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Fees for domestic violence injunctions to be scrapped

Date:2 APR 2014
Journals Manager + Online Editor

The £75 fee for domestic violence injunctions will cease from 22 April, as part of an overhaul of the fees charged in civil and family courts in England and Wales.

Under the plans confirmed today, the fees for civil courts (not criminal courts) will be adjusted to address the shortfall.

More than 20,000 applications for non-molestation and occupation orders were made in 2012, for which a fee will no longer be applicable from 22 April.

In turn there will be an incrase in fees for cases involving claims for money on a sliding scale, with a maximum fee of £1, 920. There will also be a standard fee of £280 for civil cases which are not about claims for money, instead of the current mixture of fees. 

Fees will stay the same for cases involving sensitive family issues including child contact, divorce financial disputes and adoption applications - and there will be a reduction in the fee for local authorities to apply to take a child into care.

Courts Minister Shailesh Vara said:

'We have one of the best legal systems in the world and we are making sure our courts are properly resourced so that they can continue to build on their excellent reputation. These fee changes will make sure hardworking taxpayers are not having to subsidise those using our civil courts.

I want to emphasise that we will protect vulnerable groups by keeping fees the same for sensitive family issues including adoption applications and child contact. Moreover, we are scrapping the fee for domestic violence injunctions to make sure there are no unnecessary barriers between people and the help they need.

And people who cannot afford court fees do not have to pay - they can apply for waivers using the means-tested remissions system.'

The changes follow a consultation which also included a section on further proposals to set fees for some civil and commercial cases as a percentage of the amount under dispute.

The Government is still considering the responses to that part of the consultation and will set out next steps in due course.