HIGHER COURT FEES IN THE (NOT TOO DISTANT) FUTURE: THE GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO CONSULTATION

The government response to the consultation process on court fees is now available.

WHAT IT SAYS (“FOR THE MOST PART WE HAVE IGNORED EVERYONE AND THE INCREASES WILL GO AHEAD IN ANY EVENT”).

“Following a consultation launched by the Coalition Government in January 2015, today’s Government Response confirms that we will:

  •  Increase the fees for issuing a possession claim in the county court by £75, from £280 to £355. Our analysis of the available evidence suggests that this increase will not deter anyone who would otherwise have taken their claim to court.

  •  Increase the fees for general applications in civil proceedings by £50, from £50 to £100, for an application by consent and by £100, from £155 to £255, for a contested application. In order to ensure the most vulnerable are not affected, we are excluding from this fee rise applications such as those to vary or extend an injunction for protection from harassment or violence.

The fee for divorce petitions will also increase to £550.00 (compared to the £750 in the proposal).”

FURTHER INCREASES IN THE OFFING

There are proposals on:

  • Increasing the maximum fee to £20,000.
  • Doubling fees in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.
  • Introducing fees in other tribunals (but not to the Social Entitlement Chamber or to the Mental health Tribunal).
  • A general uplift of 10% to a wide range of fees in civil proceedings.

MORE GENEROUS REMISSIONS SYSTEM

” We are committed to protecting access to justice for all and so we will:  Make the remissions scheme more generous. We will increase the amount of disposable capital those who need to pay a larger court fee are allowed to have in order to qualify for remission. We are also considering whether other forms of payment or benefit should be excluded from the disposable capital test. The HMCTS remission scheme will apply across all the courts and tribunals on which we are consulting, with the exception of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber where separate arrangements are in place”

THE ANNEXES SHOW WHAT THE FEES WILL BE

Annex B has a Schedule of fees – possession claims, general applications and divorce.

Annex C has a schedule of civil court and tribunal fees subject to the general uplift of 10%.

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