Ask the court not to charge you court fees and costs

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, with assistance from legal services offices in Massachusetts
Reviewed January 2022

If you need to go to court, but you cannot afford the fees and costs of your case, you may not have to pay them. The court can “waive” or not charge their fees and have the state pay other costs.

If the court clerk or a judge approves your forms, you will not have to pay the court fees and costs.

Use the Affidavit of Indigency

Tell the court you cannot afford the fees and costs in your case, and

Ask the court to waive your court fees and get the state to pay the other costs.

You may also need to use the Supplement to the Affidavit of Indigency.

You can get the forms in this booklet or from the clerk’s office in every court or online:

You can also complete an Affidavit of Indigency online: apps.suffolklitlab.org/start/indigency

These forms are only for Massachusetts state courts. Federal courts have different forms and different rules.

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You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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