Persons with a poor financial background may be granted legal aid by the court upon petition and will be offered a lawyer by the bar for free representation.
For what purpose?
If you are unable to afford the costs of proceedings without negatively affecting your necessary maintenance and if taking legal action does not seem to be obviously mischievous or without chances of success, the law provides that the court may grant you legal aid.
How do I get legal aid?
The form for applying for legal aid can be obtained from any court or the bar of the Province where you reside in Austria. The petition must be submitted to the court having jurisdiction.
If and when your petition for legal aid is granted, the bar of the Province where you live will provide a lawyer to represent your interests. Normally, lawyers are provided according to the principle of rotation; you may, however, ask for a specific lawyer you would like to have (preferably already during the petition phase).
For further information, please contact your bar.
Do I still have to bear any costs?
If you win the case, your lawyer is entitled to reimbursement of his costs by the opposing party.
If you lose the case, your lawyer will receive no remuneration. It is important to note, however, that you will be required to pay the costs incurred by the opposing party. You will have to pay for your lawyer if you have the financial means to do so without negatively affecting your necessary maintenance within three years of termination of the proceedings.
For more information on legal aid see here (information in German only).