Many states provide by law, court rule, or case law that an indigent person too poor to pay the fees associated with a case may have the fees waived. Connecticut’s present statute on the subject, 52-259b(a) is fairly straightforward
In any civil or criminal matter, if the court finds that a party is indigent and unable to pay a fee or fees payable to the court or to pay the cost of service of process, the court shall waive such fee or fees and the cost of service of process shall be paid by the state.
HB 6692 would amend this to provide an alternative; if a person cannot pay due to indigence they can be compelled to work.
If the court waives such fee, fees or the cost of service of process, the court may, in connection with the granting of such fee waiver, order that the person participate in a program of community service, as set forth in section 2 of this act, for a period of time not to exceed twenty hours. In determining whether to order a person to participate in a program of community service, the court shall consider the person’s ability to perform community service and prior compliance with any order to participate in a program of community service.
HB 6692 is set for a hearing on April 15 before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.