If you are a party in a lawsuit and need to either file a complaint or response, serve pleadings, or issue a summons or subpoena, you will be responsible to pay for state filing fees and costs at the filing counter or online (if you are eFiling), as established by Arizona statutes. If you are unable to pay the state fees, you may apply for a deferral or waiver of court fees.
A "waiver" means that the court has determined that you, the applicant, are not required to pay the fees unless your financial circumstances change during the case. For example, the court will normally grant a waiver if the applicant establishes by affidavit, with supporting documentation (e.g., eligibility letter), that he or she receives SSI benefits.
A "deferral" means either (1) postponing the payment of fees to a later date, or (2) establishing a payment plan with the court.
(1) The court will postpone payment of fees to a later date if supporting documentation is provided that:
- the applicant is receiving TANF or food stamp benefits
- the applicant's gross income is insufficient or barely sufficient to meet essentials of life (e.g., the gross income is less than 150% of the current poverty level; or the gross income is sufficient but extraordinary expenses reduce the gross income to less than 150% of the current poverty level)
- the applicant is represented by a non-profit legal services organization
(2) The court will normally grant a monthly payment plan if supporting documentation is provided that:
- the applicant's gross income is between 150% and 175% of the current poverty level
- the applicant's gross income is between 175% and 225% of the current poverty level, and 25% is paid at the time of filing, and the balance is paid on a payment plan
- there is good cause (the court will make that finding) for an applicant with a gross income of more than 225% of the current poverty level
For more information about local court filing fees, fee waiver and deferral procedures, and form criteria, please visit AZCourtHelp.org.