15-21 – Filing fees payable by councils for Court and Tribunal matters
What’s new or changing
- The NSW Department of Justice has received advice from the Crown Solicitor that, pursuant to the provisions of the Civil Procedure Regulation 2012, the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the Local Government Act 1993, councils must pay the corporate fee when filing a matter in a court or tribunal.
- Courts and tribunals have been instructed to charge councils the corporate fee, as opposed to the standard fee, from 1 July 2015. This fee will not be back-dated.
What this will mean for your council
- Councils will need to consider any budget implications from the change.
- Councils should also review their Hardship Policy to ensure that ratepayers suffering genuine hardship can avoid the cost of court proceedings. Time to pay and flexible payment options, including Centrepay, should be considered.
- The corporate filing fee is double the standard fee.
- The fee in a claim for more than $10,000 will therefore increase from $228 to $456 and the filing fee in a claim for less than $10,000 will increase from $93 to $186.
- This fee change may adversely impact ratepayers experiencing genuine financial hardship, if a council pursues outstanding rates and charges through the court.
- While councils have a responsibility to ensure their level of overdue rates and charges is minimised, this should be done without imposing unnecessary costs on the ratepayer and the NSW court system.
Where to go for further information
- NSW Department of Justice – www.justice.nsw.gov.au/forms-fees-fines.