ATLANTA (CN) - Attorney Steven J. Newton has filed a fourth lawsuit against Fulton County and Lexis-Nexis over an exclusive contract to handle electronically filed matters granted by the court's judges to Lexis, which is owned by the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Reed-Elsevier.
Newton was scheduled to go before DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Robert Castellani on Jan. 7 to argue that all Fulton County judges should be recused from hearing a case pitting Atlanta attorneys against the two courts. Newton, who represents the attorneysclaims that Fulton County State and Superior Courts and Lexis-Nexis Courtlink are wrongly charging fees through the LexisNexis File and Serve system.
On Oct. 5, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter ordered all other action in the case to cease until resolution of the recusal motion.
The new complaint, filed Thursday, is Newton's fourth lawsuit against Fulton County and Reed Elsevier, owner of Lexis-Nexis Courtlink.
Newton represents W. Phillip McCurdy III, Michael Cawthon, Nelson Picklesimer, Kenneth Clowdus as administrator for the estate of Kenneth Larry Clowdus, The Best Jewelry Manufacturing Co. and Does.
"This class action arises from an illegal scheme enacted by defendant Reed Elsevier Inc. dba Lexis-Nexis Courtlink Inc. and defendant Fulton County to impose an unlawful, mandatory e-filing system upon litigants in Fulton County State and Superior Court and to charge excessive and unauthorized fees in connection therewith," the complaint states. "Defendant Fulton County has participated in the illegal scheme by promulgating a 'pilot program' authorizing Lexis' unlawful mandatory e-filing scheme and excessive fees without the statutory authority to do so."
Newton filed a similar claims against Lexis-Nexis Courtlink and Fulton County in Federal Court. He filed the original lawsuit in December 2007 but withdrew it in March 2008, then refiling it in June 2008.
That case was dismissed in March 2009.