ACAT fees

You may need to pay a fee when you apply to ACAT and to use some services at ACAT. There are different fees for individuals and corporations.

Fees are payable for:

  • some applications
  • counterclaims
  • subpoenas
  • photocopying documents
  • hearings (when they are scheduled for more than one day)
  • transcripts
  • inspecting an ACAT case file
  • litigation searches
  • appeals
  • removal or referral of a case to the ACT Supreme Court
  • other services provided by ACAT.

What fee do I have to pay?

ACAT fees are set out in the Courts Procedures (Fees) Determination 2019.

You can also view a  summary of fees [PDF 197KB]. This summary tells you the fees for ACAT's case types.

You can contact us to check what fee you need to pay.

When and how do I pay my fee?

You should pay the correct fee when you lodge your application form. If the fee is payable at a different time, we will tell you.

You can pay the fee at the ACAT counter between 9am and 4.30pm on weekdays by:

  • cash
  • debit or credit card
  • bank cheque
  • money order.

You can also pay the fee by posting to ACAT a:

Post your fee and any application form to ACAT at GPO Box 370, Canberra ACT 2601.

Fee exemptions

You are exempt from paying ACAT fees if:

  • you are named on a Commonwealth-issued Health Care Card, Low Income Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card OR
  • you are represented by Legal Aid, Aboriginal Legal Services (NSW/ACT) Ltd, or Canberra Community Law Ltd, including Street Law and the Women's Legal Centre (ACT & Region) Inc.

To apply for an exemption, you need to:

Fee waiver

Before you ask for a fee waiver, check whether you are exempt from paying ACAT fees.

You can apply for a waiver if the payment will cause you hardship.

To apply for a waiver:

  • fill in request about payment of fees form [DOC 139KB]
  • provide any supporting documents, such as bank statements, pay slips, profit and loss statements or business activity statements
  • lodge the form and documents at ACAT.

The ACAT Registrar will make a decision about your request. The ACAT Registrar will consider:

  • the merits of your application, taking into account your circumstances
  • your financial circumstances, including your income, expenses, assets and liabilities
  • the income of any partner or dependants you have
  • whether you have any disposable income
  • your supporting documents
  • if you are a corporation, the structure and ownership of the company.

The whole fee may be waived, or only the part of the fee that will cause hardship. The fee may also be deferred for a period of time.

ACAT will notify you of the decision. If you disagree with the decision, you can ask ACAT for:

Fee deferral

Before you ask for a fee deferral, check whether you are exempt from paying ACAT fees.

You can apply to defer the payment of a fee if you cannot make the payment when it is due.

To apply for a deferral:

  • fill in the request about payment of fees form [DOC 139KB]
  • provide supporting documents such as bank statements, pay slips, profit and loss statements or business activity statements
  • lodge the form and documents at ACAT.

The ACAT Registrar will make a decision about whether payment should be deferred for a period of time. The whole fee, or part of it, may be deferred.

The ACAT Registrar will consider:

  • the merits of your application, taking into account your circumstances
  • your current and future financial situation
  • how long the fee should be deferred
  • whether the fee could be paid in instalments
  • whether the whole fee or part of the fee should be deferred
  • your supporting documents.

ACAT will notify you of the decision. If you disagree with the decision, you can ask ACAT for:

Fee refund

A fee can be refunded is some circumstances. A fee can be refunded in whole or in part.

To apply for a refund, fill in the request about payment of fees form [DOC 139KB].

ACAT will notify you of the decision. If you disagree with the decision, you can ask ACAT for:

When a reduced fee can be paid by a corporation

The fees for a corporation are higher than the fees for an individual person. A corporation is charged the same fee as a natural person if the corporation:

  • is incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation or
  • had a turnover of less than $200,000 in the previous financial year.

To apply, fill in a statement as to nature and turnover of a corporation form [PDF 90KB] and lodge it with your application.

More information

Find out how to:

Glossary and terms

Glossary and terms

ACT Civil and Administrative TribunalA tribunal established under the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008. It may also be referred to as ACAT or Tribunal.

Adjourn (or adjournment)To suspend or postpone a preliminary conference, mediation or hearing and reschedule it for a future date.

Administrative reviewACAT has jurisdiction to review some administrative decisions made by the ACT Government. Find out about Review of ACT Government decisions.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)Also known as dispute resolution. This is a way of resolving disputes without a formal hearing. It may involve a preliminary conference or mediation. ADR is used to help parties resolve cases by agreement.

AnorMeans ‘and another’. This term is generally used to name parties to proceedings when there is more than one applicant or respondent.

