Pauper's oath

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A Pauper's oath is a sworn statement or oath by a person that he or she is completely destitute or a pauper, i.e. without much ($20 or less) money or property.

A person without the ability to pay court costs has the option to swear a pauper's oath in order to file a lawsuit without paying filing fees. Prisoners filing legal actions often use a pauper's oath because persons in prison are often completely without money or any means of acquiring any. ″ Historically, especially during the Great Depression, the pauper's oath was required as a prerequisite for receiving welfare or other forms of government relief in the United States.

One pauper's oath used when establishing indigent status under United States Federal law is as follows: [1]

"So help me God" at the end is optional.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 18 U.S.C. § 3569