An increase in the fee for filing motions in civil cases is expected to generate millions of dollars a year, but many court clerks say it has already created confusion, delays and more work at a time when staffs are stretched too thin. The motion fee, which became effective July 1 along with a number of other fee hikes, is the result of a mutual effort between the legislature and the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, said Judge John W. Smith II, the AOC’s executive director. Because lawmakers declined to raise taxes to offset the budget deficit, Smith said he was forced to choose one of two unappealing options: help raise revenue for the court or lay off dozens of court employees. He opted for the first.
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