What are Court Costs?
Court costs are generally incurred upon the start of a court case, where some of the work completed may attract a fee. Court fees can often surpass the actual monetary value of the case, which means that a court case should be carefully considered before incurring court costs.
In England and Wales, there are several methods to gain financial assistance with incurred court costs; however, you may be required to provide evidence of financial hardship or an otherwise inability to pay your own court costs. This is designed to give all individuals the same access to justice, regardless of the cost of a court case.
When do I have to pay Court Costs?
Court costs are generally incurred following the delivery of the court verdict of a case. In many instances, the losing party must pay the court costs of the winning party, in addition to any damages, compensation etc. awarded by the court.
What types of help with Court Costs are available?
There are several different ways you can gain assistance with paying court costs. The primary methods are:
- EX160 Form
- Legal Aid
- Help at Court
An EX160 form allows application for court fee remission. There are three types of remission based on your financial circumstances:
- Full Remission, based on permitted benefits
- Full Remission, based on gross annual income
- Part Remission, on a means-tested basis.
The EX160 Form must be submitted with supporting documents to provide evidence of financial hardship, low income or any other reason for which you cannot afford to pay all or part of your court costs.
A Full Remission of court costs based on permitted benefits is available to those receiving:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- State Pension Guarantee Credit
- Working Tax Credits but not in receipt of Child Tax Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
To gain Full Remission of court costs based on gross annual income, you must provide evidence of your marital status, any dependant children and your gross annual income.
You may be eligible for a Part Remission of court costs if your disposable monthly income is over a certain amount but you meet specific criteria, which include:
- Your marital status
- Your gross annual income
- Your net monthly income
- Any dependant children
- Monthly housing costs
- Monthly expenses.
There are further criteria which are set out in full on the EX160 application form.
Legal Aid is also available to those who require help with court costs and representation.
For more information on:
- Help at Court
- Are there any other types of help with court costs?