How to Ask the Court to Waive Your Filing Fees (FAQ)


In this article you will find:

  • Information about court filing fees in Montana
  • A form you can use to ask the court to waive the filing fee. 


What is a court filing fee?

In Montana, there are fees for filing certain documents. The fees help pay for courthouse services. 


What is the court filing fee in Montana? 

Court filing fees in Montana cost $1 to $2,500. The table below has the fees set in 2016.  


How do I ask the court to waive the filing fees?

If you can't afford to pay the fee you can ask the judge to allow you to file your paperwork without having to pay the fee. You ask the judge for permission to file your forms without paying a fee by filing a "fee waiver" form. 

After you complete the fee waiver form, you must give the fee waiver to the court clerk where your court case is being handled. The official name for the fee waiver form is a "Statement of Inability to Pay Court Costs and Fees." You can go to the bottom of this article to download a Statement of Inability to Pay Court Costs and Fees that you can give to the court clerk to ask the judge to let you file court paperwork without paying a fee.

After you file the fee waiver form, the judge will review it to decide whether you have to pay the fee. It may take the judge a day or two to make that decision. The court clerk may not let you file your court form until after the judge makes a decision about your fee waiver. So, if there is a deadline for the court document you are filing, be sure to file your fee waiver form at least one day before the deadline for filing your court documents.


Montana Filing Fee Schedule


Adoption - Filing Petition


Amendment of Parenting Plan - Contested only (does not apply to cases dealing solely w/child support)


Appeal from District Court to Supreme Court - Postage costs are additional


Appeal from Lower Court - Does not apply to small claims cases


Appearance - For the appearance of each defendant or each respondent


Authentication/Exemplification - For authenticated or exemplified copies for out-of-state jurisdictions


Certification - For certification with a seal 


Civil Commencement of Action - By plaintiff, petitioner or appellant (includes Invalidity)


Conservatorship Commencement of Action - For filing petition


Copy of Decree of Dissolution - For each copy of a decree (separately filed parenting plans or property
settlement agreements not included) (does not include certification)


Copy of Marriage License - For each copy of marriage license (does not include certification) 


Copy of Other Documents (Hard Copy) - $1 per page for first ten pages and $.50 per page thereafter


Copy of Other Documents Provided by Fax, Email or other electronic means


Declaration of Marriage - For filing and recording the declaration


Dissolution of Marriage Commencement of Action - For filing Petition (include Summary and Joint


Email Filings / Fax Filings (Incoming - cost to file a pleading by email or fax)


Execution - For issuance


Foreign Capital Depository Judgment - For filing the judgment


Foreign Judgment - For filing authenticated copy and docketing


Foreign Probate - With certificate


Guardianship Commencement of Action - For filing petition 


Intervention Complaint - For filing a complaint in intervention


Judgment - For entry of judgment from prevailing party


Legal Separation Commencement of Action - For filing petition


Marriage License issuance - For issuing, filing and recording marriage


Notarization/Oath and Jurat - For each Notarization with court seal


Order of Sale - For issuance


Probate Commencement of Action - For filing formal/informal or ancillary petition


Searches - $2 per name per year up to 7 years, $1 per name thereafter (no maximum charge limit)


Substitution of Judge - For each motion filed (not in criminal cases) 


Transcript/Abstract of Judgment - For preparation of a Transcript of Judgment


Transcript/Abstract of Judgment - For filing a Transcript of Judgment from another jurisdiction


Transmission of Record or Files or Transfer of a Case to Another Court - (Includes removals to Federal District
Court and forwarding appeals to Supreme Court) 


Venue Change - for filing from another District Court (incoming)


Venue Change - and for sending file to another jurisdiction (outgoing)


Writ of Assistance - For issuance


Updated March 2016. Source:



You may need to pay a fee to file a court document. You can ask to not pay the fee by filing a fee waiver form with the clerk of court where your case is being handled. The official name for a fee waiver is a Statement of Inability to Pay Court Costs and Fees. Be sure to file the Statement of Inability to Pay Court Costs and Fees at least one day before your deadline to file your court document, so the judge has time to review it. You can download the Statement of Inability to Pay Court Costs and Fees below.


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Last Review and Update: Nov 01, 2019
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