During these difficult economic times, most people have been very sensitive to cost increases; in fact, many businesses and law firms (ours included) have reduced fees in order to help our friends and clients. Unfortunately, the costs of dealing with Georgia courts have just gone up. They didn’t go up a couple of dollars or even $10.00; instead, court filing fees have increased dramatically, sometimes doubling! Each county has determined the date for these increases, so please be prepared to see more and more increases as these new fees are instituted. Click here to see a copy of House Bill 1055.
Since our construction law firm practices throughout the State of Georgia, we are beginning to see lawsuit filing fees increase over $100 per filing; the sheriff service fees have doubled as well–they are now $50.00 per service attempt! Similarly, appeals from lower courts fees and case transfer fees have effectively doubled. These fees are the result of House Bill 1055 and, although they are charged by the local clerks, most of the money is paid to the State. Thus, these amounts do not include fees charged by the county.
What can we learn from this?
People’s access to justice has become considerably more expensive.
That’s a shame, particularly in an economic climate where contractors and subcontractors are not being paid. It’s also a shame because many courts have had to reduce services and take furloughs in order to maintain their budgets, yet they will not see any of this revenue.
Remember, that due to county fees and add-ons, filing fees vary in each county; furthermore, these mandated increases are taking effect on different dates so be sure to contact the clerk’s office before mailing in your filing fees. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Cobb Law Group. Please tell us what you think about these fees and how they may impact your business decisions.