence must name the respondent as the perpetrator, name you as the victim, confirm the domestic violence office and that the respondent was arrested for this offence.

2. Police caution
– A copy of the caution sheet from the police
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
The evidence must name the respondent as the person cautioned, name you as the victim and confirm the domestic violence offence.

3. Ongoing criminal proceedings
– A copy of the charge sheet from the police
– A document from the Court confirming the case has been listed
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
– Newspaper clippings about the case
The evidence must name the respondent as the person involved, name you as the victim and confirm the domestic violence offence.
4. A relevant conviction for a domestic violence offence
– Memorandum of Conviction (Magistrates Court)
– Certificate of Conviction (Crown Court)
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
– Newspaper clippings about the case
The evidence must name the respondent as the person convicted, name you as the victim and confirm the domestic violence offence.

5. Bind overs
– Formal document from the Court
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
The evidence must name the respondent as the person bound over, name you as the victim and confirm the relevant domestic violence offence.

6. Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN)
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
– A copy of the DVPN from the police
– Court document detailing the DVPN
The evidence must name the protected party who is or was in a family relationship with the perpetrator and the respondent must be the person whom the DVPN was made against.

7. Protection Injunctions
– Court document detailing a relevant protective injunction
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
The evidence must name the protected party who is or was in a family relationship with the perpetrator and the respondent must be the person whom the protective injunction was made against.

8. Undertaking
– General form of undertaking
– Any other Court document referring to the undertaking given
The evidence must name the respondent as the person who provided the undertaking, that person must be or have been in a family relationship with you and a cross-undertaking must not have been given by you.
9. Fact Finding
– Court document
The evidence must state the name of the victim who must be or have been in a family relationship with the respondent and the respondent must be named as perpetrator.

10. Expert report produced as evidence for court or tribunal
– An expert report produced as evidence in proceedings in the UK for the benefit of the court or tribunal confirming that an individual who is or was in a family relationship with the perpetrator, was assessed as being, or at risk of being, a victim of domestic abuse.
The evidence must state the name of the perpetrator, the name of the victim who is or was in a family relationship with the perpetrator, the name of the expert and their qualifications and confirmation that you are at risk of domestic abuse.

11. Letter or report from an Appropriate Heath Professional
– A letter or email from an appropriate health professional including their professional reference number/registration number
The evidence must name you as a victim and that you were examined in person and that your injuries or condition are consistent with those of a victim of domestic abuse.

12. An Appropriate Health Professional referral to a domestic violence support service
– Letter, report or email from the domestic violence support service
– Letter, report or email from the appropriate health professional
The evidence must name you as the victim, be a referral from an appropriate health professional to an organisation that provides specialist support or assistance to victims or people at risk of domestic abuse.

13. MARAC or other local safeguarding forum
– Letter, report or email from any member of MARAC or local safeguarding forum
– Minutes of MARAC or other local safeguarding form
The evidence must name you as the victim or a person with whom you have a family relationship and name the respondent as the perpetrator.

14. Letter from an independent domestic violence advisor (IDVA)
– Confirmation on letterhead from an IDVA that they are providing support to you
– An email from an IDVA that they are providing support to you
The evidence must name you as the victim.

15. Letter from an independent sexual violence advisor (ISVA)
– Confirmation on letterhead from an ISVA that they are providing support to you
– An email from an ISVA that they are providing support to you
This evidence must name you as the victim and the respondent as the perpetrator.

16. Letter from a Local Authority or housing association
– A letter on letterhead or an official email address from an officer employed by the Local Authority or housing association
This evidence must name you as the victim, name the respondent as the perpetrator, name the officer and their department, a statement that it is in their professional judgement that you are a victim or at risk of being a victim of domestic abuse, and a description of the support they have offered you.

17. Letter from an organisation providing domestic violence support services
– A letter on letterhead or an official email address from an organisation that provides domestic violence supports services and confirming that they have provided support to you and that you are or are at risk of being a victim of domestic abuse.
This evidence must name you as the victim, name the respondent as the perpetrator, a statement that it is in their professional judgement that you are a victim or at risk of being a victim of domestic abuse, and a description of the support they have offered you.

18. Domestic violence support organisation refusal of admission to a refuge
– Letter or email from a refuge or domestic violence support organisation
This evidence must name the perpetrator, name you as the victim, that you sought admission to refuge due to allegations of domestic abuse and the date admission to refuge was refused.
19. Letter from a public authority
– A letter on letterhead or an email or a copy of a report from a public authority confirming that you are or were in a family relationship with the perpetrator and are assessed as or at risk of being, a victim of domestic abuse.
The evidence mist name you as the victim, name the respondent as the perpetrator and name the public authority.

20. Leave to remain in the UK under paragraph 289B of the Immigration Rules
– A letter on letterhead from the Secretary of State for the Home Department confirming that you were granted leave to remain in the UK under paragraph 289B of the Immigration Rules.
The evidence must name you as the victim and that you were granted leave to remain in the UK under paragraph 289B of the Immigration Rules

21. Financial Abuse
– Copies of your bank statements / letters from the bank
– Credit card accounts, loan documents
– Business financial statements
– Letter from a domestic violence support organisation
– Emails/texts – a diary kept by you
– Letter from employer
– Evidence from food bank

Gateway evidence for applications for children matters
1. Arrest for a child abuse offence
– A copy of the formal charge sheet from the police
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
The evidence must name the respondent as the perpetrator and detail the child abuse offence.

2. A police caution
– Formal caution
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
The evidence must name the respondent as the person cautioned and detail the child abuse offence

3. Ongoing criminal proceedings
– A copy of the charge sheet from the police
– A document from the Court confirming the case has been listed
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
– Newspaper clippings regarding the case
The evidence must name the respondent as the person charged and detail the child abuse offence

4. A relevant conviction for a child abuse offence
– Memorandum of Conviction (Magistrates Court)
– Certificate of Conviction (Crown Court)
– Formal written confirmation on police, CPS or Witness Care Unit headed paper or email address
– Newspaper clippings about the case
The evidence must name the respondent as the person convicted and detail the child abuse offence.

5. Protective Injunction
– Court document detailing a relevant protective injunction
The evidence must name the child you are seeking to protect and the respondent as the person whom the injunction was made against

6. Finding of fact
– Court document
The evidence must name the respondent as the perpetrator.

7. Social services letter
– A letter or email from a Social Services Department on letterhead
– An assessment report from a Social Services Department
The evidence must name the child you are seeking to protect, name the respondent as the perpetrator and the child is assessed as being or at risk of being a victim of child abuse.
8. Social Services Child protection plan
– A copy of a Child Protection Plan from a Social Services Department
– A letter or email from a Social Services Department
This evidence must name the child you are seeking to protect and name the respondent as the perpetrator.

9. Application for a protective injunction with an application for a prohibited steps order
– Application made for relevant order
– Child named as the person you are seeking to protect
– Respondent named as the person whom the injunction is sought against
AND
– Application made for prohibited steps order
– Respondent names as the person whom the PSO application is made

Templates for the letters can be found at – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sample-letters-to-get-evidence-of-domestic-violence
Even if you think you might not be eligible, pick up the phone (01273 684 666) and talk to us as we may be able to refer you to other services for assistance or you may wish to consider our fixed fee appointment for £100 plus VAT to obtain some initial advice.

Legal Aid for Mediation
From 3rd November 2014 legal aid is available to fund both the MIAM and the first session of mediation where one of the people involved qualifies for legal aid.

 

For further information see Legal Aid Changes for Mediation , Family Mediation in Brighton and About Family Mediation.
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