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2023 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.41. Waiver of fees and costs

If unable to afford the costs to file an action in family court, a party may request that the court waive fees and costs. The procedure and forms needed to request an initial fee waiver in a family law action are the same as for all other civil actions, unless otherwise provided by a statute or the California Rules of Court.

(a) Forms

The forms required to request a fee waiver may be obtained from the clerk of the court, the public law library, or online at the California Courts website.

(b) Rules

Rules 3.50-3.56 of the California Rules of Court (title 3, division 2) govern fee waivers in family law cases. Parties may refer to the civil rules for information about:

(1)  Applying for a fee waiver (rule 3.51);

(2)  Forms for requesting a fee waiver (rule 3.51);

(3)  How the court makes an order on a fee waiver application (rule 3.52);

(4)  The time required for the court to grant a fee waiver (rule 3.53);

(5)  The confidentiality of fee waiver applications and hearings (rule 3.54);

(6)  Court fees and costs included in an initial fee waiver (rule 3.55); and

(7)  Additional court fees and costs that may be included in the fee waiver (rule 3.56).

Rule 5.41 adopted effective January 1, 2013.

Title 5, Family and Juvenile Rules-Division 1, Family Rules-Chapter 3, Filing Fees and Fee Waivers-Article 2, Special Procedures; adopted January 1, 2013.

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