ATLANTA (CN) - Attorneys for LexisNexis Courtlink, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, Fulton County Superior Court and Georgia State Court have asked a federal judge to dismiss a class-action complaint that accuses them ofillegally operating a mandatory, electronic filing system. Steven Newton, who represents the plaintiffs, said he knew the motions were coming and finds them "borderline comical."
The original complaint, filed as a class-action by an attorney and nonattorneys, claims, "Without any statutory authority, defendants charge litigants and their counsel fees - in some instances $11 for each electronic filing in those cases designated for mandatory electric filing pursuant to orders issued by the Superior and State Courts of Fulton County and a pilot project seemingly and or unwittingly approved by the Georgia Supreme Court."
Defense attorney insist their clients have not violated the Constitution. "Payment of the filing fees cannot run afoul of the Constitution because they are purely voluntary as the State Court has a public access terminal whereby a party may file a document for free," one motion states.
Newton, disagreed, saying that the public access terminal in the courthouse through which litigants can file documents for free is not available to everyone.
"What if you live in L.A.? Are you supposed to fly in? What if you live in Valdosta, (Ga.) or even Roswell (Ga.)?" he said.
Newton added that he has received messages from attorneys throughout the country in support of the lawsuit about this "ridiculous cost structure."