The chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday quietly announced that the court will permit a detour and allow parties in lawsuits to avoid massive increases in legal fees imposed by the Legislature this spring to help balance the state budget.
Chief Justice Carol Hunstein said the fivefold increase threathened to cut off access to the courts.
The announcement was tucked into the Supreme Court’s Web site. Appeals of lower court decisions are generally prepared by county clerk of court offices. The Supreme Court rule change will permit parties on both sides of an appeal to certify and provide the case record to the high court.
“This is an interim solution to the problems created by the passage of House Bill 1055,” said Hunstein. “I have been in communication with members of the legislature and the executive branch, as well as with the association of county commissioners, and I don’t think anyone involved in this legislation understood what