Big tip-o-the-hat to Courthouse News Service for following up on the class action suit brought by Texas resident Karen McPeters against Montgomery County’s (Texas) mandatory use of LexisNexis for electronic filing of court documents. We discussed the Federal class action lawsuit brought by McPeters back in April, but it appears that the Federal Judge was showing some doubt about the standing of the case in federal court on the issue of filing fees preventing due process or equal access to the law.
Cameron Langford at CNS gives a great “blow-by-blow” of the case, where McPeters equates the fee to a poll tax that is discriminatory to the public that can’t afford the fee… and essentially equivalent to a literacy test for those that are not computer literate enough to understand how to file document electronically. Those are interesting arguments, however, I did find one statement in the complaint that stood out for a much more practical reason. According to the complaint, LexisNexis charges over twice as much for filing over other e-filing services that serve Texas Courts.
Very interesting…(oh, and for you non-Texans… Bexar County is pronounced similarly to “Bear”… if you say Bex-ar County, they’ll know you’re not from around here.)
Here’s the synopsis of the complaint. It is definitely worth a read.