Dispute Resolution

New Civil Fees for Courts and Various Tribunal Services

The Ministry of Justice has revised the civil fees payable in respect of the District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, specialist courts and various tribunals.

As of 1 July 2013 new fees are payable in respect of the Disputes Tribunal, District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court pursuant to the various regulations as follows:

  • Disputes Tribunal (Fees) Amendment Rules 2013
  • District Court Fees Amendment Regulations 2013
  • High Court Fees Regulations 2013
  • Court of Appeal Fees Amendment Regulations 2013
  • Supreme Court Fees Amendment Regulations 2013

In the Disputes Tribunal the fees payable are now staggered depending on the amount sought. If the amount sought is less than $2000 a $45 filing fees is payable. If the amount sought is more than $2,000 but less than $5000 a $90 filing fee is payable and if the amount sought is more than $5,000 a $180 filing fee is payable. Notable changes to the District Court fees include increases and rounding up or down of various filing fees. There is an increase in relation to the filing fees of an originating document from $169.20 to $200, the filing of a defence from $72.50 to $75 and the filing of a defence and counterclaim from $169.20 to $200. Hearing fees have been rounded down from $906.30 to $900 for each half day or part of a half day. Civil enforcement fees currently remain the same, however these fees are also likely to change once amendments to the District Court Rules have come into effect.

As to the High Court fees, notably there is an increase in most filing fees, setting down fees have been revoked with a requirement to make payment of hearing fees in advance of hearing dates with provisions for refunding of prepaid hearing fees if a hearing is shorter than the estimated hearing time or if the proceeding is settled, discontinued, abandoned or determined prior to the hearing date. There is also a requirement to make pre-payment of a $640 fee in respect of judicial settlement conferences.

There are also increases to the fees payable in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court with a similar requirement to that in the High Court with pre-payment of fees required. In the event that pre-payment is not made in respect of all courts, the Registrar may vacate the hearing dates. There are also fee changes to the Mâori Appellate Court and Mâori Land Court and eight other tribunals including the Customs Appeal Authority, Immigration and Protection Tribunal, Lawyers and Conveyancers Discliplinary Tribunal, Legal Complaints Review Officer, Licencing Authority of Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers, Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal, Taxation Review Authority and the Trans-Tasman Occupations Tribunal.

Reference should be made to the various regulations which fully outline the fee changes to ensure that the correct filing fees are paid. Further information is also available on the Ministry of Justice website www.justice.govt.nz.