PA 12-89—sHB 5388

Judiciary Committee

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING COURT FEES AND THE DELIVERY OF LEGAL SERVICES TO THE POOR

SUMMARY: This act increases certain court filing fees and establishes new fees. The fee increases take effect July 1, 2012 but sunset after three years.

The act requires the chief court administrator or her designee, by the last day of January, April, July, and October each year, starting in July 2012 and ending in July 2015, to:

1. certify the amount of revenue received as a result of the fee increases and new fees,

2. transfer 70% of that amount to the organization administering the interest on lawyers' trust accounts (IOLTA) program to fund legal services for the poor, and

3. transfer 30% of the amount to the Judicial Data Processing Revolving Fund to maintain and improve the Judicial Department's informational processing system.

The act requires, rather than authorizes, the chief court administrator to establish and administer the Judicial Data Processing Revolving Fund. Under prior law, any money remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year was carried forward to the next fiscal year. The act instead provides that, at the end of each fiscal year starting with FY 13, any excess over $5 million must be transferred to the General Fund.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012, except the provisions reversing the fee increases are effective July 1, 2015, and the provision reversing the certification and transfer of the revenue from fee increases is effective August 1, 2015.

INCREASED COURT FEES

The act increases current, and imposes new, fees for filing certain court actions and motions in the Superior Court. In doing so, it makes the fee for filing paternity actions in Superior Court, which under prior law was $175, the same as the higher fee that generally applies to other civil cases. Thus, the fee becomes $350 as of July 1, 2012, and $300 as of July 1, 2015.

Table 1 shows all of the new and increased fees scheduled to sunset.

Table 1: New and Increased Fees

Act

Action or Motion

Prior Law (Effective Again Beginning July 1, 2015)

The Act (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015)

2, 9

Filing counterclaim in small claims case

No fee

$90

2, 9

Motion for admittance as attorney pro hac vice

No fee

600

2, 9

Filing counterclaim, cross complaint, apportionment complaint, or third party complaint

No fee

200

2, 9

Filing civil case generally (there are different fees for certain types of cases)

$300

350

2, 9

Filing case in which the sole claim for relief is damages and the amount, legal interest, or property in demand is less than $2,500

175

225

2, 9

Filing small claims case*

75

90

3, 10

Motion to modify judgment in a family relations matter

125

175

4-7, 11-14

Application from judgment creditor for enforcement of an unsatisfied judgment, including debts due from financial institutions or other sources, and wage executions against a judgment debtor who fails to comply with an installment payment order

75

100

* By raising the small claims filing fee, the act also increases certain fees that are set by law in an amount equal to that fee (e. g. , appeals of penalties for certain municipal matters (see CGS 7-152b, 7-152c, and 47a-6b)).

OLR TRACKING: JO: KS: VR: TS