Louisiana. Constitutional Convention (1973).

Records of the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1973 (Volume 4) online

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14 of the right to vote.

16 Section 2. Secret Ballot

16 Section 2. Voting shall be by secret ballot, and all ballots

17 cast shall be counted publicly and preserved inviolate until

18 any election contests have been settled.

19 Section 3. Residence of Electors

20 Section 3. No elector shall lose a bona fide residence by

21 temporary absence due to any employment, including mili-

22 tary service, or while studying or visiting away from his
28 voting district.

24 Section 4. Political Activities

25 Section 4. No law shall deny the right of each person to

26 organize, join, support, or oppose any political party or

27 organization, or to support or oppose any candidate or

28 proposition except as otherwise provided in this constitu-
2» tion.

80 Section 5. Privilege from Arrest

81 Section 5. Every qualified elector shall be privileged from
"2 arrest in going to and returning from voting and while

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C. P. No. 20

1 exercising the right to vote in all cases except felony or

2 breach of the peace.

3 Section 6. Candidacy for Public Office

4 Section 6. No qualified elector shall be denied the right to

5 seek public office in the election district in which he is

6 registered except as otherwise provided in this constitution.

7 Section 7. Vote Required for Election

8 Section 7. No person shall be elected to any public office

9 unless he has received the highest number of votes cast for

10 that office. The legislature shall provide a method for

11 breaking ties.

12 Section 8. Limitation on Term of Office

13 Section 8. No term for any public office elected by the

14 people shall exceed four years except as otherwise provided

15 in this constitution.

16 Section 9. Prohibited Use of Public Funds

17 Section 9. No public funds shall be used to urge any

18 elector to vote for or against any candidate, nor appropri-

19 ated to any candidate or political organization.

20 Section 10. Registrars of Voters

21 Section 10. The governing authority of each parish shall

22 appoint a parish registrar of voters who shall provide such
28 bond and receive such compensation as may be determined
24 by law. No person shall serve as registrar of voters while
26 a qualified candidate for any elective office.

26 Section 11. Commissioners and Poll Watchers

27 Section 11. The legislature shall provide for the selection

28 of commissioners and poll watchers at every election.

29 Section 12. Election Returns

80 Section 12. Returns of elections for public officials shall

31 be made to the secretary of state.

32 Section 13. Registration Challenges

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Section 13. A person may contest in the district court
his denial of registration, or denial of his request to have
removed from the rolls any names placed or standing there-
on illegally, which cases shall have preference over all
others.

Section 14. Election Contests

Section 14. The legislature shall provide by law for the
judicial determination of contested elections.

Section 15. Election Fraud

Section 15. No person shall register and vote in more
than one place, nor offer or receive anything of value in
exchange for a vote, nor engage in any other form of election
fraud. The legislature shall enact laws to suppress such
activities, and penalties in such cases may include suspen-
sion of the right to vote and hold office for a period not to
exceed five years.

Section 16. Code of Elections

Section 16. The legislature shall provide for a code of
elections.



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Constitutional Convention of Louisiana of 1978
CC-1157

1 Reprinted as Engrossed

2 COMMITTEE PROPOSAL No. 21 —

8 Introduced by Delegate Dennis, Chairman, on behalf of
4 the Committee on the Judiciary and Delegates Avant, Bel,
g Bergeron, Burns, Deshotels, Drew, Gauthier, Kelly, Kil-
g bourne, Landry, Martin. Ourso, Sandoz, Tate and Vesich

7 (A Substitute for Committee Proposal No. 6) :

8 A PROPOSAL

9 Making provisions for the judiciary branch of government

10 and necessary provisions with respect thereto.

11 Be it adopted by the Constitutional Convention of Louisi-

12 ana of 1973:

13 ARTICLE V. JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

14 Section 1. Judicial Power

15 Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme
18 court, courts of appeal, district courts, and other courts au-

17 thorized by this constitution.

18 Section 2. Habeas Corpus, Needful Writs, Orders and Pro-

19 cess

20 Section 2. A judge may issue writs of habeas corpus and

21 all other needful writs, orders and process in aid of the

22 jurisdiction of his court. Exercise of this authority by a

23 judge of the supreme court or court of appeal is subject

24 to review by the whole court. The power to punish for con-

25 tempt of court shall be limited by law.

