Rochester Hills, MI – Beginning March 1, 2016, and continuing for five years, filing fees for initiating a civil action in any Michigan state court will be increased. On December 22, 2015, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law six new bills, which create a fund meant for establishing a statewide e-filing system in Michigan state courts. The legislation (Chapter 19A, titled “Electronic Access to Courts,” of the Revised Judicature Act of 1961) sets additional initial filing fees in civil cases of up to $25 and deposits the revenue in a new state fund to help courts make e-filing upgrades. These fees will be collected regardless of whether the document commencing the civil action is filed electronically. The new fees will be collected from the party (unless a governmental entity or indigent) commencing the civil action at the time of commencement and will amount to:
*$25 in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit Courts, Probate Courts, and Court of Claims;
*$20 in District Courts if a claim for relief is both monetary and nonmonetary;
*$5 in the Small Claims Division of the District Courts; and
*$10 in District Courts if the preceding two instances do not apply, including actions for summary proceedings.
For state courts that have been using an e-filing system prior to these new laws, those courts may continue to collect $2.50 or $5.00 for filing or service in addition to the new fees, but may only do so until December 31, 2016. Otherwise, the fee collected under the new laws is to be the only fee that may be collected specifically for electronic filing (except for automated payment service fees). The e-filing fee is a recoverable taxable cost. Courts still cannot charge a fee to retrieve and inspect a document on site, including a document that was filed electronically, but may continue to charge a fee to copy a document.
The new laws do not require a court’s transition to an e-filing system, but rather provide courts with an option to apply to the Supreme Court for access and use of the system. They also do not require anyone to file a document electronically unless otherwise directed by the Supreme Court.
The fund created by these new laws will provide Michigan courts with the ability to transition to a more modern e-filing system that will eventually, and hopefully, provide greater ease in filing and retrieving documents. Previously, as local governments have been under intense budget constraints, courts have not had sufficient revenue to afford the upfront investment costs to upgrade to e-filing. It is uncertain how soon courts will begin transitioning to the e-filing system, thus how soon filers will see their increased fees put to good use cannot yet be ascertained.
For the full text, see Public Acts 230-235 of 2015. If you have any questions about these new laws or the costs of filing a civil action in Michigan in general, please contact Supervising Litigation Attorney, Chantelle R. Neumann, at email@example.com or (248) 853-4400, ext. 1157.
About Potestivo & Associates, P.C.:
For over twenty-five years, Potestivo & Associates, P.C. has been providing superior legal solutions to the real estate finance and credit industry. Headquartered, in Downtown Rochester Hills, Michigan, we also maintain full-service operations in Rochester Hills, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. Potestivo & Associates is a recognized leader for the legal solutions for the real estate finance and credit industry in the states of Michigan and Illinois.
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