Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Court Enacts Deposit Waiver Form for Indigent Civil Litigants

The Ohio Supreme Court today enacted a new civil form for indigent civil litigants that can be used to waive a deposit on court costs.

The new form is in response to legislation enacted in March 2019 requiring the waiver of up-front deposits for court costs if the party shows they are indigent and cannot make the payment. The new statute – R.C. 2323.311 – does not waive court costs entirely, only waiving the requirement of a deposit before a new filing would be accepted.

The new form looks similar to the indigency form is filled out by those seeking court-appointed counsel in a criminal case and would function as follows:

  • The party would make a filing along with this new form. Under the law, the clerk must accept the filing at that time without a fee deposit.
  • If the court, after reviewing the form, determines the party is indigent then the fee deposit shall be waived.
  • If, after reviewing the form, the court determines the party it not indigent, the party will be given the chance to pay the required fee deposit.
  • If the fee deposit is not paid, the party’s filing may be dismissed.

The new form was reviewed by the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure, and went through multiple rounds of public comment. The new form is listed as “Form 20” of the General Civil Forms and can be found in the Appendix of Forms of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.

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