User charge for family & civil cases

The user charge fee was introduced to encourage people to resolve disputes out of court where appropriate.

How much is the user charge and where do I pay it?

The user charge fee is $50 (including GST) or $43.48 (excluding GST) and you pay the charge directly to your lawyer.

This is the only payment that your lawyer can receive directly from you. If your lawyer tries to charge you for any other legal aid services, please report this to your local legal aid office.

When a user charge does not apply

There are some matters that don’t require a user charge.  These include:

  • mental health compulsory treatment orders
  • intellectual disability care orders
  • some matters involving victims
  • protection order or other order under Domestic Violence Act
  • some Waitangi Tribunal matters
  • protection of personal and property rights matters
  • care and protection orders for children and your people
  • refugee or protected persons matters.

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