TBD | How-To Guide: Certificate of Indigence from Appellate Court (FL)
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How-To: Get Free Access to Appellate Court (Florida)

Background: You are appealling your case in an appellate court [of Florida]
Problem: You cannot afford the Court's costs/fees (eg. the $300 filing fee, etc.)
Solution: You move the Court to waive the legal fees in your case

I. Legal Citations

§57.081 Florida Statute | Costs; right to proceed where prepayment of costs and payment of filing fees waived.
"(1) Any indigent person, except a prisoner as defined in s. 57.085, who is a party or intervenor in any judicial or administrative agency proceeding or who initiates such proceeding shall receive the services of the courts, sheriffs, and clerks, with respect to such proceedings, despite his or her present inability to pay for these services..."


"(3) If an applicant prevails in an action, costs shall be taxed in his or her favor as provided by law and, when collected, shall be applied to pay filing fees or costs that have not been paid."
§57.082 Florida Statute | Determination of Civil Indigent Status.
"(1) A person [seeking relief] from payment of filing fees and prepayment of costs under s. 57.081, based upon an inability to pay must apply to the clerk of the court for a determination of civil indigent status..."


"(2)(a)1. An applicant, including an applicant who is a minor or an adult tax-dependent person, is indigent if the applicant’s income is equal to or below 200 percent of the then-current federal poverty guidelines..."


"(2)(a)2. There is a presumption that the applicant is not indigent if the applicant owns, or has equity in, any intangible or tangible personal property or real property or the expectancy of an interest in any such property having a net equity value of $2,500 or more..."


"(2)(d) The duty of the clerk in determining whether an applicant is indigent is limited to receiving the application and comparing the information provided in the application to the criteria prescribed in this subsection. The determination of indigent status is a ministerial act of the clerk and may not be based on further investigation or the exercise of independent judgment by the clerk."
Rule 9.430 Fla. R. App. P. | Proceedings by Indigents
"(a) Appeals. A party who has the right to seek review by appeal without payment of costs shall, unless the court directs otherwise, file a signed application for determination of indigent status with the clerk of the lower tribunal, using an application form approved by the supreme court for use by circuit court clerks." Rule 2.205(b)(4) Fla. R. Jud. Admin. | The Supreme Court
"(b)(4) Filing Fee. In all cases filed in the court, the clerk shall require the payment of a fee as provided by law when the notice, petition, or other initial pleading is filed. The payment shall not be exacted in advance in appeals in which a party has been adjudicated insolvent for the purpose of an appeal or in appeals in which the state is the real party in interest as the moving party."

II. Samples

# PDF Comments
1✓ Granted. DOAH-Based | Income = $668 | Expenses = $295 | Bank = n/a | Social Security.

III. Forms

# PDF Comments
1Official Court Form. Interactive.

IV. Quick Commentary

  • Important Note: The appellate filing fee is non-refundable.
    • See Stacey v Ricci 744 So. 2d 1025 (4DCA 1997)
  • The Court/Clerk will not investigate the veracity of your application.
  • The Court/Clerk will not consult additional information in determining your indigence.
  • Critical Note: Your application for civil indigence is submitted under Penalty of Perjury!
  • Please download as many sample documents as you'd like
  • Contact TBD if you want more samples
  • Proofread your application as much as possible.
  • Save the final version as a PDF file.
  • File the document with your appellate court.

V. Additional Notes

  • Total Time needed ≈ 0-1 hours
  • You do NOT need to send a copy directly to your civil opponent(s). You're not required to. Plus, they can get it from the court's docket.

VII. Conclusion

If you cannot afford the standard legal fees of your appellate case, the Court may provide you a Certificate of Civil Indigence. Thereby eliminating your need to prepay.

Congratulations! You're now booked up on how to get a Florida court of appeals to waive the legal fees in your appellate case.

Please get the justice you deserve.


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