Waive or Defer Filing Fees
If you are a party to a case and need to either file a complaint, or response, serve pleadings, or issue a summons or subpoena, you may be responsible to pay filing fees and costs at the filing counter or online (if you are efiling), as established by the Arizona Revised Statutes.
What is the difference between a waiver and deferral of fees?
- A waiver means that you do not have to pay the court fees. If you receive benefits from the Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program AND provide supporting documentation when you file the Application for Deferral or Waiver or Court Fees and Costs, the Court should grant a waiver.
- A deferral means either (1) you have a payment plan or (2) payment of fees is postponed to a later date.
Example 1: The court may compare your income to the federal poverty levels. If your income is between 150% and 225% of the current poverty level, or you have extraordinary expenses, the court may set a payment plan.
Example 2: If you receive TANF or food stamp benefits or assistance from a non-profit legal aid provider AND provide supporting documentation when you file the Application for Deferral or Waiver of Court Fees and Costs the court should grant a deferral and postpone payment to a later date.
Defer Filing Fee
Step 1 Complete the Application Form
Download the Application for Deferral or Waiver of Court Fees and Costs and complete the form in its entirety.
- Please Note: By signing the Application, you agree that a Consent Judgment may be entered against you and referred to a collection agency for all fees or costs that are deferred but remain unpaid 30 days after your case ends and a final order, decree, or judgment is issued in your case.
- Please Note: Application for Deferral forms from other counties or agencies will not be accepted.
Step 2 Proof Requirements
One of the following documents must be attached to your Application for Deferral or Waiver of Court Fees and Costs:
- If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you qualify for a waiver, but you must provide proof (for example, your current award letter).
- If you receive TANF or food stamps, you qualify for a deferral, but you must provide proof (for example, your current award letter).
- If you receive legal assistance from a non-profit legal aid provider, you qualify for a deferral, but you must provide proof (for example, get a verification letter from the non-profit legal aid provider).
- For all other applicants, if you DO NOT complete the financial questionnaire within the Application for Deferral of Court Fees and Costs, one of the following documents listed below must be attached to your application:
- A copy of your last two paycheck stubs.
- A notarized statement of non-employment. Any person you are living with at this time who is assisting you financially may sign a notarized document stating they are supporting you.
- If you are not currently working, or being financially assisted by any other person, and you are not receiving any governmental assistance, an affidavit of income may be provided.
If your application is based upon your current income, the deferral will be granted if the established gross income is at or below these income levels indicated below and considering the number of related individuals in the household.
For family units with more than 8 members, add $552 for each additional member at the 150% level, $645 at the 175%, $737 at the 200% level, and $829 at the 225% level.
Step 3 Filing your Application
Your application along with your pleading/motion must be submitted to the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court using one of the following methods:
When filing by mail, an original plus copies of all documents you are filing must be included with your application. You must also include a self-addressed stamped envelope so the Court may return your copies after they have been filed. Documents may be mailed to:
Clerk of the Superior Court, P.O. Box 2730, Florence, AZ 85132
- You may file your documents at any of the Clerk of the Superior Court locations:
- Note: If you do not meet the requirements for a Deferral of fees, the Clerk (Special Commissioner) has the discretion to place you on a monthly payment plan. The Clerk (Special Commissioner) does not waive any filing fees. The Clerk (Special Commissioner) can only defer filing fees until the Judge determines if fees will be waived or payments ordered.
Step 4 Issuing a Final Order, Decree or Judgment
- When your case ends the Judge will issue a final order, decree or judgment. The date on your court order is important. That is when the clock starts to pay your deferred court fees. Unpaid court fees are due within 30 days of the date of the final order, decree, or judgment.
- If you receive a deferral and have unpaid fees at the end of your case, you will receive a Notice of Court Fees and Costs Due. This is to remind you that you may submit a supplemental application for further deferral or waiver if you believe you need more time to pay or cannot afford to pay your court fees and costs. The Court (Judge) will decide at that time whether or not you must pay.
- If you do not file a supplemental application, the original deferral order remains in effect and a consent judgment may be entered against you if you do not pay within thirty calendar days after entry of final judgment.
- If your case is dismissed for any reason, the fees and costs are still due.
- At the end of your case, if you receive a Notice of Court Fees and Costs, you may submit a supplemental application for further deferral or waiver if you believe you need more time to pay or cannot afford to pay your court fees and costs. The Court (Judge) will decide at that time whether or not you must pay.