Any suit can be instituted by a pauper, a pauper is a person not possessed of sufficient funds to enable them to pay the prescribed filing fees to the court.  A matter will not be deemed filed in court unless the requisite fees are paid and we recognise that some people might not be able to pay that fee.  The people falling under this category will normally apply for permission to file a suit without paying the requisite fees.  A person writes a letter to the court usually to the deputy registrar of that court explaining that they are unable to pay fees.  It is in the same manner as the pleadings by the applicants themselves or their authorised agents.

Order 33 deals with the procedure to be used for one to apply to be allowed to file a suit without paying fees.  Once the person has written a letter to the court, the court will hear them as to their state of their pauperism.  Usually the court will questions their limits regarding economic ability and their inability to pay the requisite fees. Usually the court upon being satisfied that the person does not have the money should grant the application.  The court may only reject the application, as set out under rule 5 and that is:-

If it is not framed and presented in the prescribed manner;
Where the applicant is not a pauper;
Where the applicant has in the last two months disposed of any property;
Where the suit does not established a course of action;
Where he has entered an agreement with the 3rd party in reference to the suit property or subject matter.

Mandevia V. Rungwe African Co-operative Union

The court held that permission to sue as a pauper is a statutory right subject only to Rule V.

Bamuzale V. Andrew Corret


Where a pauper plaintiff or defendant succeeds in any suit, and they are paid a sum of money then they will be required to pay the court fees at that stage.  If they are the successful parties and they are awarded costs, those costs will go to the court.  If they are unsuccessful, then they will not be required to pay any costs.


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