26 Section 3. Supreme Court; Composition; Judgments;

27 Terms

28 Section 3. The superme court shall be composed of a chief

29 justice and six associate justices, four of whom must con-

30 cur to render judgment. The term of a judge of the supreme

31 court shall be fourteen years.

32 Section 4. Supreme Court; Districts

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1 Section 4. The state shall be divided into at least six

2 supreme court districts, with at least one judge elected from

3 each. The present districts and the number of judges as-

4 signed to each are retained, subject to change by a two-

5 thirds vote of the elected members of each house of the

6 legislature.

7 Section 5. Supreme Court; Supervisory, Original, and

8 Appellate Jurisdiction; Rule-Making Power; Assignment of

9 Judges

10 Section 5. (A) The supreme court has general supervisory

11 jurisdiction over all other courts. It may establish procedural

12 and administrative rules not in conflict with law. It may

13 assign a sitting or retired judge to any court.

14 (B) The supreme court has exclusive original jurisdiction

15 of disciplinary proceedings against members of the bar.

16 (C) Except as otherwise provided in this constitution,

17 the supreme court's jurisdiction in civil cases extends to
!'.8 both the law and the facts. In criminal matters, its appellate

19 jurisdiction extends only to questions of law.

20 (D) In addition to appeals provided for elsewhere in this

21 constitution, the following cases shall be appealable to the

22 supreme court :

28 (1) A case in which a law or ordinance has been de-

24 clared unconstitutional ;

25 (2) A criminal case in which the death penalty or im-

26 prisonment at hard labor may be imposed or in which a

27 fine exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment exceed-

28 ing six months has been actually imposed. In other criminal

29 cases, an accused shall have a right of appeal or review, as

80 provided by law or by rule of the supreme court not incon-

81 sistent therewith.

3" (E) Subject to the provisions of Subsection (C), the su-

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C. P. No. 21
preme court has appellate jurisdiction over all issues in-
volved in any civil action properly before it.

Section 6. Supreme Court; the Chief Justice

Section 6. (A) When a vacancy in the office of chief jus-
tice occurs, the judge oldest in point of service on the
court, below the age of sixty-five years, shall succeed to
the office.

(B) The chief justice is the chief administrative officer of
the judicial system of the state, subject to rules adopted
by the court.

Section 7. Supreme Court; Judicial Administrator, Clerks
and Staff

Section 7. The supreme court has authority to select a
judicial administrator, its clerks, and other personnel, and
prescribe their duties and compensation.

Section 8. Courts of Appeal; Panels; Number Necessary
to Decision ; Terms

Section 8. The state shall be divided into at least four
circuits, with one court of appeal in each circuit. Each court
shall sit in panels of at least three judges selected accord-
ing to rules adopted by the court. A majority of the judges
sitting in a case must concur to render judgment. The term
of a court of appeal judge shall be twelve years.

Section 9. Courts of Appeal ; Circuits and Districts

Section 9. Each circuit shall be divided into at least three
districts, with at least one judge elected from each. One or
more judges may be elected at large from within the circuit.
The present circuits and districts and the number of judges
as elected in each circuit are retained, subject to change by
two-thirds vote of the elected members in each house of the
legislature.

Section 10. Courts of Appeal; Appellate and Supervisory
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1 Jurisdiction

2 Section 10. (A) Except in those cases appealable to the

3 supreme court and as otherwise provided in this constitu-

4 tion, a court of appeal has appellate jurisdiction of all civil

5 cases decided within its circuit. It has appellate jurisdiction
g of all matters appealed from the family and juvenile courts,

7 except criminal prosecutions of persons other than juveniles.

8 It has supervisory jurisdiction over all cases in which an ap-

9 peal would lie to that court.

10 (B) Except as limited to questions of law by this constitu-

11 tion or as provided by law in the case of review of ad-

12 ministrative agency determinations, its appellate jurisdic-

13 tion extends to law and facts.

