Essentially that is the message that is being sent. You may recall an earlier report by Pete Randall that detailed a fee increase from 1.50 a page to 10.00 a page for preparation of record and transcript to the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
Well it seems the Georgia Supreme Court finds the increase in the hinderance of one’s ability to seek justice. Accrdingly they have found a way of mitigating the fee until the legislature reconvenes and takes up this issue again.
On Tuesday, the Georgia Supreme Court changed its rules to allow an appeal to be sent directly to the high court instead of being prepared through the local clerk of courts.
“The whole purpose of this is to make sure the people of Georgia continue to have access to their appellate courts,” Hunstein said. “It is a stopgap measure until the legislature reconvenes next year.”
The rule only applies to the Georgia Supreme Court and not the Georgia Court of Appeals, which handles the majority of appeals in Georgia.
Gainesville attorney Wyc Orr, one of many critical of the fee increases, said he hoped the Georgia Court of Appeals follows suit by allowing the clerk’s office to be bypassed in the preparation of appeals.
“Unless they do, it’s fair to say many of the onerous consequences of this fee increase will still be in effect,” Orr said.
The Gainesville Times has the full story. Again, this fee incease was part of HB 1055 which increased a number of fees accross the state. This is likely not the last we will hear of HB 1055 as more people and local officials encounter the various fee increases.