Louisiana. Constitutional Convention (1973).

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

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19 (4) Any utility filing a proposed rate schedule shall with-

20 ill twenty days, give notice thereof by publication in the

21 official state journal and in the official journal of each

22 parish within the geographical area in which the schedule

23 would become applicable. Any person affected by the pro-

24 posed rate schedule may intervene.

25 (E) Appeals. Should the commission not render its deci-

26 sion within twelve months, an appeal may be taken, as if a

27 decision had been rendered. Appeals may be taken by any

28 party or intervenor and must be filed with the district court,

29 within the time provided by law, at the domicile of the Public

30 Service Commission, with a direct appeal to the Supreme

31 Court, as a matter of right.

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Constitutional Convention of Louisiana of 1973


2 Introduced by Delegate Dennis, Chairman, on behalf of

3 the Committee on the Judiciary and Delegates Avant, Bel,

4 Bergeron, Burns, Deshotels, Drew, Gauthier, Kelly, Kilbourne,

5 Landry, Martin, Ourso, Sandoz, Tate, Tobias and Vesich:

7 Making provisions for the judiciary branch of government

8 and necessary provisions with respect thereto.

9 Be it adopted by the Constitutional Convention of Lou-

10 isiana of 1973:


12 Section 1. Judicial Power

13 Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in a su-

14 preme court, courts of appeal, district courts, and such other

15 courts as this constitution may authorize.

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

17 cess

18 Section 2. A judge may issue a writ of habeas corpus

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

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

21 judge of the supreme court or court of appeal is subject to

22 review by the whole court. The power of a court to punish
28 for contempt shall be limited by law.

24 Section 3. Supreme Court; Membership; Terms

25 Section 3. The supreme court shall be composed of a chief

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

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

28 court shall be fourteen years.

29 Section 4. Supreme Court; Districts

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

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

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

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C. P. No. 6

1 signed to each are retained, subject to change by a two-
9 thirds vote of the elected members of each house of the

2 legislature.

4 Section 5. Supreme Court; Supervisory, Original, and Ap-

g pellate Jurisdiction; Rule-Making Power; Assignment of

g Judges

^ Section 5. (A) The supreme court has general supervi-

g sory jurisdiction over all other courts. It may promulgate

9 procedural and administrative rules not in conflict with

2Q law. It may assign a sitting or retired judge to another

11 court.

22 (B) The supreme court has exclusive original jurisdiction

13 of disciplinary proceedings involving members of the bar.
24 (C) In civil cases, the supreme court's jurisdiction ex-

1,5 tends to both the law and the facts except as otherwise

1Q provided in this constitution. In criminal matters, its ap-

I'l pellate jurisdiction extends to questions of law only.

18 (D) The following cases shall be appealable to the su-

19 preme court:

2ij (1) A case in which a state law has been declared un-

21 constitutional;

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

23 prisonment at hard labor may be imposed, or in which a
2-1 fine exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment exceed-
25 ing six months has been actually imposed.

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

27 preme court has appellate jurisdiction over all other issues

28 involved in any civil action properly before it.

29 Section 6. Supreme Court; the Chief Justice

30 Section 6. (A) When a vacancy in the office of chief justice

31 occurs, the judge oldest in point of service on the court,

32 below the age of sixty-five years, shall succeed to the office.

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C. p. No. 6

1 (B) The chief justice shall be chief administrative officer

2 of the judicial system of the state, subject to rules adopted
Q by the court.

A Section 7. Supreme court; Judicial Administrator, Clerk,

c and Staff

g Section 7. The supreme court shall have authority tc

17 select a judicial administrator, its clerks, and other per-

g sonnel, and prescribe their duties.

Q Section 8. Courts of Appeal; Panels; Number Necessary

iQ to Decision : Term

^■^. Section 8. The state shall be divided into at least four

•J2 circuits, with one court of appeal in each circuit. Each

j3 court shall sit in panels of at least three judges selected

24 according to rules adopted by the court. A majority of the

25 judfres sitting in a case must concur to render judgment.
jg The term of a court of appeal judge shall be twelve years.
27 Section 9. Courts of Appeal; Circuits and Districts

2g Section 9. Each circuit shall be divided into at least three

29 districts, with at least one judge elected from each. One or

20 more judges may be elected at large from within the circuit.

21 The present circuits and districts and the number of judges

22 as elected in each circuit are retained, subject to change by

23 'i two-thirds vote of the elected members in each house of

24 the legislature.

