Legal Defense Plan
Legal defense protection is a necessity for law enforcement professionals. As the frequency and cost of allegations rise, the FOP Legal Defense Plan offers you and your lodge members a very affordable and comprehensive plan.
You will receive legal representation for any critical incident such as a shooting, fatal car collision or death investigation that involves you while performing your duties as a law enforcement officer.
In addition, civil or other criminal lawsuits that occur while you are performing your duties are subject to coverage pending approval by the NCFOP Legal Aid Committee.
With the FOP, we do not choose a lawyer for you. YOU pick the attorney you want to represent you.
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.
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 inflicts fatal or serious injuries upon a person or persons, is sued 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 recommend 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 officer’s/member’s actions within the scope of his/her employment. The FOP’s assistance is available 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.