Increase in Civil Filing Fees

Filing fees will increase for all Civil Cases July 1, 2014 to $200. This fee change adds a new fee of $200 for defendants filing counterclaims, cross claims, third party complaints and motions to intervene.

The fee for miscellaneous petitions in family court will increase to $200 this includes Paternity, Child Support, Visitation and Custody, Infant Guardianships, etc. Petitions for Divorce, Separate Maintenance will remain at $135; Modifications of Family Court orders will remain at $85; Expedited petitions in family court remain $35.

Specific Information on Other Filing Fees

1) While the filing fee for miscellaneous petitions in family court increases to $200, it’s important to note that this filing fee does not apply in cases of divorce, separate maintenance or annulment.  Circuit Clerks will receive a fee list which will provide specific examples in which the new fee would or would not apply.

2) The new defendant & respondents filing fee of $200 for counterclaims, crossclaims, motions to intervene and third party complaints does not apply to any family court cases or to any party with a fee waiver. (Example:  No filing fee for divorce counterclaims.)  The legislative summary also notes that a defendant is liable for one filing fee; if a defendant files both a counterclaim and cross claim, only one filing fee is assessed.

3)  Although stated in the body of the legislative summary, attorneys may be interested to know that the additional $45 derived from the increase in the civil filing fee has been earmarked by the Legislature for the Fund for Civil Legal Services for Low Income Litigants.  The entire amount of the new defendant’s $200 filing fee is earmarked for the same fund.

4) The medical malpractice case filing fee remains at $280.