California Government Code
(a) This section applies to the processing and determination of fee waiver applications in the appellate courts.
(b) All completed applications for a fee waiver shall be accepted for filing. If an application is submitted without all required information filled out on the form, the clerk may return the application to the applicant and request that the applicant supply the omitted information, but shall not refuse to file any paper accompanying the application on the ground that the application is incomplete or 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) A person shall be permitted to file his or her papers immediately, even if the person does not present the filing fee, or an application for, or order granting, a fee waiver.
(d) The court may delegate to the clerk the authority to grant applications for a 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 an application for a fee waiver.
(e) The fee waiver application shall be determined without regard to the substance of any other paper filed by the applicant. On review of an application for a 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 a 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 submit additional information related to the criteria for eligibility and application requirements.
(4) If the court concludes that there is a substantial evidentiary question regarding the applicant’s eligibility, the court:
(A) May require the applicant to provide specified, reasonably available, additional information concerning 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.
(B) May set a hearing to consider evidence concerning the applicant’s eligibility.
(C) Shall give a written statement of reasons if an application is denied.
(f) An application for a 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).
(g) If an application is denied, the applicant shall pay the court fees and costs that ordinarily would be charged within 10 days after the clerk gives notice of the denial, unless within that time, the court grants a fee waiver based on a new application or additional information provided by the applicant under subdivision (e). The clerk shall notify the applicant of the consequences for failure to pay the court fees.
(h) A person who applies for an initial fee waiver shall indicate whether he or she has filed a prior application for a fee waiver in the same case and shall attach a copy, if one is reasonably available.