Applicants for indigent status are approved or denied based on the guidelines provided in Florida Statutes for indigent determination.
Poverty guidelines are provided by the State and updated each January. If you do not agree with the determination made by the Clerk’s office, you may seek judicial review.
Applicants may apply for appointment of a Public Defender or for Indigent Status for Costs. The applicant is notified in writing of the approval or denial of their application. The provision of a public defender and/or costs/due process services are not free. A judgment and lien may be imposed against all real or personal property you own to pay for legal and other services provided on your behalf or on behalf of the person for whom you are making this application. There is a $50 fee for each application filed. Statute requires payment of the $50 to the Clerk of the Circuit Court within seven (7) days. If the fee is not paid within the seven (7) days, it will be assessed against you at the conclusion of the case.
If applying for a determination of “indigent for costs,” the applicant must file a written motion the court to be submitted along with the application for judicial review. Please see F.S. 27.52(5) Indigent for Costs for additional details.
In a civil proceeding, if a person is determined to be indigent, they must pay a $25 fee to go on a payment plan (filing fees are waived), and they are to pay up to 2% of their annual net income. There is no fee for the payment plan for a dependency action or chapter 39 termination of parental rights.
A person declared to be indigent in a dependency or delinquency proceeding must pay a $50 application fee for appointment of counsel.
There is a presumption that the applicant is not indigent if the applicant owns, or has equity in, any intangible or tangible personal property or real property or the expectancy of an interest in any such property having a net equity value of $2,500 or more, excluding the value of the person’s homestead and one vehicle having a net value not exceeding $5,000.