UPDATE | By Texas Access to Justice Commission
What is Rule 145?
The revised rule states that a party cannot be required to pay court costs, except by court order, if the party has filed a sworn Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs.
Court “costs” can mean any fee charged by the court or an officer of the court that could be taxed in a bill of costs, including filing fees, fees for issuance and service of process, fees for a court-appointed official, and fees charged by the clerk or court reporter for preparation of the appellate record.
Who does it help?
The rule was created to help low-income Texans who cannot afford to pay the court costs related to their civil cases. The people who may benefit from Rule 145 include
- a person who receives benefits from a government entitlement program;
- a person who is represented by an attorney providing free legal services through an approved legal services provider;
- a person who applied for free legal services through an approved legal services provider and was determined to be financially eligible but was declined representation; or
- a person who does not have funds to afford payment of costs.
When did the rule take effect?
September 1, 2016
Where can I find the form?
Under the rule, the court clerk must make the form available to all persons without charge or request.
Why is this amendment to the Rule 145 important?
The amendment clarifies who is eligible to have their court costs waived and promotes a uniform application in all courts across Texas.