Basic features of the charge system
Trial charges and petition charges are collected as compensation for the hearing of cases and the measures taken by courts of law. Such charges include compensation for the delivery of the official instrument containing the decision or an interim decision on the case in question. In addition, the charge includes compensation for other measures taken by the authorities related to processing of the case, unless separate provisions apply to the charge to be collected or compensation for costs. As a rule, a court fee is charged also when a claim, appeal or petition is withdrawn.
Certain matters are processed free of charge. Such matters include criminal cases pursued by the public prosecutor in courts of first instance.
An extract charge, copy charge and certificate charge are collected for specifically requested documents, unless a statutory release from charges is in effect. For instance, there is no charge for the official instrument issued to the injured party in a criminal case pursued by the public prosecutor.
Costs to be separately compensated include publication costs in the Official Gazette and other papers. In certain petitionary matters, the publication costs (“tabulated notices") are included in the basic charge, and therefore not separately collected. If a party fails to provide copies and is therefore in violation of a statutory duty, such copies are produced at the expense of that party. A tape or record fee and a delivery charge are collected for audio or video recordings, or other records. Full charges, fees and costs, as invoiced, will be collected for specific service costs abroad.
Payment liability lies with the initiator of the matter (plaintiff or petitioner, or their agent), in cases of appeal, with the appellant and, in the case of other performances, with the person ordering the performance.
A beneficiary of legal aid is free from payment liability. Likewise, certain parties are free from payment liability. These include authorities such as the police, authorities pursuing pre-trial investigations, prosecutors and the enforcement authorities.
Charges are collected once the performance has been completed, as a rule by means of an invoice. Documents may also be delivered to the customer by post.