25 Section 10. Courts of Appeal; Appellate and Supervisory

26 Jurisdiction

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

28 supreme court and as otherwise provided in this consti-

29 tution, a court of appeal has appellate jurisdiction of all

30 civil cases decided within its circuit. It has appellate juris-

31 diction of all matters appealed from the family and juvenile

32 courts, except criminal prosecutions of persons other than

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C. P. No. 6

2 juveniles. It has supervisory jurisdiction over all cases in

2 which an appeal would lie to that court.
g (B) Except where limited to questions of law by this

4 constitution or, as provided by law in the ease of review

5 of administrative agency determinations, its appellate ju-
risdiction extends to both the law and the facts.

7 Section 11. Courts of Appeal; Certifications to Supreme

g Court of Questions of Law ; Determination

9 Section 11. A court of appeal may certify to the supreme

10 court any question of law before it, whereupon the supreme

11 court may give its binding instruction, or consider and de-

12 cide the ease upon the whole record.

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

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

16 of a court of appeal occurs, the judge oldest in point of ser-
1(J vice on the court, below the age of sixty-five years, shall

17 succeed to the office and shall adminster the court, subject

18 to rules adopted by the court.

19 Section 13. Courts of Appeal ; Clerks and Staff

20 Section 13. Each court of appeal shall have authority to

21 select its clerk and other personnel and prescribe their

22 duties.

23 Section 14. District Courts; Judicial Districts

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

26 by one or more district judges.

27 Section 15. District Courts; Judicial Districts; Changes;

28 Terms

29 Section 15. (A) The district courts, the civil and criminal

30 district courts, and the judicial districts existing at the

31 time of the adoption of this constitution are retained. The

32 legislature, by a majority vote of the elected members of

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C. p. No. 6

■^ each house, with approval in a referendum in each district

2 or parish affected, may establish or merge judicial districts

3 or may merge a criminal and a civil district court in a

4 parish, subject to the limitations of Section 23 of this Article.

5 (B) The term of a district judge shall be six years. Terms
g established for judgeships existing at the time of the adop-

7 tion of this constitution are retained; however, the legis-

8 lature by a majority vote of the elected members of each

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

10 may reduce the term for district judges in a parish to not

11 less than six years.

12 Section 16. District Courts; Original Jurisdiction

13 Section 16. (A) Unless otherwise provided or authorized in

14 this constitution, a district court shall have original jurisdic-

15 tion in all civil and criminal matters. It shall have exclu-

16 sive original jurisdiction of all felony cases involving the

17 title to immovable property ; the right to office or other pub-

18 lie position; civil or political rights; probate and succes-

19 sion matters; the state, a political corporation, or a suc-

20 cession, as a party defendant, regardless of the amount in

21 dispute; and the appointment of receivers or liquidators to

22 corporations or partnerships.

23 (B) A civil district court shall have civil jurisdiction as

24 provided for in Subsection (A) and a criminal district court

25 shall have criminal jurisdiction as provided for in Subsec-

26 tion (A).

27 Section 17. District Courts; Chief Judge

28 Section 17. Each district court may elect from its members

29 a chief judge who shall exercise such administrative func-

30 tions as prescribed by rule of court.

31 Section 18. Juvenile Courts; Jurisdiction

82 Section 18. The jurisdiction of a juvenile court shall be as

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C. P. No. 6

1 provided by law.

2 Section 19. Courts of Special and Limited Jurisdiction

3 Section 19. Parish, city, municipal, traffic, family, and ju-

4 venile courts existing at the time of the adoption of this

5 constitution are retained. The legislature, by a majority

6 vote of the elected members of each house, and with approval

7 in a referendum in each district, parish, or portion affected

8 may establish, abolish, or merge trial courts of limited or

9 specialized jurisdiction subject to the limitations in Sections

10 16 and 23 of this Article.

11 Section 20. Parish Courts

12 Section 20. (A) Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections

13 15 and 19 to the contrary, the legislature may, by a majority

14 vote of the elected members of each house, and with ap-

15 proval in a referendum in the parish affected, establish in

16 that parish, a parish court. Other courts of limited or

17 specialized jurisdiction in the parish may be simultaneously

18 abolished.

19 (B) The jurisdiction of parish courts shall be uniform

20 throughout the state and such courts shall be limited to the

21 trial of misdemeanors, and of civil matters not exceeding

22 the value or sum of three thousand five hundred dollars, ex-

23 elusive of interest and costs. A judge of said court shall be

24 elected for a term of six years.

