When can a party apply for an exemption from court fees?


Exemption from court costs is governed by the provisions of the Act on court costs in civil cases. This privilege should be understood as a situation in which the party does not have to pay fees in full or in part specified by the court in connection with the conducted proceedings. In other words, the party does not pay any court fees and does not incur any other expenses. This is an extremely advantageous situation for people who have limited income and often cannot afford to pay for legal costs.

Who is entitled to an exemption from court fees in civil cases?

The exemption from court fees may be applied for by persons who:
1. establish paternity or maternity and related claims;
2. they are pursuing maintenance claims, as well as the defendant seeking a reduction in maintenance;
3. request that contractual provisions be considered illegal;
4.the claimant or the party appealing to the labor and social security court (employees)
5. probation officers appointed for a given case by the adjudicating court or the guardianship court
6. Public prosecutors and the Ombudsman;
7. poviat consumer ombudsmen in cases concerning competition-restricting practices and practices violating collective consumer interests;
8. labor inspectors and trade unions in matters related to labor law;
9. party in matters related to the protection of mental health;
10. a party who has been exempted from court costs by the court;
11. poviat and municipal consumer ombudsmen in matters relating to the protection of individual consumer interests;
12. the party seeking redress of the damage caused by the operation of the mining plant.

Partial and full legal exemption from court costs

The entity making the decision on exempting a party from paying the costs of the proceedings conducted is the court that conducted the case. A party, wishing to obtain such an exemption, should submit a relevant application to the court together with a statement on his current family status, income, assets and sources of income. If the court does not accept the party's request, and thus does not agree to the exemption from court fees, the party may (free of charge) lodge a complaint against such a decision. The court may also only partially release the party from paying the costs of the trial in a situation where the party is able to pay them in part. In this case, in its decision, the court will specify the scope of the exemption from costs.
An important issue is Art. 108 of the Act on Court Fees in Civil Cases, namely indicates that the exemption from court costs is not tantamount to exempting them from the obligation to reimburse the costs of the trial, in particular the costs of legal representation, i.e. the fee that the opposing party must pay as remuneration for a professional attorney who represented her in a given case.