Court filing fees vary according to the court and action. But, if you're indigent, it probably doesn't matter if the fees are low or high -- you don't have the money. You can ask the court to waive or suspend filing fees by filing a pauper's affidavit, also known as an affidavit of indigency. You must provide information regarding your income and other personal financial details.
A Fighting Chance
It's hard to fight a court battle when you're impoverished, but the court's acceptance of an affidavit of indigency gives you a chance. If you're incarcerated and want to file an appeal or a tenant appealing an eviction, an indigency affidavit allows you to do so. If you're a tenant, a landlord might challenge your affidavit, and you will have to prove you are truly without the means to pay the appeal costs.
Affidavit of Indigency
Although the information you are required to submit on the affidavit of indigency depends on state law, expect to provide proof of poverty. This includes your case number if you receive public assistance and amount of money earned if you are employed. You must list all of your property and its value, along with your debts. Other pertinent facts include the number of people living in your household, monthly rental or mortgage payments, food and utility costs and any court-ordered payments. Include any regular medical expenses for you or your dependents. You may be required to sign the pauper's affidavit in front of a notary public, swearing that the information within it is true.
Read More: What Is an Affidavit of Indigency?
A graduate of New York University, Jane Meggitt writes regularly for various legal blogs. Her work has appeared in LegalZoom, USA Today and many other publications.