As an additional benefit to the FOP membership, the FOP, through its Legal Defense Fund, offers to assist in the legal defense of active working officers 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 member’s 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 defense, Member counter- claims for attorney fees and wins. FOP is repaid by 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/ 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 the initial notification to the Legal Aid Committee, for you, in these Critical Incident Situations.
1. Incident must occur in the performance of the officer’s official duty. Any alleged or actual act or omission that is not duty related will not be covered.
2. Eligible officers must make the request for assistance, in writing. In critical incident situations, immediate funds can be approved by any State Lodge Board of Directors member over the phone; however, a follow-up written request is required for FOP files.
3. The written request must be sent to the Legal Aid Committee with copies to the Local Lodge President and to the Local Lodge State Trustee for the convenience of the State Lodge.
4. Any claims for payment which are not specifically related to legal defense matters, will not be covered.
5. The legal defense fund is applicable to payment claims not covered by insurance or other contributors. An exception occurs where the member-applicant belongs to a lodge which has a legal defense fund in place. In those cases, the State Lodge will pay legal claims first before the member-applicant need apply for local monies.
6. Continuation of this plan and such payments as required will be subject to the funds available in the Legal Defense Fund of the N.C. FOP and/or any additional funding for the program that may be approved by the Board of Directors.
7. The provision of Legal Defense Funds is designed solely to assist active members of the N.C. FOP with their legal defense in appropriate actions; however, in the provision of such funds, the N.C. FOP assumes no responsibility for the actions or inactions of its members.
8. Any incident that occurred prior to 27 October 1990 will only be covered by the plan if approved by a majority of such Board.
On June 21, 1990, the North Carolina State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police created what is now known as the North Carolina State Lodge Death Benefit Program. The State Lodge provides a Death Benefit for every qualified member in good standing. A listing of such members will be maintained in the State Lodge Office.
A basic benefit of $3,000 will be paid for a death by natural causes. An additional benefit of $3,000 in the event of an accidental death and another $3,000 in the event of line of duty death. i.e.: Natural -$3,000*; Accidental – $6,000*; Line of Duty – $9,000.
* extends to members after retirement with continuous membership.
Military personnel assigned to law enforcement duties are covered under the natural and accidental portions of the coverage. Should a line of duty death occur, the State Lodge would pay that portion of the coverage only if the death was related to the law enforcement function. The line of duty benefit will not be paid if the death occurred either in a combat situation or any military situation not related to the law enforcement function.
This State Lodge Death Benefit program will continue in effect so long and until such time as the North Carolina State Lodge Board of directors decides not to continue this program, and/or modify or effect changes to the program. It is unequivocally and expressly understood that the status of membership does not imply any guarantee or expectation of any continued rights under this program if the Lodge decides to discontinue this program at whatever time or for whatever reason.
The Fraternal Order of Police has been authorized by the NC DMV Special License Unit to offer a civic club license plate to our Active members. Now we have over 1,000 plates on the road. The cost of these plates is $30 per year, compared to $20 for a standard plate, and $40 for a personalized plate. After you receive your plate, the $30 will be paid each year when you renew your plate. To apply for an FOP plate, go to your closest license plate agency and fill out an Application for a Civic Club License Plate. Or taking your license plate renewal form, with personal identification and your FOP membership card and obtain the FOP Vanity Plate.
If your current tag is due to expire soon, you will be requested to renew early before your special plate is issued. (This early renewal will not change your normal month of expiration).
We must caution you that in order to maintain this plate you must maintain your membership in the FOP.