Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 26, 2010

High court ruling will affect fees at county courthouse

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma Supreme Court decision to not rehear a case originally filed in Oklahoma County will mean court clerks across the state will be charging less fees to file civil cases.

Cherokee County Court Clerk Shirley Glory’s office received notice Thursday that the high court has denied a rehearing in a case filed by Jerry R. Fent. Fent filed suit against the Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, Oklahoma County Court Clerk Patricia Presley and all other 76 county court clerks in the state.

His case asked the state Supreme Court to assume original jurisdiction and declare two sections of state law unconstitutional that require a portion of fees paid to the court clerk to be deposited in the accounts of certain non-judicial programs. The court ruled the statutory provisions violate the state Constitution.

Glory and other court clerks have been told that, as of April 21, they are no longer to collect a voluntary registry and confidential intermediary program and mutual consent voluntary registry fee of $20; with an additional $2 court clerk revolving fund fee; a $10 child abuse multidisciplinary fee, with an additional $1 court clerk revolving fund fee; and a $3 attorney general victim services unit fee, with an additional 30 cents court clerk revolving fund fee.

Shelly Kissinger, Glory’s first deputy, said the local office collected approximately $40,000 on civil cases filed in 2009 as a result of the fees.

Kissinger said the child abuse multidisciplinary fee and attorney general victim service fee will still be collected in criminal cases.

Online court records indicate the Supreme Court will address Fent’s request for attorney fees.

Chief Justice James Edmondson disqualified himself from the case since his brother, Attorney General Drew Edmondson, was listed as a defendant.

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