In March 2021, the Ministry of Justice started a consultation on raising various court fees by 8%. If the proposals are approved, this will be the first court fee increase for five years. At the same time, they are considering changing the threshold for receiving help with court fees. This could increase the number of people eligible for help, if implemented.  We look at the Government’s proposals.

| Proposed court fee increases

The proposed court fee increases are widespread and will affect civil proceedings, court of protection fees and Magistrates’ court fees (including some fees for licensing applications).

Many court issue fees will not be affected (for example fees to issue claims for money or for possession of land are to stay the same). However, the fees that the government proposes to increase include:

  • Hearing fees at all levels of claim
  • Winding up and bankruptcy fees
  • Applications for detailed assessment of costs
  • Various enforcement methods including charging orders and warrants of possession.

The full list of proposed changes can be found online.

| Help with court fees

If you earn below a certain threshold, you can receive help with your court fees. The current threshold is monthly earnings of £1,085 for a single person, and £1,245 for a couple.

As well as increasing the court fees, the Government proposes to change the monthly income threshold. For a single person, this will change to £1,165 and for a couple will change to £1,335. Therefore, more people should be eligible for help with paying their court fee.

| What happens next?

The government is currently consulting on the proposed changes. This consultation period ends in mid-May. We expect to hear from the Ministry of Justice with their outcome to the consultation by July 2021.

If the proposals are to go ahead, the court fee increases will take effect from late September or early October 2021. We will update our blog with any changes.