Court fees reduced | News item |

News item | 01-12-2023 | 12:50

At the proposal of Minister Weerwind for Legal Protection, the Council of Ministers has agreed to a reduction of court fees by 13.5%. Court fees are costs that everyone must pay to bring a case to court and to defend themselves in a case before a judge. The reduction in court fees applies to all cases, except civil cases above 100,000 euros and cases brought before the Netherlands Commercial Court. In order to implement the reduction as quickly as possible, the planned indexation for 2024 will be reduced and the previously postponed indexation for 2023 will be waived. A total of 27 million euros will be structurally allocated for the reduction.

Minister Weerwind: “Disputes must be resolved as simply as possible. That is why it is nice when the parties reach an agreement together. But if that doesn’t work, the path to court must always be open. The amount of the court fee can be a barrier for citizens and companies to take that step to court or to defend themselves there. By reducing these costs it becomes easier for people to seek their rights and I increase access to justice.”

Reduction via indexation

The court fees will be reduced by permanently canceling the deferred indexation of 10.29% for 2023. This indexation had previously been postponed because a bill on reducing court fees was being prepared and it would be contradictory to first increase the court fees through indexation and then reduce them again quickly afterwards. In addition to canceling the 2023 indexation, the indexation for 2024 will be reduced from 4.57% to 1.83%. In total, the court fees will be approximately 13.5% lower than they would otherwise have been. In this way, litigants immediately receive clarity about the amount of the court fees as of January 1, 2024 and the reduction is introduced with as few administrative actions as possible.

The cabinet initially planned to submit a bill to reduce court fees by 25%. However, the cabinet had to make different financial choices in the spring of 2023, which means that less budget is available for the reduction of court fees, namely 27 million euros. The bill to reduce court fees by 25% will not be pursued. By excluding civil cases with claims higher than 100,000 euros and cases before the Netherlands Commercial Court from the reduction, the court fees can be reduced by 13.5%. The court fees for these excepted cases will be indexed as of January 1, 2024 with the indexation of both 2023 and 2024, a total of 15.33%.