ATLANTA (CN) – Lexis Nexis and its parent, English-Dutch conglomerate Reed Elsevier Inc, have been allowed to file an early appeal of a blanket recusal order disqualifying all judges in Fulton County from hearing a lawsuit over a mandatory e-filing project.
The appeal challenges a ruling last month by a judge in neighboring DeKalb County that said, “There exists at this point at least an appearance of impropriety i.e. a situation in which reasonable minds might perceive that the ability of one of the Fulton County State or Superior Court judges to carry out his or her responsibilities respecting the instant action with impartiality, integrity and or competence is impaired.”
The most recent order in the case, allowing an appeal of that decision, said the recusal of all the Fulton County judges is “of such importance to the case that immediate review should be had.”
The underlying suit, brought by lawyers Steven Newton and Shuli Green, says Lexis and Fulton County “participated in the scheme to impose a mandatory e-filing system upon litigants in Fulton County State and Superior Courts, charging certain fees in connection therewith.”
It adds that, “The judges have participated in this scheme by promulgating a pilot program or otherwise issuing administrative orders authoring co-defendant Lexis-Nexis Courtlink Inc.’s mandatory e-filing scheme and charge of fees therewith.”