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OCGA 9-15-14

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#1 micalaca


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Posted 15 May 2009 - 11:22 AM

The Georgia Statue  Chapter 15 OCGA §9-15-14  clearly  refers to attorney’s fee.

Same chapter 15 of Georgia Statue States:

O.C.G.A. §9-15-6  States:

when attorney or client or both are nonresident

(a) When any attorney institutes an
action in any of the courts of this state for any person who resides outside this
state, the attorney shall be liable to pay all costs of the officers of court
in the event that the action is dismissed or the plaintiff is cast in the


O.C.G.A. §9-15-7 States:

liable for costs when negligent

If any plaintiff is involuntarily
dismissed or cast in the action by reason of the willful neglect or misconduct
of his attorney, his attorney shall be liable for the costs which may have
accrued in the case. In like manner, if any defendant is cast in the action by
reason of the willful neglect or misconduct of his attorney, his attorney shall
be liable for the costs thereof.


Could you give me an unofficial opinion on the interpretation of the
language “Cost of the Officer of the Court “in OCGA § 9-15-6 and  Cost Thereof in OCGA § 9-15-7 ?

Does “Cost of Officer of the Court” include attorney’s
fees as referred in OCGA§ 9-15-14 ?

Does  “Cost” and “Cost Thereof” in
OCGA § 9-15-7 include attorney’s fee as in OCGA§ 9-15-14 ?

#2 Fallen


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Posted 15 May 2009 - 11:32 AM

It's not reasonable to expect folks to interpret stuff taken out of context.  That said, court costs are not the same thing as attorney fees.  Sure, if someone's deemed to have filed a frivolous action (and it's awfully difficult to get a court to agree a case is frivolous/brought in bad faith), yes, the loser can be held liable for attorney fees.  It's also incredibly rare for someone to be declared to have been "guilty of willful neglect or misconduct".

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)

#3 micalaca


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Posted 16 May 2009 - 04:42 PM

Obviously court cost and attorneys fees are two different terms.
The question is  who are the officers of the court? (See legal dictionary)
And then what is the meaning of cost of the officer of the court? in OCGA 9-15-6

And same in OCGA 9-15-7
Cost accrued in the case?
What cost is the statue referring to?

#4 Tax_Counsel


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Posted 16 May 2009 - 05:23 PM

While it is often said that attorneys are "officers of the court", under GA statute, the phrase "officers of court" appears to have a more limited meaning, referring to officers of the state or local government that are involved with court functions. See GA Code section 15-3-1, which states that "All sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, coroners, jailers, constables, and other officers of court shall be liable to all actions and disabilities which they incur in respect of any matter or thing relating to or concerning their respective offices." As the listing in that section suggests, officers of court are persons holding government positions like sheriffs, coroners, and constables. Thus, it appears that GA Code § 9-15-6 is not sections authorizing payment of attorney's fees, but rather requiring payment of fees that were incurred by these various government officials as a result of the lawsuit, i.e. costs of the sheriff in serving process, for example.

As for the term "costs", that too is quite limited and clearly does not include attorneys fees. It is instead the cost charged by the court itself, which is generally fixed by statute at $58, plus costs for the clerk and the sheriff. This comes from GA Code section 15-6-77(e), which expressly defines costs for civil actions.

Thus, neither §§ 9-15-6 nor 9-15-7 authorize recovery of attorney's fees. This is not unusual; in most cases, the rule is that each party bears his own legal fees.

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