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Laster v. Nat'l Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2005-3

Court of Appeals of Georgia

July 24, 2014

LASTER
v.
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE STUDENT LOAN TRUST 2005-3 (two cases)

Jurisdiction. Sumter Superior Court. Before Judge Sizemore.

Judgments reversed and cases remanded with direction.

Justin Laster, pro se.

Linda Laster, pro se.

Gerald E. Moore , John M. Duffoo, for appellee.

MCMILLIAN, Judge. Phipps, C. J., and Ellington, P. J., concur.

OPINION

McMillian, Judge.

Appellee National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2005-3 brought a suit on account and agreement in the State Court of Sumter County against Justin and Linda Laster after they allegedly defaulted on their student education loans. The state court granted summary judgment to appellee, and the Lasters, acting pro se, filed an appeal from that order to the Superior Court of Sumter County. The superior court dismissed the case, based on a finding that it had no jurisdiction to

Page 431

review an order granting summary judgment in a civil case such as the one here. The Lasters, again acting pro se, have filed separate appeals to this Court from that order, which we have consolidated for review.

The Georgia Constitution requires that " [a]ny court shall transfer to the appropriate court in the state any civil case in which it determines that jurisdiction or venue lies elsewhere." Ga. Const. of 1983, Art. VI, Sec. I, Par. VIII. Thus, instead of dismissing the Lasters' appeal, the superior court should have transferred the case to this Court for review. Blackmon v. Tenet Healthsystem Spalding, Inc., 284 Ga. 369, 371-372 (667 S.E.2d 348) (2008); Bosma v. Gunter, 258 Ga. 664 (373 S.E.2d 368) (1988).

[T]he manifest purpose of Article VI, Section I, Paragraph VIII is to prevent parties from being penalized when their attorneys, or the parties themselves acting pro se, make a mistake regarding the complex, highly technical rules that govern jurisdiction and venue and inadvertently file a case in the wrong court. This case fits that description to a tee.

[328 Ga.App. 543] Blackmon, 284 Ga. at 371. Accordingly, we vacate the order of the superior court dismissing the Lasters' appeal and remand the case to that court so that their appeal from the state court, including the record transmitted to the superior court as part of that appeal,[1] may be transferred to this Court for appellate review.[2]

Judgments reversed and cases remanded with direction.

Phipps, C. J., and Ellington, P. J., concur.


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