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Asked and Answered
~Civil Indigent Status~

Fraud in Civil Indigent Status - Is this fraud?


Person who is pursuing me in court has applied for and received civil indigent status. This person is not married but lives with someone (for many years) who is well off and has plenty of money. The system is being abused here and is giving this plaintiff an avenue to go after me without costing any money. How can I make this stop.

Comment: is this fraud? 

i have the same situation where the indigent person has received but not disclose an insurance settlement in excess of $35,000.00 received two months prior to filing this person also has a live in boyfriend with income in excess of $18,000.00 a year



Why does nobody know about the application for determination of civil indigent status? I went to the courthouse to find out about getting a divorce the clerk told me the filing fee is $408. I said, wow, I guess I can't get divorced then, because I'm broke, and walked away. Two weeks later a friend of my Mom told me that I may be able to qualify for indigent status, so I went back and asked the clerk for the application. Same clerk. She acted like it was top secret, like I had to know the exact magic words to get that form.

Answer: Application for Civil Indigent Status 

We don't know why the clerks aren't very forthcoming about the possibility of having court fees waived. According to: 

57.082 Determination of civil indigent status.— 

1(b) (b) The clerk shall assist a person who appears before the clerk and requests assistance in completing the application, and the clerk shall notify the court if a person is unable to complete the application after the clerk has provided assistance.

Comment: clerks need to be better trained 

Yes its horrible ! I needed to file for a dna test to prove my fiance fathered his surviving child.I was told of the 401 fee, as a single mother raising a child whose father passed away, I would have to save a lot to pay for this.He passed before our child was born, and because of getting the run around and little info I now have to go all the way back to the court with her when they could have just told me there about the indigent application.The court system is set up to discourage people from using it.

Refund because of indigent status

(Panama City, FL)

My wife was helping my daughter file for dissolution of marriage and paid about $400 in filing fees.
Is there a way to get a refund based on my daughters income, only working part time a few hours a week.

Answer: Refund for filing fees 
by: Staff FALDP 

Not that we know of. However, it wouldn't hurt to try. Unfortunately, for reasons I can only guess at, the clerks of court often do not volunteer the fact that there is such a thing as civil indigent status. We speak to many low income Florida residents seeking divorce, and when I find that they would have a hard time paying the document preparation fee for a divorce, which is about half of the court filing fee, I ask them if they are aware of the Application for Civil Indigent Status. Since Florida is a no income tax state, fees are expensive compared to many other states.

Click here to learn more about the rules and process here:

Indigent for Divorce


If I am declared indigent but my spouse (who lives in another state) is not. Will I still be granted the fee waiver?

Answer: Indigent for Divorce 

If you are the party who is filing the documents, your spouse's status won't have a bearing on yours. If he has filed the paperwork already, you are not responsible to pay any more filing fees, you will just file your paperwork under the assigned case number. 
The best way to find out exact information is to just file for the Indigent Status (there is no charge for that anymore) and then you will have the answer from the Florida Court itself.

Poor and needing help!!


I live in Pensacola and I have some pending court cases involving both child custody issues and domestic violence issues. I am near homeless so I have no money to hire a lawyer. Can you help me find legal services that will help people like myself?

Dear Pensacola, 
by: FALDP Staff 

Dear Pensacola,
Try Legal Services of North Florida. Here is the link - . If you do not qualify for services (the legal aid societies' guidelines are often very specific), we will try to find you a document preparer that can help you at a reduced rate. We do not receive any type of government help -- we are a trade association made up private businesses. However, we try to help people who are in dire situations when we can.

My indigent status was denied , what are my options?

(Niceville, Florida)

My indigent status was denied, what are my options?

Answer: Indigent Status Denied 

If your indigent status was denied by the clerk of court, you are entitled to a hearing to contest that decision. 

"Effective July 1, 2005, section 27.52, Florida Statutes, is revised to modify the statutory provisions for an initial determination of indigent status by the Clerk of Court for the appointment of a public defender. Newly-created section 57.082, Florida Statutes, provides for an initial determination of indigent status by the Clerk of Court regarding the appointment of a private attorney in eligible civil matters and relief from prepayment of civil costs and fees for civil litigants other than inmates. Both sections provide a process for review of indigent status by the Court."


The above is a part of an Administrative Order for the Sixth Judicial Circuit - Pinellas & Pasco Counties. However, the Florida Statutes also apply in Niceville.

Can't afford the filing fee!

(Escambia County)

What is the name of the form for the application to help with the filing fee in Escambia County, FL? Does it reduce the cost or waive it?

I want a divorce, but I can't afford $400!. I was trying to wait him out, and maybe he'd pay for it. But, its been six months and that's not going to happen. 

Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status 
by: Anonymous 

Dear Escambia,
The form you're looking for is called - Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status. It is a one page form that requests information about your income and debt; household size; and source of income. It is tied to the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The clerks of court can provide you with that form, or you can download if for free from this site - go to the page titled "Civil Indigent".

Is there any recourse action?

(Middleburg, Florida)

My ex filed and received benefits under civil indigent for two years in a row. His document stated incorrect address and no income. One of the documents were notarized by his grandmother. However, when we went to family court, his income was disclosed as $41,400 for one of the years. Is there any recourse action I can pursue as a result if this false volunteered application?

False Indigency Affidavit 
by: Mike 

Yes, you can contact the Judge of your particular court, and the State Attorney's office and report the false affidavit of indigency. You can also report the Grandmother to the State of Florida Governors Office, Notary Division.

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