What Can I Do if I Cannot Afford the Filing Fee?

If you are a poor person, you may ask a Judge to allow you to file your complaint without paying the filing fee. You begin by filling out a Petition and Order to Sue or Defend as an Indigent Person. You can obtain this form from the Small Claims clerk or at the Law Library and Center for Self-Representation. After you have completed the form, the clerk will tell you how to have an informal hearing on the application. The Judge will decide whether to grant a waiver of the filing fee, service fee, or both the filing and service fees.

If you are sued and want to contest (or dispute) the plaintiff’s claim, you may likewise complete a Petition and Order to Sue or Defend as an Indigent Person and request that a Judge waive the filing fee required to file your Appearance.