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Fee Remission in Courts and Tribunals

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The MOJ has published its Response to its recent consultation paper on Fee Remissions for the Courts and Tribunals.

The government intends to introduce a single fees and remission system across all courts and tribunals.  In order to qualify for fee remission, an applicant will need to be in receipt of certain state benefits or have a low gross household monthly income (the gross monthly income test replacing the previous gross annual income and net monthly income tests). 

And, in addition, a new disposable capital test is being introduced.  Those under 61 with a disposable household capital of between £3,000 and £8,000 will be required to spend up to one third of their disposable capital on fees (irrespective of income).  Those with £8,000 or more will be required to spend up to half their disposable capital on fees.  The over 61s will not be required to pay any fee if their disposable capital is less than £16,000 and they meet the low-income test.

The consultation response states that applicants will not be required to provide proof of disposable capital, albeit the Delivery Managers (as they are called) have the power to request evidence.  Evidence is still required for establishing net monthly income, but the evidence requirements are being simplified.

Finally, the time period for applying for retrospective remissions is being reduced from six months to three months.

The changes are expected to take place, by statutory instrument, some time in October 2013.