OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5388

AN ACT CONCERNING COURT FEES AND THE DELIVERY OF LEGAL SERVICES TO THE POOR.

SUMMARY:

This bill increases certain court filing fees and establishes new fees (e. g. , a fee for filing a certificate of closed pleadings). The fee increases take effect July 1, 2012, but sunset after three years.

The bill requires the chief court administrator or her designee, by the last day of January, April, July, and October each year (starting in July 2012 and ending in July 2015), to:

1. certify the amount of revenue received as a result of the bill's fee increases and new fees,

2. transfer 60% of that amount to the organization administering the interest on lawyers' trust accounts (IOLTA) program to fund legal services for the poor, and

3. transfer 40% of the amount to the Judicial Data Processing Revolving Fund to maintain and improve the Judicial Department's informational processing system.

The bill requires, rather than authorizes, the chief court administrator to establish and administer the Judicial Data Processing Revolving Fund. Under current law, any money remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year is carried forward to the next fiscal year. The bill instead provides that, at the end of each fiscal year starting with FY 12, any excess over $ 5 million must be transferred to the General Fund. (Presumably, the amount of any excess for FY 12 is determined after July 1, 2012, which is the effective date of this provision. )

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012, except the provisions reversing the fee increases are effective July 1, 2015, and the provision reversing the certification and transfer of the fee increases is effective August 1, 2015.

INCREASED COURT FEES

The bill increases the fees for filing certain court actions and motions and establishes certain new fees, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Fee Increases

Bill

Action or Motion

Current Law

The Bill (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015)

2, 9

Filing civil cases generally (there are different fees for certain types of cases)

$ 300

$ 325

2, 9

Filing case in which the sole claim for relief is damages and the amount, legal interest, or property in demand is less than $ 2,500

175

200

2, 9

Filing small claims case

75

100

2, 9

Filing certificate of closed pleadings

--

90

2, 9

Motion for admittance as attorney pro hac vice

--

300

2, 9

Filing counterclaim, cross complaint, apportionment complaint, or third party complaint

--

200

3, 10

Motion to modify judgment in a civil relations matter

125

175

4-7, 11-14

Application from judgment creditor for enforcement of an unsatisfied judgment, including debts due from financial institutions or other sources, and wage executions against a judgment debtor who fails to comply with an installment payment order

75

100

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

44

Nay

1

(04/02/2012)