14 Section 11. Courts of Appeal; Certification to Supreme

15 Court ; Determination

16 Section 11. A court of appeal may certify any question

17 of law before it to the supreme court, whereupon the

18 supreme court may give its binding instruction, or con-

19 sider and decide the case upon the whole record.

20 Section 12. Courts of Appeal; Chief Judge; Duties

21 Section 12. When a vacancy in the office of chief judge

22 of a court of appeal occurs, the judge oldest in point of

23 service on the court, below the age of sixty-five years, shall

24 succeed to the office and shall administer the court, subject

25 to rules adopted by the court.

26 Section 13. Courts of Appeal; Clerks and Staff

27 Section 13. Each court of appeal has authority to select

28 its clerk and other personnel and prescribe their duties and

29 compensation.

30 Section 14. District Courts ; Judicial Districts

31 Section 14. The state shall be divided into judicial dis-
3S tricts, each composed of one or more parishes and served

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C. P. No. 21

J by one or more district judges.

2 Section 15. Courts; Continued; Jurisdiction; Judicial Dis-

3 tricts Changes; Terms

4 Section 15. (A) The district, parish, city, family, and ju-

5 venile courts existing at the time of the adoption of this
5 constitution are retained. Except as provided in Section 35

7 of this Article, the legislature may abolish or merge trial

8 courts of limited jurisdiction subject to the limitations in

9 Sections 16 and 21 of this Article. Except as provided in

10 Section 35 of this Article, the legislature may establish

11 trial courts of limited jurisdiction which shall have parish-

12 wide territorial jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction

13 which shall be uniform throughout the state. The office of

14 city marshal is continued until such time as the city court

16 he serves is abolished by the legislature.

18 (B) The judicial districts existing at the time of the adop-

17 tion of this constitution are retained. The legislature, by a

18 majority vote of the elected members of each house, with

19 approval in a referendum in each district or parish affected,

20 may establish or merge judicial districts, subject to the

21 limitations of Section 21 of this Article.

22 (C) The term of district judge shall be six years. Terms

23 established for judgeships existing at the time of the adop-

24 tion of this constitution are retained; however, the legisla-

25 ture by a majority vote of the elected members of each

26 house, with approval in a referendum in the parish affected,

27 may reduce the terms of district judges in a parish to not

28 less than six years.

29 Section 16. District Courts; Original Jurisdiction

30 Section 16. (A) Unless otherwise authorized by this con-

31 stitution, a district court shall have original jurisdiction in
''2 all civil and criminal matters. It shall have exclusive origi-

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J nal jurisdiction of felony cases; cases involving the title to

2 immovable property; the right to office or other public

3 position ; civil or political rights ; probate and succession

4 matters; the state, a political corporation, or a succession,

5 as a party defendant, regardless of the amount in dispute;
g and the appointment of receivers or liquidators to corpora-
7 tions or partnerships.

g (B) A district court shall have appellate jurisdiction as

9 provided by law.

10 Section 17. District Courts; Chief Judge

W Section 17. Each district court shall elect from its mem-

12 bers a chief judge who shall exercise, for the term desig-

13 nated by the court, the administrative functions as pre-

14 scribed by rule of court.

15 Section 18. Juvenile Courts ; Jurisdiction

16 Section 18. The jurisdiction of a juvenile court shall be

17 as provided by law.

18 Section 19. Mayors' Courts; Justices of the Peace; Con-

19 tinued

20 Section 19. Mayors' courts and justice of the peace courts

21 existing at the time of the adoption of this constitution are

22 continued subject to change by the legislature.

23 Section 20. Preservation of Evidence

24 Section 20. Evidence shall be preserved in all trials. The

25 method of preservation shall be provided by law or by rule

26 of the supreme court not inconsistent therewith.

27 Section 21. Judges; Term of Office or Compensation May

28 Not Be Decreased

29 Section 21. No judge's term of office or compensation shall

30 be decreased during the term for which he is elected.

31 Section 22. Judges; Election; Vacancy in Office

32 Section 22. (A) Election of judges shall be at the regular

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1 congressional election.

