Deep in the bowels of the recently enacted HR 1055, legislation sponsored by state Representatives Kevin Levitas, Tom Rice, Matt Ramsey, Jim Cole and Richard Smith, which modifies all sort of fees chargeable to citizens, lies a seemingly benign fee structure change for the Clerks of Superior Court which has the potential to impact the ability of the average citizen to argue his case before the highest courts of our fair land:
Preparation of record and transcript to the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, per page:
Note, that’s per page. With that, a five hundred page record which once cost a maximum of $750.00 to forward to an appellate court in Georgia now will cost a maximum of $5,000.00. And it is not uncommon for an appellate record, depending on the complexity of the case, to exceed 1,000 pages, which would conceivably mean a $10,000 fee for the “right” to appeal an adverse judgment.
I’m told the Fulton County Daily Report already has a story about this, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.
How does this help indigent defense? And how can justice be served with such a potentially high entry fee into the carnival that is the Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals?