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Multiple Plaintiffs Represented By Private Counsel

by L
(FL)

I am a new attorney and have basically zero experience with the waiver of filing fees based on civil indigent status. I have some questions:

(1) Does being represented by counsel on a pro bono basis preclude a plaintiff from qualifying for or being granted a waiver if they are otherwise determined to be indigent?

(2) If there are two named plaintiffs who are not married and not living together, and they individually qualify for indigent status, do both of them apply for and submit an application for indigent status? Or will multiple indigent plaintiffs be precluded from receiving a waiver? As above, does being represented by counsel on a pro bono basis prevent a determination of indigent status?

(3) Must plaintiff(s) be Florida residents to qualify for waiver of court fees based on indigent status? In other words, does an out-of-state plaintiff suing in FL civil court have the same opportunity as a Florida resident?

Thank you so much for your help, and that you for this website.

Comments for Multiple Plaintiffs Represented By Private Counsel

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Indigent
by: FALDP Staff

Hi L.,
I'll answer your questions as I can. Nothing I say is to be construed as legal advice, and may require more research on your part. (Although, i don't think its possible for a nonlawyer to actually give an attorney legal advice - you're the attorney). Nonlawyers always try to make sure that anything we say does not include even a whisper of the possibility of engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (UPL).

1. It might. We know that the various jurisdictions apply the rules differently. Sometimes, pro se litigants are denied indigent status out of hand simply for using a document preparer to prepare their documents.
2. Since there is one case and one filing fee it seems reasonable that only one indigent order is necessary, but I also don't see how it would hurt if both submitted an indigent application.
3. I don't think the indigent applicant has to be a Florida resident, as the jurisdiction is Florida, and the filing fee would be paid in Florida.

Here is a link to the indigent rules:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0027/Sections/0027.52.html

As a practical matter, you might have your clients file pro se initially and add you on as counsel later on.

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