Sunday, July 18, 2010

copy this

The Georgia legislature finally left office in April. As someone once said, "No one is safe when the legislature is in session." One of the issues they dealt with was the budget shortfall. State revenues have been falling since this recession began. So the legislature thought it would be a good idea to raise the cost of copying court documents.

If you go to the courthouse to get a copy of your deed or plat, it is going to cost you more-much more. The copy charge went from 25 cents ($.25) to 50 cents ($0.50) per page. If a party in a lawsuit wants to appeal a judgment or verdict to a higher court, the cost of copying the transcript to send to the higher court went from a dollar and fifty cents a page ($1.50) to ten dollars ($10.00) a page. A copy of a transcript that would have cost $750 has now gone to $5000.00. This is cost prohibitive.

This is also cutting off your nose to spite your face. What will happen is that people will make less copies. Only those copies that are essential will now be copied. The copy fees can go up but the number of copies can be regulated by the consumer.

As for the transcript costs, the Georgia Supreme Court acted to modify the costs. Now, instead of having to copy an entire transcipt to appeal a judgment or verdict, the parties can get together with the Clerk of the Court and copy only those pages that relate to the part of the verdict or the legal issue that is being appealed.

Maybe the legislature will act again to remedy this situation and maybe, this time, they will use some common sense.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hot Summer

It is a hot summer and I hate the heat. That's why I live in the mountains-to get away from the heat. If I had my way there would be three seasons-spring, fall and winter.

I had more consultations (counseling sessions) with people today about foreclosures. I'm spending a lot of my time now counseling peoople in dire financial situations. I do what I can to help them but there are a limited number of options. Usually there may be things we can do to "buy time' but I hesitate to reccomend that course of action if, at the end of the time delay, there is no way they will be able to recover and not end up again where they are now.

One sad note is that I learned today that a fellow real estate attorney I know in Atlanta has lost his house and his law practice. He is now working for another law firm wtih long hours and little pay. These times are tough for all of us. Hopefully ..... soon?