What Happens if Court Fees Are Not Paid?

If a person is required to pay a fee before or at the time of filing a document or when a service is provided, the document cannot be filed and the service cannot be provided until the whole fee is paid.

The Court, a Judge or a Registrar may however allow the document to be filed or the service to be provided even if the fee or part of the fee is not paid. At times this may be on condition, for example, that an undertaking be given that the fee be paid within a specified period.

If a setting down or hearing fee in a proceeding is not paid in full when due:

  • any other person (including another party) may pay the fee without affecting the power of the Court, a Judge or a Registrar to make an order for costs of that fee; and
  • the Court, a Judge or a Registrar may order that leave or permission is required before anything takes place in the proceeding, and
  • the Court, a Judge or a Registrar may order that the hearing date be vacated.

Any court fee not paid in accordance with the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court Regulation 2012 is recoverable as a debt due to the Commonwealth.

Updated July 2015