In April 2010, Karen McPeters filed a federal class action complaint against Montgomery County, Texas, and LexisNexis seeking to enjoin the county from requiring litigants to file all documents with the court through LexisNexis File & Serve. In the complaint, she alleged that the fees amounted to a poll tax and a denial of due process and equal protection. The Court dismissed her federal claims and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction to hear her state claims, suggesting that they are more properly heard by the state courts. We have pulled the filings for the federal case and posted them to Justia Dockets & Filings. (For free! The irony.) McPeters filed in state court on January 25, 2011, according to Courthouse News.
Courthouse News and 3 Geeks and Law Blog (see also their April post) posted about this case this week, and they have done a great job covering the details and legal analysis—so I’ll leave that to them. I decided to post on about this anyway because I think it’s important that this issue get as much coverage as possible. It highlights the current problems with our pay-to-play legal system in a way that everyone—lawyers and consumers—can understand.