There are various fees payable for submitting applications to the court and for lodging documents at different stages of the court procedure. For a list of fees charged in the civil and family courts please click on the links below. All court fees are contained in Statutory Rules (SRs) known as Fees Orders; these can be accessed, along with explanatory notes at www.legislation.gov.uk.
Please note that court fees will increase on 1 April 2017. The fee lists below show the fees charged up until 31 March 2017 and the new fees from 1 April 2017.
Fees until 31st March 2017:
Fees from 1st April 2017:
Time for payment of fees
Court fees are payable at the time you file any document or commence any process requiring a fee, unless otherwise stated. The fees you need to pay at a court or tribunal depend on your claim or case. You may have to pay multiple fees, for example, a writ fee and a setting down fee.
The court fees do not include any fees you may need to pay if you have instructed a solicitor to help you. The solicitor can give you information on these costs.
Methods of payment
Courts accept payment by debit or credit cards, cash, postal orders or cheques, which should be made payable to “Northern Ireland Courts & Tribunals Service”. If you pay by cheque and it is dishonoured, the application and the case will be stopped until payment has been made. That may mean that you have to pay additional costs. The NICTS will always seek to recover costs in relation to dishonoured cheques.
Online services can be paid for by debit or credit card.
If you regularly pay court fees, you may wish to consider opening an ICOS account. This reduces the number of cheques as court staff will deduct the required fee from your ICOS account. Further details can be obtained from your local court office.
What if I cannot afford to pay a court fee?
If you are on a low income, or if you are on certain benefits, you may not have to pay a fee, or you may be able to get some money off the fee. This is known as fee exemption or remission. Further information on how to apply for help with fees is contained in the guidance “Do I have to pay fees?”
The Northern Ireland Courts & Tribunals Service typically only refund fees where the court has made a processing error, with two exceptions:
- if you have already paid a court or tribunal fee and wish to apply retrospectively for exemption or remission. For example, because you did not know you could apply for help or if you thought your circumstances did not allow you to apply. Such applications must be made within six months of the fee having been paid. Further information is contained in the guidance “Do I have to pay fees?”
- you may apply for a refund of a search fee in cases where more than one surname may be in use (e.g. a married, separated, or divorced woman) or when there is confusion over the order of the surname and forename. Please complete the application form below and submit to your local court office.