Legislation on court fees

The authority giving the power to charge fees in the courts is set out in Primary Legislation under Section 92 of the Courts Act 2003. Fees are set out in the Secondary Legislation in the form of Statutory Instruments. The Statutory Instruments that set out court fees are often known as Fees Orders.

See the "Statutory instruments in force" page for further details.

Categories of court fees

There are a number of Statutory Instruments setting out the categories of fees charged in our courts.

Civil proceedings fees in the County Court and High Court

If you are starting, or already involved in a civil court case in the High Court or County Court, Court of Protection or Court of Appeal, certain types of civil work carried out by the court will attract a court fee. This may include; taking someone to court, applying for possession of a property, enforcing a tribunal award or applying for bankruptcy.

  • Schedule 1 contains civil fees split into numbered paragraphs.
  • Schedule 2 details the fee remission system setting out where a court fee is not or is only part payable, by an individual.
  • Schedule 3 lists amended or old statutory instruments.

Family proceedings fees in the County Court and Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court

If you are starting, or already involved in a family law court case in the County Court or the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court (PRFD), certain types of family work carried out by the court will attract a court fee.

This may include applying for a divorce or dissolution or involved in adoption or care proceedings or making applications within existing Private or Public Law actions.

  • Schedule 1 contains family proceedings fees split into numbered paragraphs.
  • Schedule 2 details the fee remission system setting out where a court fee is not or is only part payable, by an individual.
  • Schedule 3 lists amended or old statutory instruments.

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Magistrates´ court fees including civil and family proceedings in the magistrates´ court

The magistrates’ courts in England and Wales deal with a range of civil and family work in addition to criminal matters. Criminal matters do not attract court fees, but certain types of civil and family work carried out by the court will attract a court fee.

This may include making a statutory declaration before the court, applying for a licence or making an appeal on certain civil and family matters.

  • Schedule 1 contains civil and family proceedings fees split into numbered paragraphs.
  • Schedule 2 details the fee remission system setting out where a court fee is not or is only part payable, by an individual.
  • Schedule 3 lists amended or old statutory instruments.

Non-contentious probate fees in the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court, district probate registries and probate sub-registries

The Probate Service forms part of the Family Division of the High Court. It deals with ‘non-contentious’ probate business (where there is no dispute about the validity of a will or entitlement to take a grant), and issues grants of representation, either:

  • Probate (when the deceased person left a valid will and an executor is acting);
  • Letters of administration with will (when a person has left a valid will but no executor is acting); or
  • Letters of administration (usually when there is no valid will).

These grants appoint people known as personal representatives to administer or organise the deceased person’s estate.

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If you are starting, or already involved in non-contentious probate proceedings in the PRFD, District Probate Registries or Probate Sub Registries, certain types of work carried out by the court or registry will attract a court fee, including seeking a grant of probate, or entering a caveat, among others.

  • Paragraphs 1-8 detail where fees are taken, exclusions, special exemptions, fee exemptions, remissions and refunds
  • Schedule 1 contains all payable non-contentious probate fees
  • Schedule 2 lists amended or old statutory instruments

The non-contentious Probate Fees (Indian Ocean Tsunami) Order 2005

The non-contentious Probate Fees (Indian Ocean Tsunami) Order 2005 includes a remission of fees for an application for a grant in respect of a death occurring as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004

The non-contentious Probate Fees (London Terrorist Bombings) Order 2005

The non-contentious Probate Fees (London Terrorist Bombings) Order 2005 includes a remission of fees for an application for a grant in respect of a death occurring as a result of:

  • another person’s detonation of a bomb in London on 7 July 2005; or
  • action taken in a police operation following another person’s attempted detonation of a bomb in London on 21 July 2005

Non-contentious Probate Fees (Amendment) Order 2007

The non-contentious Probate Fees (Amendment) Order 2007 amended the 2004 Fees Order by setting out full details of the revised system of fee remissions which came into force on 1 October 2007. The fee remission system sets out circumstances where a court fee is not payable or only part payable, by an individual.

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