Madison Co. judges recuse selves in Circuit Clerk lawsuit - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Madison Co. judges recuse selves in Circuit Clerk lawsuit

A Madison County woman filed a class action lawsuit against Madison County Circuit Clerk Jane Smith. A Madison County woman filed a class action lawsuit against Madison County Circuit Clerk Jane Smith.
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

All Madison County judges have recused themselves in a class action lawsuit against Madison County Circuit Clerk Jane Smith.

The lawsuit, filed Friday afternoon, stated Smith collected a $150 civil lawsuit filing fee without authorization for the past seven years.

The woman filed the lawsuit after being charged the fee on June 21, 2013, for filing a traffic case.

According to the lawsuit, lawmakers passed an act creating the Judicial Administrative Fund of Madison County in March 2004. It allowed the clerk to collect the fee and then the Madison County Commission would advance the funds to the Administrative Office of Courts.

The fund was established during a judicial crisis and in turn the fund would help maintain necessary judicial and court positions in Madison County. However, the lawsuit stated the act was repealed and Smith was supposed to stop collecting the $150 fee  "on or around" January 1, 2006.

The filing states Smith's collection of the $150 fee is contrary to state law, unauthorized, illegal, and unconstitutional.

The lawsuit requests a jury trial.

The lawsuit does mention the county commission so there is a possibility it could be named as additional party so the Madison County Attorney, Jeff Rich declined to comment.

Smith also declined to comment.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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