Increase in Court Filing Fees Effective Nov. 1

By Robyn Hagan Cain on September 27, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Appellate practitioners in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will soon pay higher court filing fees.

The Judicial Conference of the United States adopted a new court fee schedule on September 13. The fee change will affect appeals, district, and bankruptcy courts.

Court filing fees were last raised eight years ago, and the current increase in court filing fees comes in response to inflationary expenses. Fee increases will become effective November 1, 2011. The new Miscellaneous Fee Schedule is available here.

The Judiciary receives income through miscellaneous fees, which, in turn, permits the branch to request less money from Congress. This latest fee change reportedly should generate approximately $10.5 million in additional court revenue for fiscal year 2012.

The Judicial Conference also authorized an increase in the Judiciary's electronic public access (EPA) fee to address increasing costs for maintaining and enhancing the electronic public access system. A two-cent increase in the EPA fee, from $.08 to $.10 per page, is necessary to continue to support and improve the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system.

Implementation of the two-cent per page increase will take a minimum of six months.

Government agencies will be exempt from the increase for three years, and PACER users that accrue less than $15 in charges in a quarterly billing cycle will not be charged a fee. The current exemption is $10 per quarter, so the expanded exemption means that 75 to 80 percent of all users will still pay no fees.

The Judicial Conference is a 26-member, policy-making body for the federal court system. Chief Justice John Roberts serves as its presiding officer. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge David Sentelle and D.C. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth represent the District on the Judicial Conference.

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