Maryland has a new rule to help people who can not afford to pay court fees. Since July 1, Marylanders who are unable to pay the fees can ask the court to waive them at the beginning of the case. This also includes filing fees in civil cases. Court cost must be paid at the time of a filing. According to a news release, these revisions are part of the Maryland Rule 1­325, which provides a uniform process and guidelines for granting waivers of the prepayment of court costs for people who cannot afford them. Under the revised rule, there is no fee to file a waiver request. “These rules set forth a consistent and coherent process for waivers of prepayment of court costs. By simplifying what was a complicated process for litigants with demonstrated need, we are helping to fulfill our mandate to be a fair, effective, efficient, and accessible court system,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. The Standing Committee of Rules of Practice and Procedure created the new Maryland Rules regarding the fees, a court official said. Under these new revisions, clients represented by the Office of the Public Defender, or approved civil legal services providers will be granted a prepayment waiver automatically by clerks without the need for a court order. The Judiciary website has the list of providers approved by the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. All other people who cannot pay the prepaid costs because of poverty can request a court order waiving the prepayment of court costs, still according to the news release. The Judiciary website has more information, click here to find out more.

by Staff Writer: at