US District Court • Southern District of New York

Representing Yourself in Federal Court (Pro Se)

Pro Se

Role of the
Pro Se Intake Unit

Fees & Waiver of Fees

How to Start a New Lawsuit without an Attorney

How to Find an Attorney

If Named as a Defendant

Pro Se FAQ’s

Contact Pro Se

Fees & Waiver of Fees

Notice of Appeal$505.00 
Petition of Writ of Habeas$5.00 
Witness$40.00/day per witness
plus travel exp.

There is a $350.00 filing fee for each new civil action and a $5.00 filing fee for each new petition for a writ of habeas corpus. There is no fee to file a motion challenging a federal sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The filing fee can be paid in cash, by credit card - American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa - or by certified check or money order, made payable to the “Clerk of Court-SDNY”.

A party who is unable to pay the filing fee may ask to have the filing fee waived based on financial hardship. To do so, submit a Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. This Request is supported by a sworn statement that details your income and assets. You may be subjected to penalties for perjury if a false statement is made on this application.

In addition, if you are incarcerated and are seeking to have the $ filing fee for a new civil action waived, you must also submit with your Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis a Prisoner Authorization. A Prisoner Authorization is not required if you are seeking a waiver of the $5.00 filing fee for a habeas petition.

Witnesses must be paid a non-waivable fee of $40 per day, plus traveling expenses. See 28 U.S.C. § 1821.

The fee for filing an appeal is $505.00

Other court fees may apply. Please see the Court’s fee schedule.