Fees and Fee Waiver


Filing fee

There is a filing fee for nearly all complaints and petitions and for many other documents as well. Filing fees are established by Utah Code Section 78A-2-301. For summary of filing fees, see our webpage on Fees. If you do not ask that the fee be waived, you must pay the fee when you file your papers. You can pay by cash, check, money order, or credit card. If you file by mail, include a check or money order for the filing fee. Do not send cash by mail.


Fee Waiver

If you cannot afford the filing fees, you can ask the judge to waive them. To have fees waived, you must prove to the court that you are unable to pay them. That means you must file a detailed description of your income, expenses, property, credit and debts.

If you file a Motion and Affidavit to Waive Fees with your complaint or petition, the judicial services representative will accept the filing without fee payment. But that does not mean the fee is waived. A judge will review your financial information later and decide whether you have to pay the fees. The judge might waive the fees totally, in part or not at all. If the judge does not waive the entire fee, you must pay the fee that the judge decides within the time allowed, or your case might be dismissed.

There are fees other than court filing fees, which might not be waived or cannot be waived. For example, if the judge waives the fee for serving papers, the county sheriff or constable must serve the papers for free, but a private process server may still charge a fee. The county recorder will charge a fee to record a judgment. If you subpoena a witness to appear at the trial, you will have to pay the witness fee. There are other fees.

You must report changes in your financial circumstances that might affect a fee waiver. If you win your case and collect a judgment from the other party, the court and others who provided services without charge can collect the fee out of the judgment. Utah Code Section 78A-2-309


Use the correct forms

The Legislature has created a special process for considering a Motion and Affidavit to Waive Fees filed by prisoners: inmates of jails and prisons. Some of the forms are the same, but some are different. The forms below are divided between those for prisoners and those for the public.


Guidelines for a Motion to Waive Fees

Rule 4-508 establishes guidelines that judges use for ruling on a motion to waive fees filed by someone who is not a prisoner. Before filing a motion to waive fees, consider whether you meet these guidelines. Completing the forms is time-consuming, and the information that you must provide is detailed and sensitive. You may not want to take the time and trouble if you think the motion will be denied because you do not meet the guidelines:

In general, you are considered reasonably able to pay a fee if:

  • your gross monthly income exceeds 100% of the poverty guidelines (aspe.hhs.gov) updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2).
  • your expenses are less than your net income;
  • you have liquid assets or credit that can be used to pay the fee without harming your financial position;
  • you have assets that can be liquidated or borrowed against without harming your financial position;
  • Section 30-3-3 applies and the court orders another party to pay your fee; or
  • in the judges discretion, you are reasonably able to pay some part of the fee;

If you are represented by an attorney, the motion to waive fees may be granted in proportion to the attorney's discount of the attorney fee. Your attorney must provide an affidavit describing the fee agreement and what percentage of the attorney's normal, full fee is represented by the discounted fee.


Forms


Forms for prisoners

  • Checklist - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Motion and Affidavit to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Financial Affidavit Supporting Motion to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Certificate Regarding Inmate Account - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Proposed Order on Motion to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Memorandum Demonstrating Inability to Pay Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word

Forms for public

  • Checklist - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Motion and Affidavit to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Financial Affidavit Supporting Motion to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Proposed Order on Motion to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Memorandum Demonstrating Inability to Pay Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word

Forms for Juvenile Court

  • Financial Affidavit Supporting Motion to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Motion and Affidavit to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Proposed Order on Motion to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word

Related Information


Page Last Modified: 5/9/2013
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