Deferral of Payment of Court Fees

A Registrar or an authorised officer can defer the time for payment of a fee (other than for production of a court file and copying of documents, service or execution of process or seizure and sale of goods), with or without conditions, where:

  • in his or her opinion:
    • the need to file the document is so urgent that it overrides the requirement to pay the filing fee before the document is filed; or
    • considering the financial circumstances of the person liable to pay the fee, it would be oppressive or otherwise unreasonable to require payment of the fee as required by the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court Regulation 2012;
  • the person liable to pay the fee is represented by a lawyer who is not charging the person for work done in relation to the proceeding.

If payment is deferred the fee must be paid:

  • within the period approved in writing by the Registrar or authorised officer for the payment of the fee; or
  • if no period is approved, within 28 days after the day the payment is deferred.

A person seeking deferral of payment of court fees must complete an Application for Deferral of Payment of Court Fees (available for download from this page or on request from each District Registry).

If a lawyer is representing the person in the proceedings without charge, the lawyer must also complete a certification of this on the form or provide a separate certificate.

To assist a person or a corporation seeking deferral of payment of court fees on the basis that immediate payment would be oppressive or otherwise unreasonable, Statement of Financial Circumstances – Individual and Statement of Financial Circumstances – Corporation forms are also available for download from this page or on request from each District Registry.

A decision of a Registrar or authorised officer refusing to defer payment of a fee, which must be given with reasons in writing, is reviewable by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Updated July 2015