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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


Court Fees

There may be several fees in a court case:

Filing Fee Fee to get the case started. There is a filing fee for nearly all complaints and petitions. Filing fees are established by Utah Code Section 78A-2-301.
For a summary of filing fees, see the Fees web page, or look at the Cover Sheet for Civil Actions.
Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) fee Fee for using OCAP to create the papers in specific case types (divorce, custody, eviction, guardianship).
Divorce education and divorce orientation class fee Required classes for divorcing parents with children under 18.
Service fee Fee to have the papers served on the other party by a sheriff or constable in Utah.
Divorce Certificate Fee (Vital Stats) Applies in divorce and annulment cases only.
Report of Adoption Fee (Vital Stats) Applies in adoption cases only.

Asking to Waive Fees

When you file a case with the court, you must either pay the court fees or ask to have them waived. Court staff will accept the filing without payment only if you also file a Motion to Waive Fees and supporting documents.

In the affidavit supporting the motion you must provide a detailed description of your income, expenses, property, credit and debts.

A judge will review your financial information and decide whether you have to pay the fees.

Judge's Decision on Motion to Waive Fees

The judge can decide one of several things:

  • to waive all the fees
  • to waive some of the fees
  • to waive none of the fees
  • that you did not to provide the required information or attach supporting documentation. In this case, you may file a corrected motion and supporting documents within 14 days of the judge's decision.

Challenging the Judge's Decision

If the fee waiver was denied because the judge found you are reasonably able to pay, and you:

  • have lost your source of income;
  • have unaccounted nondiscretionary expenses limiting your ability to pay;
  • will suffer immediate irreparable harm if the action is unnecessarily delayed; or
  • will otherwise lose the cause of action by unnecessary delays associated with securing funds necessary to satisfy the assessed filing fee,

you may file a Memorandum Demonstrating Inability to Pay Fees within 10 days of this order.

Change in Circumstances

You must report to the court 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

If You Do Not Pay the Required Fees

If the judge decides you must pay some or all of the fees, you must do so within 30 days of the judge's decision or your case may be dismissed. Some courts may not allow you to file additional documents or request hearings until the fee has been paid.

Paying Fees

You can pay in person by cash, check, money order, or credit card. If you file your case by mail, include a check or money order for the filing fee. Do not send cash by mail. The courts will also accept partial payments if you are not able to pay all the fees at once.

Fees the Court Cannot Waive

There are some fees associated with a court case which cannot be waived:

  • The fee to have a non-Utah sheriff or constable or a private process server serve the documents.
  • The fee to serve someone by mail.
  • The fee to publish a legal notice in a newspaper.
  • The fee to have the county recorder record a judgment.
  • The witness fee to have someone appear at a trial.
  • The cost of any postage or copies.
  • The fee for transcripts in an appeal.

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 public

    Optional
  • Memorandum Demonstrating Inability to Pay Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
    (Used only if the motion is denied and specific criteria are met. Must be filed within 10 days of the entry of the order denying motion.)

Forms for prisoners

  • Checklist - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Motion to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Affidavit Supporting Motion to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Certificate Regarding Inmate Account (Inmates Only) - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
  • Order on Motion to Waive Fees (Inmates) - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
    Optional
  • Memorandum Demonstrating Inability to Pay Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word
    (Used only if the motion is denied and specific criteria are met. Must be filed within 10 days of the entry of the order denying motion.)

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
  • Order on Motion to Waive Fees - PDF Document PDF | Word Document Word

Related Information

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.


Page Last Modified: 8/5/2016
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