The Chattanooga Times – Free Press is reporting that over 250 defendants that were in Chattooga County State Court between 2007 and this year can get their money back.
In all there is over $55,000 in court costs that were illegally assessed by the Chattooga County State Court.
Chattooga County Court Clerk Lann Cordle said his office sent letters last week to defendants who paid court costs in cases in which they were not found guilty, a practice that is illegal.
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated 15-13-35, a prosecutor cannot charge costs in a case if the court did not find the defendant guilty.
Chattooga County State Court Judge Sam Finster said he did not know such a practice was illegal.
Two hundred sixty one letters were sent out to defendants who had been charged court costs illegally, but the Court Clerk’s office said that they do not have addresses for everyone who may have been charged improperly.
Former defendants will be asked to fill out a claim form that tells when they were arrested and the charges that were filed against them along with how much money they paid to the court.
Court Clerk Lann Cordle said that none of the defendant’s cases will be returned to court.
(AM 1180 and Chattanooga Times-Free Press)