LEGAL AID INFORMATION
The NCFOP State Lodge through the NCFOP Legal Aid Committee processes all legal aid request after the affected member has completed the required forms needed to review the request. These forms are available below.
In the event of a need for legal aid for anything other than a CRITICAL INCIDENT, the member must complete the "LEGAL AID FILL IN FORM" and sign the "LEGAL AID AGREEMENT FORM." The forms must be signed off by a lodge officer and submitted to the NCFOP State Lodge. The member will be notified by the Legal Aid Committee of the approval or denial of the requested legal aid.
In the event of a "Critical Incident," the member should contact their local lodge officer upon the critical incident occurring, who will immediately contact legal counsel for that member with NO WAIT. The required forms must be completed as soon as possible in the next days after the critical incident.
The Southern States PBA has and continues to misrepresent the comparison of the Legal Defense Plans and they do this knowingly.Not only is this false information listed on their web site, it is also included in the flyer distributed by the Police Benevolent Association. Both compare the legal defense benefits between our two organizations. The information relating to the FOP is based on the FOP National Legal Defense Plan – not the NC State Lodge plan. With that being said, there is even a misrepresentation of the National FOP’s Legal Defense Plan. But we do not use the National Legal Defense Plan – we have our own. Let us state this clearly and concisely: The North Carolina State Lodge set up our own Legal Defense Plan, we administer the funds, and there is no limit on the amount of funding we will spend on a member’s legal defense.Let us also clearly and concisely state that the leadership of the North Carolina Southern States PBA is fully aware of this fact. The NCFOP discussed this several times with their former President (who is no longer a member of the PBA). They know they are using selected data from the National FOP Legal Defense Plan and they also know that the NC FOP does not use the National Plan, that we have our own plan. Knowing these facts, the PBA continues to misrepresent the facts and claim that the NC FOP has a cap on how much money we will spend on an individual case. This is emphatically and categorically not true, and the PBA knows this. The PBA continues to promote this false claim in order to sway potential members away from the FOP and to the PBA.The NCFOP Legal Aid Committee reiterates there is no cap and our plan is administered out of North Carolina, not Georgia like the PBA’s plan.
Legal Aid Rules & F.A.Q's
As an additional benefit to the FOP Membership, the FOP, through its Legal Defense Fund, offers to assist in the legal defense of members in good standing with the State Lodge and their local lodge when such members face litigation or prosecution for acts within the scope of a member's employment as a law enforcement officer.
The Legal Defense Fund is for those situations where the law enforcement officer inslicts fatal or serious injuries upon a person or persons, is sueld for civil damages or prosecuted on criminal charges related to any incident that occurs within the members' scope of employment or faces suspension without pay or termination as a result of any incident that occurs within the member's scope of employment.
By the provision of a legal defense fund, the State Lodge in no way admits the liability of the officer-member, nor does the State Lodge admit any liability of the FOP in conjunction with the officer-member.
WHO IS COVERED?
All active FOP members who, at the time of the incident which necessitates legal defense, are active law enforcement officers in good standing with the N.C. FOP and their local lodge.
DOES THE FOP HAVE SUBROGATION RIGHTS?
Yes. The FOP is subrogated, up to the amount given towards legal defense, to any amounts received by the member as an award in the case. EXAMPLE: Member shoots Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith sues member. As part of the defense, member counter-claims for attorney fees and wins. FOP is repaid by the member up to the amount of FOP contribution from the attorney fees awarded by the Court to member.
MAY I CHOOSE MY ATTORNEY?
Yes. The State Lodge does not choose your attorney. However, the State Lodge through the Legal Aid Committee may recommed a particular attorney.
DOES THE FOP PAY ME OR MY ATTORNEY?
The attorney, upon the attorney's submittal of a bill and the approval of the Legal Aid Committee.
CRITICAL INCIDENT SITUATIONS:
Approved legal defense funds are available upon the authorization of any local lodge or State Board of Director members in cases of an incident where the officer/member is involved in a situation where serious or fatal injuries have occurred as a result of an office/member's actions within the scope of his/her employment. The FOP's assistance is availalble by contacting a local lodge or State Board of Directors member and notifying him/her of the critical incident. The legal defense request may be done by phone with a follow-up request in writing. Funds will be made immediately available after the initial phone contact. The State Board of Director member will make initial notification to the Legal Aid Committee, for you, in these Critical Incident Situations.