What if Someone Can’t Afford the Court's Fees?

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In most cases, you have to pay a fee to file papers with the court.

If a person can’t afford the court’s filing fees, there are forms he or she may file asking permission to not pay all or some of the court fees and costs. This is called getting the fees “waived,” and fee waiver packets are available for free at the courthouse, or can be downloaded from this site.

Eligibility for the fee waiver is based upon the person’s household income or if he or she is receiving public assistance. If a person files a fee waiver but is found not to be qualified, he or she must pay the appropriate filing fees.

To see if you qualify for a fee waiver, read:

  • Information Sheet on Waiver of Court Fees and Costs
    (Form FW-001-INFO) Opens new window

If you qualify for a fee waiver, select the forms you need, click here.

NOTE:  Fee waivers are only valid for 6 months.  File for another fee waiver if the prior order for a fee waiver has expired and you need another fee waiver.

NOTE:  If you get a fee waiver but then collect money because you win the lawsuit, you may have to repay the court for the waived fees.




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