One of the biggest deterrents to a person who feels they are owed compensation or they have a particular dispute to resolve, is the idea of high County Court fees. The legal system has a perception among some people of being a high cost venture, but the reality is that the relative steepness of the County Court fees is dependent on the nature of the case that is being presented.
A person who is initiating a County Court proceeding, preferably after seeking out legal advice form a solicitor, is eligible for the payment of County Court fees as soon as the first document has been submitted, or the first steps of the proceedings are undertaken.
Being a 21st century court, there will be a large array of payment methods available that can be utilised to pay court fees. The most popular methods are online transactions and the use of debit or credit cards, but a person may use postal orders, cheques or cash to make the payment.
County Court fees
County Court fees for claims that do not involve money will be dependent upon whether or not the claim was actually initiated in the County Courts. If it was, the amount payable will be £150, while if the claim was started in the High Court that cost will raise to £500.
The parties to the claim will also have to pay a fee that relates to what ‘track’ the claim has been placed on. The track that a claim is placed on is relative to its complexity and the amount of any monetary compensation that is potentially involved. For claims placed on the small claims track the fee will be £40, while claims on the other tracks will be £220.
For claims that involve money, the County Court fees that are payable operate on a sliding scale that is relative to the monetary value of the claim. The scale is as follows:
|Value of claim||County Court Fee|
|Up to and including £300||£30|
|£300.01 to £500||£45|
|£500.01 to £1,000||£65|
|£1,000.01 to £1,500||£75|
|£1,500.01 to £3,000||£85|
|£3,000.01 to £5,000||£108|
|£5,000.01 to £15,000||£225|
|£15,000.01 to £50,000||£360|
|£50,000.01 to £100,000||£630|
|£100,000.01 to £150,000||£810|
|£150,000.01 to £200,000||£990|
|£200,000.01 to £250,000||£1,170|
|£250,000.01 to £300,000||£1,350|
|£300,000.01 and over||£1,530|
Not paying County Court fees
Failure or refusal
Failure, or refusal, to pay County Court fees can have some fairly dramatic consequences. A person will get an official acknowledgement of what they owe and will then have 14 days to respond, detailing how they will make the payments (it is fine to pay in instalments ). Failure to reply could result in further County Court fees being piled on, as well being placed on the Register of Judgements. This could mean that a person has further difficulty in opening bank accounts and acquiring credit.
Payment of the amount of that is owed within a month of being placed upon the Register allows person to petition for their removal.
Further non-payment can however result in the court using legal measures to claim the money they are owed. Visits by bailiffs to take your possessions, direct deductions from a person’s wages, enforced bankruptcy or charges being placed on a person’s property are all possible consequences.
Help with paying County Court fees
A person may be eligible for exemption from having to pay any County Court fees if they or their partner are receiving Income Support, Pension Credit Guarantees or some form of income based Job Seeker’s Allowance. Other people who are exempted from paying any County Court fees are those whose income (earnings before tax) falls below a certain standard and they are entitled to a Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, or are receiving Legal Help in relation to a family case.
Exemption from County Court fees
Exemption from County Court fees can be applied for by submission of the form EX160.
A person may be applicable for remission if they do not qualify for a full exemption. This means that the County Court decides to allow them to pay a smaller fee. It must be demonstrated that the payment of the normal fee will cause financial hardship. The court in question will require detailed evidence of the financial situation of the person who is seeking remission from paying their County Court Fees.
Remission from County Court Fees
Remission from County Court Fees can be applied for by submission of the form EX160.
It is important to note that getting formal exemption or remission from having to pay court fees does not mean you will not have to pay the legal costs associated with professional advice or representation sought from a solicitor. Legal Aid may be applied for if this kind of legal assistance is required.
If you are considering initiating some form of legal action in the County Courts, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a solicitor. If you fill in the form on the right hand side of the page you will be matched to a legal expert whose experience and knowledge suit your needs.