Civil Legal System

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The civil legal system provides victims options that are separate from the criminal justice system.

The civil system deals with issues between people (such as divorce, broken contracts or arguments about property) as well as harm to people and property. Sometimes people refer to a civil case as a lawsuit or suing someone.

In the civil system, the victim is a “party” in the case. Being a “party” means that the victim is one of the two sides in the case. This is different from the criminal system, in which the prosecutor files charges on behalf of the government. There is no prosecutor in a civil case. Usually, law enforcement and corrections officers are not involved in civil cases. 

Filing fees and waivers


When you file anything with a court in Colorado, you must pay a fee. The amount of the fees depends on three things:

  1. the type document you are filing,
  2. the type of court, and
  3. whether the case is civil or criminal.

The Colorado Judicial Branch website has a chart that lists filing fees.

Is there a way to waive filing fees?


To waive filing fees, you have to show the Court that you don’t have enough money to pay the fee. You have to fill out two documents:

  1. Motion to File Without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit (JDF 205), and
  2. Finding and Order Concerning Payment of Fees (JDF 206).

You may also need to give copies of your last three months’ bank statements and pay stubs as proof of your income.

Who can waive their filing fees?

Filing fees for civil cases may be waived if:

  1. You make the same or less than the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and your liquid assets* are $0 to $1,500. This calculator can help you see if you qualify.


  1. You make up to 25% more than the guidelines in the chart and your liquid assets* equal $0 to $1,500 and your monthly expenses are the same or more than monthly income.

*Liquid assets are cash or things that can be turned into cash easily.

Please contact one of our Navigators for more information. 

This website gives information about the legal system, but does not give legal advice. To find affordable legal representation in your area, click here. To find information on legal clinics or legal resources, click here.

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There are many kinds of civil legal issues. Below are descriptions of some kinds of legal issues that can be addressed in civil courts in Colorado. Colorado law has specific requirements for each issue, with more details than are given here.