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Increasing Court Access Through Fee-Waiver Reform

California's Model

By Phong S. Wong & Richard Rothschild

The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment grants indigent people the right to access the courts. However, the rising cost of court fees and constant fee-waiver denials make it impossible for them to assert this right. Because the courts handle fee waivers in wildly different ways, a uniform fee-waiver system may help clear up confusion and ensure that , no matter where indigent people live, they have access to fee waivers and thus access to the courts.

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