Refund of Court Fees

A body or person who has paid a fee is entitled to a full or partial refund in a number of circumstances.

These include:

  • if the amount paid was more than what was required under the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court Regulation 2012 – in which case the excess paid is to be refunded;
  • if the fee had already been paid by another person (including another party) – in which case the whole of the later fee paid is to be refunded;
  • if the fee was not payable under that Regulation – in which case the whole of the fee paid is refunded;
  • for a hearing that has not commenced
    • if the Court is notified at least 10 business days before the first day of hearing (or 2 business days if there was less than 10 business days between when the hearing date was fixed and the first day of hearing) that the hearing will not occur or will occur only for making formal orders – in which case the whole of the hearing fees paid is refunded;
    • if the hearing does not take place or takes place only for making formal orders and, although the Court was not notified of this in advance as required by that Regulation, a Registrar or an authorised officer is satisfied this was not the fault of the body or person who paid the hearing fee – in which case the whole of the hearing fees paid is refunded;
  • for a hearing that has commenced, if the proceedings settles, is discontinued or does not proceed for some other reason for a day or days for which hearing fees have been paid – in which case the hearing fees paid for unused hearing days are refunded; and
  • for a mediation attendance which does not proceed, if the Court, a Judge or a Registrar orders that the mediation attendance fee paid be refunded – in which case the whole of that fee is refunded.

“Formal orders”, in the context mentioned above, means an order which finalises the proceeding.

A setting down fee cannot be refunded even if the hearing it relates to does not occur.

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

A decision of a Registrar or authorised officer refusing to refund payment of a fee on the basis that he or she was not satisfied the failure to give notice to the Court as required under the Federal Court and Federal Magistrates Court Regulation 2012 was not the fault of the body or person who paid hearing fees, which must be given with reasons in writing, is reviewable by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.