- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A federal appeals court has rejected a New Mexico man’s argument that e-filing fees in the state’s judicial system burdened his access to the courts.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Thursday, saying the court’s $3.70 and $6 fees for attorneys to file cases online on behalf of their clients did not hinder Stephen Whittington’s contitutional right to an attorney.

Legislation in 2009 cleared the way for the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts to purchase pricey case-management software that requires the filing fees for attorneys.

Whittington, of Clovis, filed the class-action lawsuit against the courts in 2013, saying more than 40,000 civil cases filed had been subject to the fees.

The fees do not apply to civil suits stemming from domestic violence cases and disputes, sealed court actions, and unlawful detention claims.

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