Finding help from Legal Aid Ontario in courthouses

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) offers staff and lawyers in the courts to help you. The lawyers are called duty counsel (see fact sheet) and can give immediate legal assistance to people living on a low income who appear in court without a lawyer. They are available in every courthouse in Ontario.

In some cases, at the Belleville court location, an LAO worker and lawyer may assist with completing court documents from Monday to Friday, by appointment only. Your financial eligibility will be assessed.

Belleville Family Duty Counsel: 613-962-4422
Belleville Criminal Duty Counsel: 613-962-9106, ext 2750
Napanee Family or Criminal Duty Counsel: 613-354-5774

Due to funding cuts by the Ontario government, Legal Aid has provided the following information sheets on core and non-core responsibilities that will now be the primary focus of duty counsel services effective July 7, 2019:

Family Court matters

Courthouses help with fee waivers and obtaining blank court documents. Find details in our Paths to Justice: Family law resource guides for Hastings & Prince Edward Counties or Lennox & Addington County.

Criminal Court matters

You can apply for legal aid certificates (to get a lawyer paid for by LAO) at the courthouse. You can also get information on LAO services and receive referrals.

Service is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, with priority given to people who have matters in criminal court that day.

Belleville: Belleville Criminal Court, 15 Bridge St. W.
Thursdays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

(You need to be there before 12:00 pm, as the sign-up sheet for LAO application is pulled at that time)

Napanee: Napanee Court, 41 Dundas Street West
Every other Monday (or whenever Youth Court is there) 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Tuesdays 9:00 am – 11:30 am
613-354-5450, ext 342

Picton: Picton Courthouse, 67 King Street
Wednesdays 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Mental Health Duty Counsel

If you are appearing in mental health court on a criminal matter without a lawyer, mental health duty counsel can help you at your first appearance.

If you are in custody or receiving treatment at a mental health care facility, you can get help with applying for legal aid from the Patient Advocate/Rights Advisor in the mental health facility where you are located.