Fees and Costs

Scott Law Firm strives to make the cost of its landlord-tenant legal services predictable and economical by using a flat-fee system for most services. Our fee schedule effective January 1, 2023 is summarized in the table below. Court costs are summarized in a separate table after the fee schedule. We invoice established clients for fees and costs, usually on a monthly basis. First-time clients may be asked for advance payment.

Fee Schedule for Landlord-Tenant Legal Services

Uncontested residential or commercial landlord-tenant lawsuit. This fee includes preparing and filing lawsuit, arranging for service of lawsuit, making first court appearance, preparing judgment, and communicating with client as necessary. The fee is the same for one defendant or multiple defendants and will not be reduced if the case is dismissed before the first court appearance. $150
Trial of contested residential or commercial landlord-tenant lawsuit. The trial fee will be billed if the tenant contests the lawsuit and we must prepare for trial, even if the case is later resolved by default, settlement or dismissal. At our discretion, we may elect to reduce this fee if the case is settled before we begin trial preparation, depending on the time involved in settlement negotiations and preparing settlement documents. Services include trial preparation, conducting the trial, preparing judgment, and communicating with the client as necessary. This fee assumes no discovery procedures, no attorney representing tenant(s), no jury trial and no necessity to defend a claim or counterclaim by tenant(s). Discovery, trials in which an attorney represents the tenant(s), all jury trials and defense of tenant claims and counterclaims will be billed at our normal hourly rate of $200/hour. $175
Minimum flat fee for extra court appearances (preparation, appearance, and report to client). * See note below. $35
Preparation of or response to discovery requests, correspondence with tenants or attorneys representing tenants, defense of tenant claims or counterclaims, cases in which tenants are represented by an attorney, and all jury trials. $200/hr
Preparation of witness subpoenas, if needed, and arranging service of subpoenas (fee is per subpoena). $30
Customization of all recommended notice forms for a particular landlord. $100
Modification of recommended notice form or special notice not included in recommended forms (per page).
Prepare and file request for execution for possession. $25
Leasing forms package (paper copies only). $130
Leasing forms package (electronic-sent by email).


*  If a client notifies us to dismiss a case by Monday preceding court on Thursday, we can file a dismissal at no charge. However, dismissals requested on or after Tuesday preceding court on Thursday will require an extra court appearance to dismiss the case in court because the court clerk usually cannot process a filed dismissal in time for the Thursday docket.

Costs Schedule for Landlord-Tenant Lawsuits

The following costs apply only for Boone County, Missouri.

The basic filing fee is $33.50 for one or multiple defendants. Because we must file all cases online, there is also a 50¢ surcharge for our online electronic payment, so our clients are billed $34.00 per case for filing fees.

If service of process by the sheriff is specified, an additional sheriff’s fee of $30.00 per defendant must be added to the basic filing fee at the time we file the case.

If service by a private process server is specified, our clients are billed for the server’s fees, which are usually $45.00 per defendant within Columbia city limits but may be higher if there is a need for multiple attempts or service must take place outside the city limits. Because we get prompt and reliable service from our special process servers, we will opt for service by a special process server unless you specifically instruct us to use the sheriff.

Note: Each person liable on the lease (i.e., who signed the lease) should be named as a defendant, as well as all other adults residing in the leased premises whether or not they signed the lease, because you cannot evict a person you did not name as a defendant in the lawsuit.

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Serving landlords and property managers in Boone County, Missouri