Appeal TribunalA tribunal constituted under section 81 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal 2008 to review a decision of the tribunal (not all ACAT decisions are appealable at ACAT – you may need to go to the Supreme Court).

AppellantThe individual or company that appeals an ACAT decision.

Authorising lawsA law that says an application (including referrals) may be made to ACAT. An authorising law may also set out the powers ACAT has in a case. Also see ‘jurisdiction’.

ApplicantThe individual or company that brings a case to ACAT, usually by making an application.

Calling a witnessA party or their representative will ‘call a witness’ at an ACAT hearing when they ask a witness to give evidence.

CaseAlso known as a matter, dispute, application or referral. Cases come to ACAT when ACAT has jurisdiction (power) to make a decision.

Cross-examinationThe process of asking a witness questions to test or check the evidence that the witness has given to ACAT.

Deliver a decisionAlso ‘handing down a decision’. This is giving a decision about an ACAT case. It may be done verbally or in writing (or both).

DirectionsInstructions that set out what each party must do (and when), often to prepare a case for hearing.

Directions hearingA short hearing where an ACAT Member or Registrar decides how to manage a case and what needs to be done before a hearing. Find out about directions hearings.

Ex parte orderAn order made by ACAT where one or more parties were not present.

Expert reportA written report from an expert that may be used as evidence.

Expert witnessA person with specialised knowledge based on their training, study or experience. An expert can give evidence at a hearing. Find out more about witness statements.

Final directions hearingSometimes ACAT will hold a final directions hearing prior to the final hearing of an application. The purpose is to make sure the case is ready to go to a hearing and give the parties a chance to ask questions about the hearing process.

Handed upGiving documents to an ACAT Member or Registrar in a hearing.

In chambersWhen ACAT considers something without holding a hearing.

Joined party (joined/joinder)A party who was not originally a party to the dispute but has later been added to the case.

JurisdictionACAT’s authority (power) to deal with, hear and decide applications (cases).

LeaveIf someone asks for leave, they are usually asking for permission to do something.

List (or listing)A schedule (or list) of cases to be heard at ACAT each day.

Listing noticeA letter or written document from ACAT that sets out when a conference, mediation or hearing is scheduled at ACAT.

MediationA private meeting where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator (who is also an ACAT Member or Registrar). It is held under section 35 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008.

Non-publication and/or non-disclosure orderAlso called a ‘suppression order’. It is an order that requires certain information not to be published or disclosed. It is made under section 39 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008. Find out about public hearings and confidentiality.

Notice to partiesA letter sent to the parties in a case that sets out the time, date and location for an ACAT conference, mediation or hearing.

Opening statementUsually means a statement made at the beginning of a hearing to outline the key points in the case. Sometimes parties are asked to give an opening statement at a mediation or preliminary conference.

Originating applicationAn application that starts an ACAT case.

Party or partiesAn individual or company directly involved in an ACAT case, for example an applicant or respondent. Find out how to identify and name parties.

Preliminary conferenceA private meeting where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute with the help of an ACAT Member or Registrar. See section 33 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008. ACAT has different types of preliminary conferences.

RegistryThe administrative section of ACAT that accepts documents lodged by parties, handles enquiries and provides support for case management.

RepresentativeA person who represents or advocates for an individual or company at a conference, mediation or hearing at ACAT. For example, a legal practitioner or an attorney appointed under a general power of attorney.

Reserved decisionWhen an ACAT Member or Registrar reserves a decision (at the end of a hearing), this means they will give their decision later, either verbally or in writing (sometimes both).

RespondentThe party (or parties) against whom orders or relief is sought.

Short service orderAn order that authorises a shorter time for service (than the time otherwise required).

Serve/serviceA person who can give evidence at a hearing. Find out about witness statements.

Statement of reasonsA document that explains why ACAT made an order in a case. It sets out the law relied on by an ACAT Member or Registrar and explains how the law was applied to the facts of the case. You can request a written statement of reasons within 14 days after an order is made. Find out about statement of reasons.

StayAn order for a particular action (or decision) to be put on hold or suspended for a period of time.

SubmissionA document that sets out your side of a case or dispute and the relevant law. It is presented to ACAT either in writing, verbally or both. Find out about submissions.

SubpoenaRequires a person to appear at ACAT to give evidence or provide documents (or both). Find out about subpoenas.

Substituted service orderAn order that says how a party is to be served with an application or other documents related to the proceedings. In a civil dispute or a rental dispute, an applicant will need to consider asking for a substituted service order if they do not have a physical address for the respondent. Find out about lodging and serving documents.

WitnessA person who can give evidence at a hearing. Find out about witness statements.