Fee reductions in the Queensland Courts

This factsheet contains information about obtaining fee reductions in the District and Supreme Courts of Queensland.

The Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (UCPR) contain a number of prescribed forms. You can find templates of these forms on the Queensland Courts Website.

Filing fees

When you file a document you must also pay the relevant filing fee. If you don’t include the filing fee, then the registry may refuse to accept the document. Rule 971 UCPR.

In the Supreme, District and Magistrates Courts you must pay a filing fee when you commence proceedings, bring a counterclaim or a cross appeal.

If your matter is in the District or Supreme Courts (but not the Magistrates Court) you may be eligible to get a reduction of the court fees. To apply for a reduction, you must use a form 131 (if you are an individual) or a form 132 (if you are a company or incorporated entity).

Regulation 10 of the Uniform Civil Procedure (Fee) Regulations 2009 (the Fee Regulations) sets out the circumstances when a Registrar must approve a reduced fee for a party. These are:

  • You have been granted Legal Aid for the proceeding
  • You hold a current health care card, a pensioner concession card or a Commonwealth seniors health card.
  • You hold a current repatriation health card or repatriation pharmaceutical benefits card.
  • You receive a youth allowance, Austudy or Abstudy.

You must apply under regulation 10 in the approved form and must include proof of the ground you rely on for the reduction. A Registrar must make an order approving the payment of a reduced fee if a party has made a “properly made application.”

Regulation 10A gives an additional discretionary power to the registrar to allow a party to pay a reduced fee on the ground of hardship. The application must be made in the approved form. In considering this application, the registrar must consider the party’s income, day-to-day living expenses, bank balances and cash on hand. The registrar may decide an application summarily and without extensive investigation.

Regulation 10B allows a registrar to approve a reduced fee for a corporation if the registrar is satisfied that the corporation does not have and cannot reasonably obtain from another source, sufficient funds to pay the relevant fee.

If an order is made for the payment of reduced fees, the order must also include the date by which the reduced fee must be paid.

Setting down and hearing fees

If you are not eligible for a reduced filing fee, you may have to pay both setting down fees and hearing fees if the matter is set down for a trial that is expected to last more than 1 day. The Court may, on application by a party order otherwise (regulation 4A(2)). It is permissible for someone else to pay these fees. These fees must be paid:

  • For a proceeding started by Claim when a Request for Trial Date is filed.
  • For a District Court Appeal, when a Certificate of Readiness is filed.
  • For an Originating Application or an Appeal – by the earlier of:
(a) 10 business days after the Registrar sets a date for the hearing or trial or adds the Appeal to the List of Appeals under Rule 790(2) of the UCPR; or
(b) 9:30 am on the first date of the hearing or trial.
  • If additional dates are set – by the earlier of 10 business days after the additional dates are set or 9:30 am on the first day of the trial.

If you were refused a filing fee reduction, you can still apply separately to pay the reduced fee for both the Setting Down and Hearing Fees.

What about the Magistrates Court?

Fee reductions or exemptions are not available in Magistrates Court proceedings.