Finnish courts -
Basic features of the charge system
Types of charge
- Processing charges: trial charge, petition charge, delivery charge. Processing charges are collected from a party as compensation for the hearing of the case and the measures taken in it. The processing charge covers also the delivery of the official instrument containing the decision or an interim decision in the case.
- Document charges: extract charge, copy charge, certificate charge. Document charges are collected for specifically requested documents, unless a statutory release from charges is in effect. For instance, there is no charge for documents issued to the injured party in a criminal case pursued by the public prosecutor.
Certain matters are by law (section 6) free of charge. Such matters include e.g. the adjustment of the debts of private individuals and criminal cases pursued by the public prosecutor in the first court instance.
Costs to be separately compensated for include publication costs in the Official Gazette and in other papers. In certain petitionary matters, the publication costs (”tabulated notices”) are included in the basic charge, and therefore need not be separately compensated for. If a party fails to provide copies in violation of a statutory duty, such copies are produced at the expense of that party. A tape or record fee and a delivery charge are collected for audio or video recordings or other records. Full charges, fees and costs, as invoiced from the court, will be collected for specific service costs abroad.
Payment liability lies with the initiator of the matter (plaintiff or petitioner), on appeal with the appellant and with other performances with the person ordering the performance.
A beneficiary of legal aid is free from payment liability. Certain parties are likewise free from payment liability. These include authorities in the ambit of the Ministry of Justice, the police, other authorities pursuing pre-trial investigations, the prosecutors and the enforcement authorities.
Charges are collected once the performance has been completed. Payment may be made in cash at the registry of the court. A receipt is issued. The documents may be delivered to the customer also by post. In this event, the charge is collected C.O.D. or an invoice is sent to the customer. Separate p&p charges are not collected.
The charges collected by the courts, the process servers and the local prosecutors are governed by the Act on the Charges for the Performances of the Courts and Certain Organs of Judicial Administration (701/1993) and in the corresponding Decrees.
Charges collected by courts: Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative court, Courts of Appeal, Administrative Courts, Market Court, Labour Court and Insurance Court
Charges collected by the district courts
Uppdated on 14 March 2013