2 (B) A newly-created judgeship or a vacancy in the office
q of any judge shall be filled by a special election which shall
4 be called by the governor, and held within six months of
c the day on which the vacancy occurs or the judgeship is es-
g tablished, except when the vacancy occurs in the last six
n months of an existing term. Until the vacancy is filled, the
o supreme court shall appoint a person meeting the qualifica-
tions for judge to the office, to serve at its pleasure, who

iQ shall be ineligible as a candidate for election to the judge-

11 ship.

12 (C) A judge serving on the date of adoption of this con-
23 stitution shall continue in office for the term to which
14 elected and shall serve through December thirty-first of the
Ig last year of his term or, if the last year of his term is not
Ig in the even-numbered year of a general judical election,
17 then through December thirty-first of the following year.
Ig The election for the next term in the office will be held in

19 a general judicial election of the year in which the term ex-

20 pires as provided above.

21 Section 23. Retirement of Judges

22 Section 23. (A) A judge shall not remain in office beyond

23 his seventieth birthday, except as otherwise provided herein.

24 (B) A judge or judicial administrator in office or retired
26 at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall not

26 have diminished any retirement benefits or judicial ser-

27 vice rights, including the right to remain in office, as judge,

28 during his present term, as provided under the previous con-

29 stitution or laws, nor shall the benefits to which his sur-

80 viving spouse was entitled be reduced.

81 (C) A judge taking office after the adoption of this con-

82 stitution and a judge in office who so elects within ninety

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1 days of the adoption of this constitution by notifying the

2 secretary of state, shall be vested and entitled to the follow-
Q ing retirement benefits:

^ (1) This subsection applies to a judge of a court autho-

c rized by this constitution, except mayors and justices of the

g peace.

rj (2) A judge with sixteen years of judicial service may re-

g tire at any age; a judge of twelve years of judicial service

Q may retire with benefits commencing at the age of fifty-

iQ five. On retirement, a judge shall receive annually as retire-

j2 ment benefits four percent of his salary times the number

12 of years served, but not more than ninety percent.

13 (3) A judge who is physically or mentally incapacitated to

14 perform his duties shall be retired. He shall receive as an-

15 nual retirement benefits two-thirds of his annual salary, or

16 four percent of his salary times the number of years served,

17 whichever is greater, not to exceed the maximum amount

18 provided in paragraph (2).

19 (4) Upon the death of a judge, in office or retired, the

20 surviving spouse, until remarriage, shall be entitled to one-

21 half of his annual salary as judge prior to death or retire-

22 ment. If the judge is not survived by a spouse, or if the

23 spouse dies, his unmarried children shall be entitled to the

24 benefits provided in this subsection until the age of eighteen.

25 (5) Benefits provided herein shall be paid from the same

26 sources as was his compensation as judge. The legislature

27 and the political subdivisions shall provide for the payment

28 of these benefits.

29 (6) To receive the benefits provided in this subsection,

30 the judge shall contribute a total of six percent of his salary

31 to the paying authorities.

32 Section 24. Judges; Qualifications; Practice of Law Pro-

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J hibited.

2 Section 24. A judge of the supreme court, court of appeal,

I district court, family court, parish court, or court having

4 solely juvenile jurisdiction shall have been admitted to the

g practice of law in this state for at least five years prior

g to his election, shall have been domiciled in the respective

7 circuit or parish for at least two years immediately preced-

g ing election, and shall not practice law.

o Section 25. Judiciary Commission; Composition; Terms;

10 Vacancy ; Grounds for Removal ; Powers

11 Section 25. (A) The Judiciary Commission shall consist
IB of one court of appeal judge and two district court judges
18 selected by the supreme court; three attorneys admitted to
14 the practice of law for at least ten years who are not
16 judges, active or retired, nor public officials, selected by

16 the Louisiana Conference of Court of Appeal Judges' Asso-

17 elation or its successor; and three citizens, not lawyers,

18 judges active or retired, nor public officials, appointed by

19 the Louisiana District Judges' Association or its successor.

20 (B) A member of the commission shall serve a four-year

21 term and shall not be eligible to succeed himself.

22 (C) A member's term shall terminate when he loses the
28 status causing his appointment or when any event occurs

24 which would have made him ineligible for appointment.

25 (D) When a vacancy occurs, a successor shall be appointed

26 for a four-year term by the authority which appointed his

27 predecessor.

