RunSensible’s Legal Dictionary

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Legal Dictionary

In forma pauperis

“In forma pauperis” is a Latin term which means “as a pauper” or “in the form of a pauper”. In legal terms, it refers to a provision that allows individuals who cannot afford the expenses associated with filing a lawsuit or pursuing legal action to do so without paying the usual court fees or costs.

When an individual is granted permission to proceed “in forma pauperis”, they are typically relieved from paying the filing fees, court costs, and other expenses that would normally be required when initiating legal proceedings. This provision is intended to ensure that people with limited financial means have access to the legal system and can seek redress for their grievances even when they cannot afford the associated expenses.

To proceed “in forma pauperis”, individuals generally need to demonstrate their inability to pay the court fees and costs by submitting a sworn affidavit or declaration detailing their financial situation. The court will then review the request and decide whether to grant the request to proceed without payment of fees.

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