A filing fee is the amount of money you must pay to the court to begin your court case. The amount of money you have to pay depends on the court and the type of case.
If you have a lawyer, ask them about getting the filing fees waived. If you do not have a lawyer and are going to file a case by yourself, you can ask the court to waive the filing fee.
You must live in Kentucky and you must have low or limited income.
There are 2 ways to show your income is limited or low.
(1) Your monthly income for you and your family must be at or below 100% of the federal poverty guidelines. You can find the 2023 numbers here: https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1c92a9207f3ed5915ca020d58fe77696/detailed-guidelines-2023.pdf Use the chart to determine what the monthly income level must be to qualify to have your filing fee waived.
(2) Your monthly income before taxes is taken out is so low that you would not be able to pay for rent/mortgage, food, utilities (electric, gas, water, sanitation) and medical care for you and your family if you had to pay the filing fee.
You can ask the court to waive filing in most civil cases. A civil case is a case in which private citizens (or companies) sue each other in court. Civil cases are not about breaking a criminal law.
There are different kinds of cases in civil court. For example:
You must file a form called Motion for Waiver of Costs and Fee and to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and an affidavit (a sworn statement) about your monthly income and expenses. Once you have filled in all the information on the form, you must sign it in front of a notary public so and swear that the information is true and correct.
You will then take the signed motion, affidavit and the petition or complaint that you have prepared to file your case to the circuit clerk’s office in the county where you are filing. Give the documents to the Clerk.
The Clerk will give the motion to the Judge that has your case. The Judge will make a decision about whether to waiver your filing fee. You will be sent a written notice about whether the filing fee was waived.
You should get a notice telling you the waiver was denied. You then have 30 days to pay the filing fee. Your case will not go forward until you pay the filing fee.
A guided interview to help you file your motion to waive a filing fee can be found here: https://a2j.org/guide/consent/5feb267c-5bee-4415-b6ab-db35b8559769