ASKING A COURT TO WAIVE FILING FEES
In most cases, VLP clients are eligible for waiver of court costs, including filing fees, either mandatory or discretionary.
Mandatory Court Cost Waivers
Clients with income at/below 187.5% of the Federal Poverty Level and expenses at/above their income are eligible for Ohio’s mandatory court costs waiver, per R.C. 2323.311(B)(4). To calculate a client’s FPL, visit https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines. To secure a mandatory court costs waiver, file a Fee Waiver/Affidavit of Indigency.
If the Court denies a mandatory waiver, contact VLP immediately.
Discretionary Court Cost Waivers
Clients who do not meet the criteria for a mandatory court costs waiver may receive a discretionary waiver. To request a discretionary court costs waiver, file an Affidavit of Indigency and Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. If the Court denies a discretionary waiver, advise the client of his/her responsibility for costs. If the client cannot pay court costs, contact VLP. VLP may pay, subject to possible repayment by the client.
Court Costs for Criminal Record Sealing
An Application for Criminal Record Sealing is not covered by R.C. 2323.311, which pertains to court costs in civil cases. Still, applicants with low-income can apply to the Court to have the $50 filing fee waived. Applicants must file an Affidavit of Indigency, but not the Form 20 Fee Waiver/Affidavit of Indigency.
For more details on court costs and the filing fee waiver, see this article: https://vlpcincinnati.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/CBA-Article_Summary-of-Court-Cost-Waiver-Statute.pdf
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