28 (E) On recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the

29 supreme court may censure, suspend with or without salary,
3^ remove from office, or retire involuntarily a judge for will-
21 ful misconduct relating to his official duty, willful and
^'^ persistent failure to perform his duty, persistent and public

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1 conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that

2 brings the judicial office into disrepute, conduct while in

3 office which would constitute a felony, or conviction of a

4 felony. On recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the

5 supreme court may disqualify a judge from exercising any
g judicial function, without loss of salary, during the pendency
7 of the proceedings in the supreme court. On recommenda-
g tion of the Judiciary Commission, the supreme court may
9 retire involuntarily a judge for disability that seriously in-

JQ terferes with the performance of his duties and that is, or

jj is likely to become, of a permanent character. The supreme

12 court shall make rules implementing this section and pro-

13 viding for confidentiality and privilege of proceedings.

14 (F) Action against a judge under this Section shall not

15 preclude disclipinary action against him with respect to his
15 license to practice law.

17 Section 26, Department of Justice; Composition; Attorney

18 General; Election and Assistants

19 Section 26. There shall be a department of justice con-

20 sisting of an attorney general, first and second attorney

21 general, and other necessary assistants and staff. The attor-

22 nsy general shall be elected for a term of four years at the
28 state general election, and the assistants shall be appointed

24 by the attorney general to serve at his pleasure.

25 Section 27. Attorney General; Powers and Duties; Va-

26 cancy

27 Section 27. (A) The attorney general shall be the state's

28 chief legal officer. As may be necessary for the assertion or

29 protection of the rights and interests of the state, the attor-

80 ney general shall have authority to :

81 (1) institute and prosecute or intervene in any civil ac-

82 tions or proceedings;

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1 (2) advise and assist, upon request of a district attorney,

2 in the prosecution of a criminal case ; and

3 (3) for cause when authorized by the court of original

4 jurisdiction in which any proceeding is pending, subject to

5 judicial review, supercede any attorney representing the
g state in any civil or criminal action.

7 He shall have such other powers and perform such other

8 duties as may be authorized by this constitution or pro-

9 vided by statute.

10 (B) In case of a vacancy in the office of attorney gen-
ii eral, the first assistant attorney general shall perform the

12 duties of the office until his successor is elected and quali-

13 fied.

14 Section 28. District Attorney; Election; Qualifications;
16 Assistants

16 Section 28. In each judicial district a district attorney

17 shall be elected by the qualified electors of the district for

18 a term of six years. He shall have been admitted to the

19 practice of law in the state for at least five years prior to

20 his election and shall have resided in the district for the

21 two years immediately preceding election. A district attor-

22 ney may select his assistants and other personnel and pre-

23 scribe their duties.

24 Section 29. Defense of Criminal Prosecution; Removal

25 Section 29. No district attorney or assistant district attor-

26 ney shall appear, plead or in any way defend, or assist in

27 defending any criminal prosecution or charge. A violation

28 shall be cause for removal.

29 Section 30. Sheriff ; Duties ; Tax Collector

30 Section 30. In each parish, a sheriff shall be elected for a

31 term of four years. He shall be the chief law enforcement

32 officer in the parish, except as otherwise provided by this

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1 constitution, and shall execute court orders and process.

2 He shall be the collector of state and parish ad valorem

3 taxes and such other taxes and licenses as provided by law.

4 Section 31. Clerks; Election; Powers and Duties; Depu-

5 ties; Office Hours

6 Section 31. (A) In each parish, a clerk of the district

7 court shall be elected by the qualified electors of the parish

8 for term of four years. He shall be ex officio notary public

9 and parish recorder of conveyances, mortgages, and other

10 acts and shall have such other duties and powers as may

11 be prescribed by law. The clerk may appoint deputies with

12 such duties and powers as may be prescribed by law and
18 he may appoint, with the approval of the district judges,

14 minute clerks with such duties and powers as may be pre-

15 scribed by law.

18 (B) The legislature shall establish statewide uniform



Online LibraryLouisiana. Constitutional Convention (1973)Records of the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1973 (Volume 4) → online text (page 34 of 65)