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How much does it cost to file a small claims case?

Question and Answer

How much does it cost to file a small claims case?

The cost for filing a complaint in Small Claims is:

One defendant $35
Each additional defendant$5

Make a check or money order payable to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey.

If you cannot afford to pay the filing fees, you can apply to the court to qualify as an indigent and your filing fees might be waived by the judge.

Can I ask the court to waive the filing fee?

You might be able to file your case without paying the filing fee if you qualify. Complete the Fee Waiver form and submit the required documents to the court to see if you meet the guidelines. You can apply for a fee waiver in any NJ state court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Superior Court and Tax Court.

Court filing and copy fees might be waived for litigants who

  1. Have income at or below 150% of the current poverty level (based on the number of people in the household); AND
  2. Have no more than $2,500 in liquid assets such as cash or bank accounts.

When to file an application for a fee waiver

File your fee waiver request when you file your court case.
Under Court Rule 1:5-6, the court clerk cannot file your case unless the required fee is included.

You can apply for a fee waiver even if you have a lawyer

You can still request a fee waiver if your attorney either

  • works for Legal Services of New Jersey or an associated regional program; OR
  • works for a public interest or legal services organization, law school clinic or pro bono program that has been certified for fee waiver status by the Supreme Court under Court Rule 1:21-11.