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June 21, 2018

Circuit court fee waivers

We're often asked how much it costs to file a circuit court case, and whether there are any options to waive filing fees. Most cases require a filing fee, but there is a procedure to request the court waive filing fees and costs. The court will review the request and approve, deny, or order partial payment of fees and costs. (See the WI Circuit Court fee, forfeiture, fine and surcharge tables for more information about standard fees and costs.)
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The Wisconsin Court System has created a form to request that a civil court action begin without prepayment of filing fees or costs: Petition for Waiver of Fees and Costs - Affidavit of Indigency, CV-410A, and the accompanying Order on Petition for Waiver of Fees and Costs, CV-410B. (For prisoners' use, see: CV-438 and CV-440.)

For eFiling litigants, a fee waiver can also be requested and the court has created instructions for eFiling and waiving court fees and costs

A fee waiver request does not include other related fees, such as service of process fees from a private process server or Sheriff's Department. Check with your local county court for information on fee waiver requests for other programs, like this Outagamie County request for waiver of family court mediation fees. Some types of cases don't require filing fees, such as most temporary restraining order petitions alleging domestic abuse or stalking. Check the WI Circuit Court fee, forfeiture, fine and surcharge tables for more information on filing fees and costs for particular types of cases. Finally, check with your local county court for more information on procedures and fees.

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