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Certain Sask. court fees going up following review
Published Monday, February 11, 2019 8:50AM CST
The costs of some fees at Saskatchewan courts are on the rise.
The provincial government has completed a review of fees at Court of Queen’s Bench and the Court of Appeal, and found some haven’t been adjusted in nearly two decades.
The resulting adjustment sees some fees increase by up to 100%
“It was ultimately determined that we need to review both what the cost is of providing the service, as well as what other provinces are charging for comparable services to make sure the fees are up to date,” said Audrey Olson with Court Services.
The cost of commencing legal action will go from $100 to $200.
Where mediation is required, the fee will increase from $200 to $300.
A former Saskatchewan Justice Minister feels it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“The problem in the court system is not these fees, but the system itself,” said Grant Schmidt, now a lawyer based in Melville. “It’s made so expensive by the way it operates, there’s government mediation, the fees on that are going up $100, there’s court mediation so you got double mediation, all that mediation costs the citizens who have to go to court a lot of money, two, three thousand dollars in extra fees to hire their lawyers to go to things that are duplicated.”
Even photocopying charges are doubling to a dollar a page.
The Saskatchewan Taxpayers Federation relies on legal searches to scrutinize the acts of government. It feels the courts are due for efficiency measures.
“A lot of us in our normal businesses, we’re not spending that much money on photocopying anymore for the simple reason that we scan it and email it,” said Todd Mackay with the STF. “Governments are chronically behind on stuff like this, they need to think of better, smarter, more efficient ways to do it.”
The Saskatchewan government doesn’t want anyone shut out of the legal system because of high court fees, and anyone who can prove financial hardship can apply for an exemption.
Based on a report by CTV Regina’s Wayne Mantyka