2020 Georgia Code
Title 15 - Courts
Chapter 9 - Probate Courts
Article 3 - Costs and Compensation
§ 15-9-61. Payment of Fees Prerequisite to Filing; Affidavit of Indigence

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-9-61 (2020)

The judges of probate courts shall not be required to file any proceedings until the deposit specified in Code Section 15-9-60, relating to court costs of probate courts, has been deposited with the probate judge on account of cost, provided that the deposit shall not be required if the party desiring to file the proceeding is unable because of his indigence to pay the deposit and the party files with the probate court an affidavit to that effect. If the proceeding is dismissed or withdrawn or if the total cost incurred in the proceeding is less than the deposit required by Code Section 15-9-60, any of the sum remaining in the hands of the judge of the probate court shall be repaid. The deposit required to be filed by this Code section shall not affect any Code section or Act of the General Assembly which requires a deposit in excess or in addition to the deposit of cost required by this Code section. Nothing contained in this Code section shall be deemed to require the deposit of cost by the state, its agencies, or its political subdivisions.

(Code 1933, § 24-1716.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1978, p. 1939, § 2.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Relief for indigents not permanent if indigents later able to pay.

- Purpose of statutory provisions allowing indigent persons relief from the filing of deposits such as Ga. L. 1952, p. 584, §§ 1 and 2 and former Code 1933, §§ 24-2716.1 and 24-2716.2 (see now O.C.G.A. §§ 9-15-2,15-9-60, and15-9-61) was to provide an indigent access to the courts, and it did not appear that the General Assembly intended to permanently relieve a litigant from responsibility to pay any probate court costs regardless of the litigant's ultimate ability to pay those costs; accordingly, a party allowed to proceed in forma pauperis without the filing of such an advance cost deposit can be required to pay court costs if the party later becomes able to pay those costs by virtue of receipt of estate funds through probate proceedings. 1978 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U78-48.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 34 C.J.S., Executors and Administrators, §§ 1071, 1074.

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