Small Claims Philippines Costs (Filing Fees and How to get it Waived)

Small Claims Filing Fee Philippines Calculations (And how to Waive it)

 

Small Claims Filing Fee Philippines costs anywhere from Php 2,015 to Php 6,755 to file, depending on certain criteria.

This is one of the major costs you pay because you don’t need a lawyer.

Below, I’ll explain:

  1. Small Claims Filing Fee Philippines Calculations
  2. Where to pay the Small Claims filing fee
  3. How to pay the filing fee
  4. How to waive the filing fee, if you’re eligible

I’ll jump right in.

How much is the Small Claims Philippines Filing Fee?

 

Small Claims Philippines Filing Fee can be anywhere from Php 2,415 to Php 3,115 for those not engaged in the business of lending.

For those engaged in the business of lending, the Small Claims Filing Fee is Php 2,015 to Php 6,755.

There are 6 items that go into calculating your total Small Claims Filing Fee. (Revised Rules of Court 141)

  1. Filing fees that range from 300 to 5,000, depending on the amount
  2. Legal Research Fees (LRF) of Php 10 minimum, but varies depending on the filing fee
  3. Summons Fees of Php 200
  4. Mediation Fund (MF) of Php 500
  5. Victim’s Compensation Fund (VCF) of Php 5
  6. Sherriff’s Trust Funds (STF) of Php 1,000
  7. Frequent Filer Fee of Php 500 to 700 for those not engaged in lending

The below four fees are fixed.

  • Summons Fees cover summons costs to the parties involved.
  • The Mediation Fund supports the judiciary’s efforts to promote mediation and help people avoid court.
  • The Victim’s Compensation Fund provides compensation to families of victims of violent crimes.
  • Sherriff’s Trust Funds are specifically for the court sheriffs to serve summons, for meal allowances and for transportation amongst others (sometimes though this might not be enough and sheriffs might ask for additional mailing fees).

The Small Claims Filing Fee itself, the legal research fund and the frequent filer fee vary depending on the Small Claims amount you are going to court for and whether or not you are in the lending business.

Let’s first tackle the fees involved if you are not in the business of lending.

How much is the Small Claims Filing Fee Philippines if I am not in the business of lending?

 

Your Small Claims Filing Fee Philippines will always be Php 700 if your business is not lending. Your Legal Research fee is also fixed at Php 10.

However, you will be charged an additional fee of Php 500 to Php 700 depending on how many small claims cases you’ve filed in one year.

Frequent filer fees:

  • For the 6th to 10th case: Php 500
  • For the 11th to 15th case: Php 600
  • For 16th and up cases: Php 700

Let’s do an example:

Example 1: Small Claims Amount of Php 30,000, 6th case filed this year and you are not in the lending business.

  1. Filing fees of Php 700
  2. Legal Research Fees (LRF) of Php 10
  3. Summons Fees of Php 200
  4. Mediation Fund (MF) of Php 500
  5. Victim’s Compensation Fund (VCF) of Php 5
  6. Sherriff’s Trust Funds (STF) of Php 1,000
  7. Frequent Filer Fee of Php 500

Total of Php 2,915

So, the more cases you file in a year the more expensive the Small Claims Filing fee Philippines will be.

How much is Small Claims Filing Fee Philippines if I am in the business of lending?

 

If you are in the lending business, the Small Claims Filing Fee Philippines is driven by the amount owed.

The larger the Small Claims Amount the larger the filing fee.

  • For Php 0 to Php 20,000: Php 300.00
  • For Php 20,000 to Php 100,000: Php 1,000.00
  • For Php 100,001 to Php 200,000: Php 2,500.00
  • For Php 200,001 to Php 300,000: Php 3,500.00
  • For Php 300,001 to Php 400,000: Php 5,000.00

However, the frequent filer fee would not apply to you.

An example might help.

Example 1: Small Claims Amount of Php 250,000, 6th case filed this year and you are in the lending business.

