Law and courts
Find out more about your legal and civil rights by getting free, impartial and confidential advice from Haddington Citizens Advice Bureau. If you want to know more about your rights when it comes to the law or how you are treated by the police or prison service, we can offer you guidance.
Get support with law and court matters
Tap into our knowledge and experience and get guidance on a range of law and court matters. Whether you’re due to appear in court (as a witness or defendant) and want to know about civil court procedure, or you want to find out about taking legal action against a person or a company - speak to us for support. Here are some of the areas we cover:
- Legal system - for example, if you’re appearing as a witness or someone is taking legal action against you
- Personal injuries - if you’ve been injured and want to claim compensation
- Parking tickets
- Civil rights - including human rights and young people’s rights
Whatever you want to know about the law or the courts system, we’re here to give you the information you need. Come and see us at Haddington Citizens Advice Bureau for more support and guidance.
Haddington Court Services
The court services at Haddington deal with civil law matters. These involve disputes between; private citizens themselves, or companies, local and national government agencies or other bodies. Examples would be cases about; workmanship, disputed invoices, debt, housing arrears and bankruptcy.
The services do not cover criminal matters which are offences against the state for example; theft, dangerous driving, food hygiene breaches. Although some basic advice can be given by our general service, clients will always be offered a directory of solicitors to choose from to discuss the specifics of a criminal matter.
The bureau offers 3 services:
1. Lawworks provides a free independent legal consultation by a solicitor on any civil matter, they will not provide representation, only advice. It is particularly useful in establishing whether you have a case in law and advising what the next steps may or may not be. To progress a viable case further would require the client to engage a solicitor of their choosing. The service is available through a referral by one of our advisers who will arrange for you to transmit the paperwork in advance. The consultation appointments are scheduled once a fortnight.
2. Our Specialist Adviser for people wishing to pursue a simple procedure case (cases in the sheriff court under £5000), which used to be called ‘small claims’. The adviser checks if your case is suitable for the procedure, guides you through the process, and completes the forms. Representation is normally provided, subject to the availability of the adviser. Examples of when a simple procedure case would be appropriate would be when someone doesn’t repay a loan; or when a tradesman doesn’t carry out work properly. Your recourse could be to raise an action under simple procedure to have the loan repaid; or to recover the cost of remedial work. Referrals are made by client request or by an adviser, and an appointment is arranged.
3. Our In Court Advice Service, deal with people who are being pursued, or defending a civil court or housing chamber tribunal action. The service also deals with homelessness appeals. It provides representation on; repossession (except anti social behaviour cases, where a referral to a specialist may be made), debt and bankruptcy issues. It will give advice on court procedures in other cases, but not representation and will refer clients as appropriate to other sources of legal help. The main court procedures it deals with are; Simple, Summary Cause, Summary Application and First Tier Housing Tribunal. If you have received a summons or notice from the court, or tribunal please advise us straight away. This enables us to help, or refer in time to respond to the summons or notice deadline.