35A-1116. Costs and fees.

(a) Costs. - Except as otherwise provided herein, costs shall be assessed as in special proceedings. Costs, including any reasonable fees and expenses of counsel for the petitioner which the clerk, in his discretion, may allow, may be taxed against either party in the discretion of the court unless:

(1) The clerk finds that the petitioner did not have reasonable grounds to bring the proceeding, in which case costs shall be taxed to the petitioner; or

(2) The respondent is indigent, in which case the costs shall be waived by the clerk if not taxed against the petitioner as provided above or otherwise paid as provided in subsection (b) or (c).

(b) Multidisciplinary Evaluation. - The cost of a multidisciplinary evaluation order pursuant to G.S. 35A-1111 shall be assessed as follows:

(1) If the respondent is adjudicated incompetent and is not indigent, the cost shall be assessed against the respondent;

(2) If the respondent is adjudicated incompetent and is indigent, the cost shall be borne by the Department of Health and Human Services;

(3) If the respondent is not adjudicated incompetent, the cost may be taxed against either party, apportioned among the parties, or borne by the Department of Health and Human Services, in the discretion of the court.

(c) Witness. - Witness fees shall be paid by:

(1) The respondent, if the respondent is adjudicated incompetent and is not indigent;

(2) The petitioner, if the respondent is not adjudicated incompetent and the clerk finds that there were not reasonable grounds to bring the proceeding;

(2a) The petitioner for any of the petitioner's witnesses, and the respondent for any of the respondent's witnesses, when the clerk finds all of the following:

a. There were reasonable grounds to bring the proceeding.

b. The respondent was not adjudicated incompetent.

c. The respondent is not indigent.

(3) The Administrative Office of the Courts for witness fees for the respondent, if the respondent is indigent.

(c1) Mediator. - Mediator fees and other costs associated with mediation shall be assessed in accordance with G.S. 7A-38.3B.

(c2) Guardian Ad Litem. - The fees of an appointed guardian ad litem shall be paid by:

(1) The respondent, if:

a. The respondent is adjudicated incompetent; and

b. The respondent is not indigent.

(2) The respondent, if:

a. The respondent is not adjudicated incompetent;

b. The clerk finds that there were reasonable grounds to bring the proceeding; and

c. The respondent is not indigent.

(3) The petitioner, if:

a. The respondent is not adjudicated incompetent; and

b. The clerk finds that there were not reasonable grounds to bring the proceedings.

(4) The Office of Indigent Defense Services in all other cases.

(d) The provisions of this section shall also apply to all parties to any proceedings under this Chapter, including a guardian who has been removed from office and the sureties on the guardian's bond. (1987, c. 550, s. 1; 1989, c. 473, s. 15; 1995, c. 235, s. 9; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 2005-67, s. 3; 2009-387, s. 1.)