Applicants for indigent status are approved or denied based on the guidelines provided by the Florida Statutes for indigent determination. Poverty guidelines are provided by the State and updated each January.
A person seeking appointment of an attorney in a civil case eligible for court-appointed counsel, or seeking relief from payment of filing fees and prepayment of costs under s. 57.081, based upon an inability to pay must apply to the clerk of the court for a determination of civil indigent status using an application form developed by the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation with final approval by the Supreme Court.
(a) The application must include, at a minimum, the following financial information:
1. Net income, consisting of total salary and wages, minus deductions required by law, including court-ordered support payments.
2. Other income, including, but not limited to, social security benefits, union funds, veterans’ benefits, workers’ compensation, other regular support from absent family members, public or private employee pensions, reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation, dividends, interest, rent, trusts, and gifts.
3. Assets, including, but not limited to, cash, savings accounts, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, equity in real estate, and equity in a boat or a motor vehicle or in other tangible property.
4. All liabilities and debts.
Determination of civil indigent status
Below you will find a link to download the document "Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status".
The application must include a signature by the applicant which attests to the truthfulness of the information provided. The application form developed by the corporation must include notice that the applicant may seek court review of a clerk’s determination that the applicant is not indigent, as provided in this section.
(b) The clerk shall assist a person who appears before the clerk and requests assistance in completing the application, and the clerk shall notify the court if a person is unable to complete the application after the clerk has provided assistance.
(c) The clerk shall accept an application that is signed by the applicant and submitted on his or her behalf by a private attorney who is representing the applicant in the applicable matter.
(d) A person who seeks appointment of an attorney in a proceeding under chapter 39, at shelter hearings or during the adjudicatory process, during the judicial review process, upon the filing of a petition to terminate parental rights, or upon the filing of any appeal, or if the person seeks appointment of an attorney in a reopened proceeding, for which an indigent person is eligible for court-appointed representation must pay a $50 application fee to the clerk for each application filed. A person is not required to pay more than one application fee per case. However, an appeal or the reopening of a proceeding shall be deemed to be a distinct case. The applicant must pay the fee within 7 days after submitting the application. If the applicant has not paid the fee within 7 days, the court shall enter an order requiring payment, and the clerk shall pursue collection under s. 28.246. The clerk shall transfer monthly all application fees collected under this paragraph to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the Indigent Civil Defense Trust Fund, to be used as appropriated by the Legislature. The clerk may retain 10 percent of application fees collected monthly for administrative costs prior to remitting the remainder to the Department of Revenue. If the person cannot pay the application fee, the clerk shall enroll the person in a payment plan pursuant to s. 28.246.