The Cost of Civil Litigation

The price to bring a simple claim for compensation due to injuries caused by a negligent person is now $360.00 to file the complaint and writ of summons in court.

See C.G.S. Section 52-259.

Lawsuits in Connecticut must be filed electronically, so there is no cost whatsoever to the state to accept a filing since it never touches human hands. To serve the writ of summons and complaint, the law allows an indifferent person or a State Marshal to make service of the papers. Most attorneys use State Marshals and they are paid depending on how many pages the complaint contains, how many parties must be served, and the distance of travel needed to effectuate service. If you elect a jury trial instead of a judge trial, you must pay a jury fee of $440.00. See Connecticut General Statute Section 52-258. Oddly, the jury fee must be paid early in the case and is not refundable even if you settle the case and do not need a jury. This is another rip off tax decoyed as a court fee.

So, the cost to bring a case to court when you have requested a jury will be at least $860.00. Approximately 90-95% of all civil cases settle before getting to the jury. Why then does the state keep 100% of the jury fee money? With all that extra money, why is the state laying off Judicial staff, and why does our capitol city Superior Court have only 3 civil judges and other courthouses have 5 or more who are simply not that busy?

A fair and just civil justice system shouldn’t price out people from bringing claims and a just judiciary should not be reeling in a 90% windfall on the outrageous jury fee.

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