ATLANTA (CN) – New motions have been filed by both sides of the class action that challenges Fulton County’s deal with English media giant Reed Elsevier and its division LexisNexis to make electronic filing of lawsuits mandatory. A ruling on class certification is expected early next year.
Fulton County’s attorney William Miles has filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking dismissal of the claims based on sovereign immunity, and what he claims are procedural defects in the case.
For the plaintiff class, Steve Newton replied earlier this month that the county’s immunity is waived by Georgia statute. He argued that the public is entitled to a refund of any amount that exceeds filing fees approved by statute by $15 or more.
“Lexis’ fees are in excess of the statutory fees approved by the Georgia Legislature,” said Newton in his papers.
Newton has also made a second attempt to add present and former court clerks Mark Harper, Cathelene “Tina” Robinson, Juanita Hicks, and Stefani Lacour as defendants.
Newton argued that an earlier attempt to add the clerks as defendants failed based on the court’s finding that, “All parties acknowledge that [they] are acting on behalf of Fulton County, and that any order which [the] court issues would be fully binding on the county.”
But Newton now questions whether all parties do agree about the county’s liability. He says the county’s sovereign immunity claim raises again the issue of the clerks’ individual liability.
The plaintiffs in the case have until Dec. 1 to file a motion for class certification and submit discovery requests. The parties then have until Feb. 1 to complete the class certification discovery process, after which the certification hearing will be scheduled