  • Filing fees of Php 3,500
  • Legal Research Fees (LRF) of Php 25
  • Summons Fees of Php 200
  • Mediation Fund (MF) of Php 500
  • Victim’s Compensation Fund (VCF) of Php 5
  • Sherriff’s Trust Funds (STF) of Php 1,000

Total of Php 5,230

The Small Claims Philippines Filing Fee increased as well as the LRF.

The LRF is 1% of the filing fee but not less than Php 10.

In this case, 1% is Php 25

So, the primary cause of increased cost is the amount owed to you, instead of the number of cases filed.

Where do I pay the Small Claims Filing Fee Philippines?  

 

You will pay the Small Claims Philippines Filing Fee at the venue for your case.

If you are in the lending business and if you have a branch in that area, you will pay the first level court where the person who owes you money lives.

If you are not in the lending business, you will be paying the first level court where you or the person who owes money lives.

The first level court are Municipal Trial Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.

Just to emphasize.

You can only file at the correct Small Claims Court.

You cannot choose your court and file where ever you want.

The reasons for this are to prevent filing because someone has strong personal ties to an area.

It’s also to prevent going to a Small Claims Court that might be biased towards one party.

Your case can be thrown out of court if you file at a court that isn’t the correct court.

File at the correct Small Claims Court.

Filing at the correct court avoids your case being dismissed for venue reasons.

You’d would have to refile (if dismissed without prejudice) but your filing fee is not refundable, so time and money would have been wasted. 

How do you pay the Small Claims Filing Fee Philippines?

 

Your Small Claims Filing Fee Philippines is paid at the same time as when you submit your Statement of Claim and Evidence for the case.

The process is like this:

  1. Go to the first level court
  2. Go to the office of the clerk of court.
  3. Submit your documents at the proper window
  4. Your documents will be assessed and your filing fee computed.
  5. Pay your Small Claims Philippines Filing Fee.

The process is relatively simple but often we’ve waited the whole day just to file a case.

The courts have a lot of work so they aren’t always able to turn things around quickly.

Expect to spend some time filing your Small Claims Court Case.

(One of the costs of a case is the time spend just filing and coordinating with the court.

They usually don’t answer their email or phone and so we tend to go there to get updates.

And we expect that when we go there, it takes time because they are serving so many people.

So ya, expect to spend a LOT of time working with the court.)

Also remember that your documents should be complete.

If your documents are not complete, they will reject your Small Claims Court Case at this step.

How can I waive the Small Claims Philippines Filing Fee?

 

If you are indigent, the Small Claims Philippines Filing Fee can be waived.

Fill up a Motion to plead as indigent.

You will need to share your family’s gross income.

You will also need to prove you don’t own any property. This will require a Certification from the Municipal Assessor and Municipal Treasurer.

A barangay certificate of indigency would also be required.

When you have all these documents, submit them with the Statement of Claim when you file the Small Claims Case.

Follow up to see if your Motion has been granted.

Only the Executive Judge may grant the Motion and you will need to check back since that office is also very busy.

If your Motion to file as Indigent is granted, you won’t have to pay a filing fee although you will still need to pay Php 1,000 for summons.

(Still, it does save you quite a bit of money.)

What should I remember about filing a Small Claims Philippines?

 

To summarize:

  1. File at the correct first level court (Municipal Trial Court) to avoid your case being dismissed.
  2. Filing fees range from Php 2,015 to Php 6,755 and depend on whether you are involved in lending or how many cases you’ve filed that year.
  3. Filing fees (with the exception of the Php 1,000) can be waived if the Executive Judge grants a Motion to File as Indigent. This Motion should include Certification from the Municipal Assessor and Treasurer

Now that’s everything you need to know about filing fees.

Head over to our Small Claims Court COMPLETE Guide to have an overview of the process. Read the evidence section carefully.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Helping Filipinos find answers to
their Legal Questions

Contact

Legal information for
Filipinos locally and
abroad.

A lower case f on a transparent background as A Better Consult can be found on FacebookFacebook

A white post box on a transparent background as A Better Consult is on emailEmail