Court of Appeals Judge Kelly Thompson Calls For New Rule to Determine Filing Fee for Pauper Inmate Appeals . Calls for expansion of Appeal Time.


By Judge Stan Billingsley (Ret.)  Dec. 15, 2010

    Some Circuit Judges have been using their discretion in determining the amount of a filing fee required of inmates in inmate pauper appeals.  This discretion has required a court order which  sometimes varied from $5.00 for some pauper inmate appeals, and up to $150 for others.

      In an interview with LawReader, Court of Appeals Clerk Sam Givens said that they have created a new AOC form for use in determining filing fees in such cases.

     The new standardized formula will require an evaluation of the last six months of deposits in an  inmate’s Canteen Account.  Then the filing fee applied will be 20% of the average account balance.

   This procedure, and the delay in Circuit Judges issuing fee orders in such matters, has worked to deny some appeals as the 10 day period in which such appeals had to be made was tolled by the  time the Circuit Judges order was delivered to the inmate.

    This new procedure will allow the fee to be determined upfront, and the delay will be eliminated.  This brings reason and fairness to the process.

   Court of Appeals Clerk Sam Givens said that Court of Appeals Kelly Thompson, from Bowling Green brought the issue before the court.  He reported that Judge Thompson has also asked the Civil and Criminal Rules Committees of the Supreme Court to consider expanding the time in which such appeals had to be filed from 10 to 30 days to be consistent with other appeal times.  The expansion of the appeal time period is under consideration by the Supreme Court.

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