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8:14 am
Wed January 20, 2010

Court Fees Illegal

Oklahoma City, OK – State Supreme Court strikes down court fees

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Supreme Court says fees collected by state courts for non-court related activities are unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court's ruling on Tuesday strikes down three civil court filing fees that were challenged in a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent.

One fee collected in adoption cases supported voluntary adoption registries. The second was deposited with a child abuse multidisciplinary account, and the third supported the Attorney General's Office's Victim Services Unit.

In the 6-2 ruling, the high court said the three programs are social welfare programs under the operation of the executive branch of government. The fees paid by litigants who file lawsuits do not fund functions of the court or their maintenance.

State officials were not immediately available for comment.