Changes to the fee waiver regulation

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Recently, the Ministry of the Attorney General announced changes to the Fee Waiver Regulation to allow Legal Aid Ontario clients receiving certain legal services to have their court fees waived.

Counsel can apply for this wavier immediately on family, civil and small claims court matters where it is anticipated court fees will be incurred. It is recommended that clients be asked to sign the fee waivers early on as the waiver can not be applied retroactively. In the coming months, LAO will begin to require counsel to complete a fee waiver on all family and civil matters as eligible fees paid to the court will no longer be covered as a disbursement as of September 1, 2017.

The new fee waiver applies to fees that the court charges in civil, family and small claims matters, except for:

  • Fees you pay to an individual who is independent of the court (e.g. lawyers, authorized court transcriptionists, official examiners, witnesses and mediators)
  • Fees relating to criminal matters
  • Fees paid to the sheriff or small claims court bailiff to enforce an order (unless the order was made under subsection 31(3) of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 [1])
  • The federal Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings fee
  • Fees for serving documents
  • Fees for bankruptcy proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
  • Costs that you are ordered to pay to another party

In addition, once a fee waiver has been granted, Legal Aid Ontario clients and their witnesses will be eligible to receive the services of a courtinterpreter free of charge.

For additional information, please visit the website for the Ministry of the Attorney General for information on having your court fees waived.

[1] Please note: On the Attorney General's website, the exemption criteria incorrectly states "subsection 35(3) of the Tenant Protection Act, 1997".