Filing Fee Confusion Abounds

In December, I wrote about the new filing fee requirements under HB 2287.  Since that time Tanya Hanson and I have had the opportunity to work with staff at the Multnomah County Civil Department to hone the document that was first posted on our Web site

If you are confused or frustrated you are not alone. 

Here are four examples we hope will help:

For Actions With Fees Set Under ORS 21.110 (2) – Do Not Use The Calculator

If your case qualifies for the reduced filing fee provided by ORS 21.110 (2) – which applies to some specific types of claims for relief that involve recovery amounts of $10,000 or less – you are exempt from the additional party fee, and you do not need to use the fee calculator. The filing fee for civil actions which qualify under ORS 21.110 (2) is $137. There is no ORS 21.110 (1) (b) “additional party” fee; this exception to the additional party fee is provided by Chief Justice Order 09-052.

Another difference under HB 2287 for these “under $10,000” cases concerns multiple defendants.  If there are multiple defendants, the defendants appearing jointly in an action filed under ORS 21.110 (2) may pay only a single appearance fee.

For Actions With Fees Set Under ORS 21.110 (1) – Always Use The Calculator

For every other type of civil action, whether seeking recovery of a monetary amount or nonmonetary relief, the claim has a base fee of $197 for monetary claims up to $49,999, and, for monetary claims of $50,000 or more, there is a graduated fee scale depending on the total amount of the monetary claims in the case. There is also an “additional party” fee under ORS 21.110 (1) (b) for these cases; the additional party fee applies to every additional party beyond one plaintiff and one defendant and parties appearing jointly must each pay a filing or appearance fee. For all of these cases parties should use the Oregon Judicial Department’s Fee Calculator when filing or appearing in the action.

To learn more, read Understanding the New Filing Fee Requirements in Civil Cases (HB 2287).  (Also posted on the PLF Web site.  Select In Brief , then choose the December 2009 issue.)

Copyright Beverly Michaelis 2010

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