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For Immediate Release


Revised Maryland Rules Provide for Waiving Prepayment of Court Costs

(ANNAPOLIS, Md., July 7, 2015) Effective July 1, new Maryland Rules will make a difference for people who cannot afford to pay court costs, including filing fees, in civil cases.

Before courts can open a civil case, court costs, including filing fees, must be paid at the time of filing. If you are unable to pay the fees, you can ask the court to waive them at the beginning of the case. The revisions in Maryland Rule 1-325 provide a uniform process and guidelines for granting waivers of the prepayment of court costs for people who cannot afford them. Under the revised rule, there is no fee to file a waiver request.

Also under the revisions, clients represented by Legal Aid, the Office of the Public Defender, or approved civil legal services providers that provide the clerk with supporting documentation, will be granted a prepayment waiver automatically by clerks without the need for a court order.   The Judiciary website has the list of providers approved by the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC). (http://mdcourts.gov/courts/pdfs/feewaiverapprovedproviders.pdf) All other people who cannot pay the prepaid costs because of poverty can request a court order waiving the prepayment of court costs.

“These rules set forth a consistent and coherent process for waivers of prepayment of court costs,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. “By simplifying what was a complicated process for litigants with demonstrated need, we are helping to fulfill our mandate to be a fair, effective, efficient, and accessible court system.”

Attorneys may refer to Maryland Rules 1-325 and 1-325.1 for the complete language about waivers of prepayment of costs in the trial and appellate courts. For people who are representing themselves, the Judiciary website has more information, including the steps to take to request for waivers of prepayment costs. (http://www.mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/filingfeewaivers.html)

 

 

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