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SC chief justice: court fee veto torpedoes courts

May 12, 2010 7:08:00 PM - thestate.com
Now all three branches of South Carolina state government are fighting over money.

Gov. Mark Sanford on Wednesday vetoed court fee increases.

"It really will be a torpedo below the water line," said State Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal. "It would absolutely sink the judicial system potentially."

The fees were needed after years of state spending cuts left Toal's court system short on cash and reserve accounts emptied. The temporary fees on civil court filings and depositions will generate about $21 million. Toal said she'd be confronted with laying off court reporters and the law clerks who do judges' legal legwork.

But Sanford said the fees will strain budgets and cut off access to courts.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)