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BENNETT v. STATE OF GEORGIA.
A93A1435.
BLACKBURN, Judge.
Attorney fees. Bacon Superior Court. Before Judge Blount.
On March 9, 1990, the appellant, James Bennett, was issued a traffic citation for speeding. He moved for a speedy trial pursuant to OCGA 17-7-170, and on November 30, 1992, because he was not tried within the next regular court term, the trial court dismissed the charge against Bennett. Subsequently, Bennett filed a pro se motion for attorney fees against the State of Georgia, seeking $4,046 as reasonable expenses of his pro se defense of the traffic offense prosecution. This appeal follows the trial court's denial of that motion.
Bennett sought attorney fees pursuant to OCGA 15-19-14 (e), which pertains to liens for attorney services provided. He cites no authority for his entitlement to recover expenses of litigation for defending himself in the criminal proceeding other than general references to the due process and equal protection clauses of the United States and the Georgia Constitutions. There is no statutory authority in Georgia that authorizes attorney fees in a criminal action. Cf. Garcia v. Allen, 202 Ga. App. 529 (414 SE2d 742) (1992). We likewise find no basis for such an award under the United States and Georgia Constitutions.
In fact, pursuant to the sovereign immunity preserved in Ga. Const., Art. I, Sec. II, Par. IX (e), the State of Georgia is immune from Bennett's claim for attorney fees. The trial court thus properly denied Bennett's motion.
James L. Bennett, pro se.
DECIDED SEPTEMBER 10, 1993 -- RECONSIDERATION DENIED SEPTEMBER 22, 1993.
Saturday May 23 14:24 EDT


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