California Government Code

Sec. § 68634


(a)

This section applies to the processing and determination of fee waiver applications in the trial courts.

(b)

All applications for an initial fee waiver shall be accepted for filing. If an applicant submits an application without providing all required information to complete the form, the clerk may request that the applicant supply the omitted information, but shall not refuse to file the application, or refuse to file any pleadings accompanying the application, on the ground that the fee has not been paid. The clerk shall not request that the applicant furnish information that is not required on the Judicial Council fee waiver application form. At the time the application is submitted, the clerk shall not request that the applicant provide documents to support the information other than those required under Section 68633.

(c)

If a person has filed an application for an initial fee waiver, the person shall be permitted to file his or her pleading or other papers immediately, without paying any fees.

(d)

The court may delegate to the clerk the authority to grant applications for an initial fee waiver that meet the standards of eligibility and application requirements set forth in Sections 68632 and 68633. The court shall not delegate to a clerk the authority to deny or to partially grant an application for an initial fee waiver.

(e)

The fee waiver application shall be determined without regard to the substance of the applicant’s pleading or other paper filed, if any. On review of an application for an initial fee waiver the court shall take the following actions, as applicable:

(1)

Grant the application if the information provided on the application establishes that the applicant meets the criteria for eligibility and application requirements set forth in Sections 68632 and 68633.

(2)

Deny the application if the application is incomplete. If the application is denied on this basis, the applicant shall be given notice of the specific reason for denial and a reasonable opportunity to submit a revised application.

(3)

Deny the application if the information provided on the application conclusively establishes that the applicant is not eligible for an initial fee waiver under Section 68632 on the grounds requested. If the application is denied on this basis, the applicant shall be given notice of the specific reason for denial and a reasonable opportunity to request a hearing. The applicant may submit additional information at the hearing.

(4)

Set an eligibility hearing if the court has good reason to doubt the veracity of the factual statements in the application. The applicant shall be given 10 days’ notice of the hearing and the specific reason the court doubts the veracity of the factual statements. The court may require that specified, reasonably available, additional information be provided concerning the truthfulness of the factual statements in the application, but shall not require submission of information that is not related to the criteria for eligibility and application requirements set forth in Sections 68632 and 68633.

(5)

Set an eligibility hearing if the information provided on the application does not establish that the applicant meets the criteria for eligibility and application requirements set forth in Sections 68632 and 68633, but that information does not conclusively establish that the applicant is not eligible for an initial fee waiver on the grounds requested. The applicant shall be given 10 days’ notice of the hearing and the specific reason why the court has not granted the application. The court may require that specified, reasonably available, additional information be provided, but shall not require submission of information that is not related to the criteria for eligibility and application requirements set forth in Sections 68632 and 68633.
After notice and an opportunity to be heard, the court may require an applicant under subdivision (c) of Section 68632 to pay a portion of court fees, or to pay court fees over a period of time or under some other equitable arrangement that meets the criteria of subdivision (c) of Section 68632. The court shall give a written statement of reasons if an application is denied in whole or in part.

(f)

An application for an initial fee waiver is deemed granted five court days after it is filed, unless before that time, the court gives notice of action on the application as provided in subdivision (e). Any delay by the court in processing an application to initially waive court fees and costs does not count against any time limits affecting the pleadings or other papers that the applicant timely filed.

(g)

If an application is denied in whole or in part, the applicant shall pay the court fees and costs that ordinarily would be charged, or make the partial payment as ordered by the court, within 10 days after the clerk gives notice of the denial, unless within that time the applicant submits a new application or requests a hearing under subdivision (e). If the applicant does not pay on time, the clerk shall void the papers that were filed without payment of the court fees and costs.

(h)

A person who applies for an initial fee waiver shall indicate whether he or she has filed a prior application for an initial fee waiver in the same case within the previous six months and shall attach a copy, if one is reasonably available.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016