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Proposal to increase civil filing fees advances

The cost of filing general district court suits would almost triple and circuit court filing fees would increase at least six-fold under a bill that passed the Senate Finance Committee this morning.

The $50 million that the increases would generate would go to sheriffs and commonwealth’s attorneys who are looking laying off employees as a result of cuts in the state budget.

By Alan Cooper

One comment

  1. The amount of this increase is embarassing. Clearly, the hope is that by asking to increase it by this staggering sum it will be ultimately increased by a significant amount. I can say with certainy that a number of litigants will simply be prevented from filing meritorious and necessary lawsuits as a result of any such increase. I have always been proud of Virginia’s reasonable filing fees and thus financially non-discriminatory access to its Courts. Its sad that we have become so desperate that we look to these kinds of alternatives. Ones in which our legislators know that there is no particularly powerful lobby that will prevent an enactment and yet the effect will be sweeping. They do so with utter disregard to the inherently negative impact on potential litigants and a system that is already cast as unfavorable and one-sided.

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