Rule 2.002 Waiver or Suspension of Fees and Costs for Indigent Persons

(A) Applicability.

(1) Only a natural person is eligible for the waiver or suspension of fees and costs under this rule.

(2) Except as provided in subrule (F), for the purpose of this rule “fees and costs” applies only to filing fees required by law.

(B) Execution of Affidavits. An affidavit required by this rule may be signed either

(1) by the party in whose behalf the affidavit is made; or

(2) by a person having personal knowledge of the facts required to be shown, if the person in whose behalf the affidavit is made is unable to sign it because of minority or other disability. The affidavit must recite the minority or other disability.

(C) Persons Receiving Public Assistance. If a party shows by ex parte affidavit or otherwise that he or she is receiving any form of public assistance, the payment of fees and costs as to that party shall be suspended.

(D) Other Indigent Persons. If a party shows by ex parte affidavit or otherwise that he or she is unable because of indigency to pay fees and costs, the court shall order those fees and costs either waived or suspended until the conclusion of the litigation.

(E) Domestic Relations Cases; Payment of Fees and Costs by Spouse.

(1) In an action for divorce, separate maintenance, or annulment or affirmation of marriage, the court shall order suspension of payment of fees and costs required to be paid by a party and order that they be paid by the spouse, if that party

(a) is qualified for a waiver or suspension of fees and costs under subrule (C) or (D), and

(b) is entitled to an order requiring the spouse to pay attorney fees.

(2) If the spouse is entitled to have the fees and costs waived or suspended under subrule (C) or (D), the fees and costs are waived or suspended for the spouse.

(F) Payment of Service Fees and Costs of Publication for Indigent Persons. If payment of fees and costs has been waived or suspended for a party and service of process must be made by an official process server or by publication, the court shall order the service fees or costs of publication paid by the county or funding unit in which the action is pending, if the party submits an ex parte affidavit stating facts showing the necessity for that type of service of process.

(G) Reinstatement of Requirement for Payment of Fees and Costs. If the payment of fees or costs has been waived or suspended under this rule, the court may on its own initiative order the person for whom the fees or costs were waived or suspended to pay those fees or costs when the reason for the waiver or suspension no longer exists.