How to Ask the Court to Waive or Lower Court Fees
Government Code sections 68630 et. seq. permit the court to waive court fees and costs for litigants in certain financial situations.
Your court fees may be waived if:
- You are receiving public benefits such as Medi-Cal, Food Stamps, General ssistance, Cal-Works, SSI, SSP, etc.
- Your household income is at least 125% below federal poverty guidelines, as shown on form FW-001.
- The court finds that you do not have enough income to support your family AND pay court fees.
The court may also order partial payment of court fees, or allow payments to be made over time.
You are required to notify the court if your financial situation changes, or if you settle your case out of court. The court may require you to pay the previously waived fees.
The forms requesting a fee waiver require you to provide detailed financial information. This information will remain confidential.
You must sign your fee waiver request under the penalty of perjury. All answers must be accurate and complete. The court cannot require proof of your finances when you submit your application for a fee waiver. At a later date, though, the court may require you to verify any statements made in your application.
The Judicial Council forms commonly used in this procedure are:
Click here to download this Guide, with step-by-step instructions, including sample forms.
updated mpj 11/13
reviewed en 11/13