Waiver or deferral of fees and costs in action against public body by inmate
(1) If an inmate seeks to file an action against a public body, the fees and court costs of the inmate may be waived or deferred only in the manner provided by this section.
(2) Any inmate seeking waiver or deferral of fees or court costs must submit with the application for waiver or deferral a certified copy of the inmate’s trust account statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint, petition, notice of appeal or petition for review. The statement must be certified as correct by an official of each correctional facility in which the inmate was confined within the six-month period or by an employee of the Department of Corrections charged with the responsibility of overseeing inmate trust accounts.
(3) Upon the filing of a statement under subsection (2) of this section, the court shall review the information in the statement relating to deposits in the inmate’s trust account and any other resources available to the inmate. The court may only waive the inmate’s fees and court costs if the court determines that the inmate has no funds and will not have funds.
(4) If the court makes a determination that an inmate has or will have funds to pay fees and court costs, the court shall require full payment of the filing fees and court costs, or, if funds are not immediately available in the inmate’s trust account, shall assess and collect filing fees and court costs as funds become available in the inmate’s trust account.
(5) On its own motion or on the motion of the public body, the court may review the pleadings of the inmate in an action against a public body at the time a request for waiver or deferral of filing fees or court costs is made. If the court finds that the pleadings fail to state a claim for which relief may be granted, the court may decline to waive or defer filing fees or court costs. The court shall enter a denial of waiver or deferral of fees and costs under this subsection as a limited judgment. Notwithstanding the time established by statute for the commencement of an action, if a limited judgment is entered under this subsection within 30 days of the expiration of the time allowed for commencing the action, the inmate may commence the action not later than 45 days after the judgment is entered. Only one extension of the time allowed for commencing an action may be granted by the court under this section.
(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing an inmate from bringing an action against a public body because the inmate has no assets or means by which to pay the initial partial filing fee as provided under this section. [1999 c.657 §2; 2005 c.530 §1; 2007 c.493 §11]
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