25 Section 21. Mayors' Courts; Justices of the Peace; Con-

26 tinued

27 Section 21. A mayor's court or justice of the peace exist-

28 ing at the time of the adoption of this constitution is con-

29 tinued subject to change by the legislature.

30 Section 22. Recording of Proceedings ; All Courts

31 Section 22. All proceedings in all courts in this state shall

32 be recorded when requested.

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C. p. No. 6
Section 23. Judges; Term of Office or Compensation May

9 Not Be Decreased

■■• Section 23. The term of office or compensation of a judge
shall not be decreased during the term for which he is

r, elected.

Q Section 24. Judges; Election; Vacancy in Office

7 Section 24. (A) The election of judges shall be held at

g the regular congressional election.

Cj (B) A newly-created judgeship or a vacancy in the office

20 of any judge shall be filled by a special election which shall

2 J be called by the governor, and held within six months of

22 the day the vacancy occurs or the judgeship is created, ex-

23 cept when the vacancy occurs in the last six months of an

24 existing term. Until the vacancy is filled, the supreme court

25 shall appoint a person meeting the qualifications for judge
2g to the office, to serve at its pleasure, who shall be ineligible

27 to be a candidate for election to the judgeship.

28 (C) All judges serving on the date of adoption of this

29 constitution shall continue in office for the term to which
20 elected and shall serve through December thirty-first of
22 the last year of their term or, if the last year of their term

22 is not in the even-numbered year of a general judicial

23 election, then through December thirty-first of the year

24 next succeeding. The election for next term in the office

25 will be held in a general judicial election of the year the

26 term expires, as provided above.

27 Section 25. Retirement of Judges

28 Section 25. (A) A judge shall not remain in office beyond

29 his seventieth birthday, except as otherwise provided herein.

30 (B) A judge or judicial administrator in office or re-

31 tired at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall
^■1 not have diminished any retirement benefits or judicial ser-

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C. P. No. 6

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

2 during his present term, provided under the previous con-

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

4 viving spouse thereof was entitled be reduced.

5 (C) The legislature shall provide a retirement system for

6 judges which shall apply to a judge taking office after the

7 effective date of the statute enacting the system, and which

8 a judge in office at the time of its adoption may elect to

9 join.

10 (D) Until the legislature enacts the retirement system

11 authorized in Subsection (C), a judge taking office after

12 the adoption of this constitution and a judge in office who

13 so elects within ninety days of the adoption of this con-

14 stitution by notifying the secretary of state, shall be en-

15 titled to the following retirement benefits:

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

17 rized by this constitution, except mayors and justices of

18 the peace.

19 (2) A judge with sixteen years of judicial service may

20 retire; a judge with twelve years of judicial service is

21 eligible for retirement benefits at the age of sixty. On re-

22 tirement, a judge shall receive annually as retirement bene-

23 fits that portion of his annual average compensation for

24 his three highest years which the number of years served

25 bears to twenty-five, but not more than seventy-five per-

26 cent.

27 (3) A judge who is physically or mentally incapacitated

28 to perform his duties, as determined by the supreme court

29 upon the advice of two physicians appointed by the court,

30 shall be retired. He shall receive as annual retirement bene-

31 fits two-thirds of his annual salary, or that portion of his

32 average annual salary for the three highest years which

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C. p. No, 6

1 the number of years served bears to twenty-five, whichever

2 is greater.

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

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

5 third of his annual salary as judge prior to death or
g retirement, or one-half the retirement benefits he was re-
7 ceiving or entitled to receive at the time of his death, which-
g ever is greater. If the judge is not survived by a spouse,
9 or if the spouse dies, his unmarried children shall be en-

10 titled to the benefits provided in this subsection until the

W age of eighteen.

\2 (5) Benefits provided herein shall be paid from the same

13 sources as was his compensation as judge. The legislature

14 and the political subdivisions shall provide for the payment

15 of these benefits.

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

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

18 to the paying authorities.

19 Section 26. Judges; Qualifications; Practice jf Law Pro-

20 hibited

21 Section 26. A judge of the supreme court, court of appeal.

22 district court, or parish court shall have been admitted to

23 the practice of law for at least five years prior to his elec-

24 tion, shall have been domiciled in the respective circuit,

25 district, or parish for at least two years immediately pre-

26 ceding election, and shall not practice law.

27 Section 27. Judiciary Commission; Membership; Terms;

28 Vacancy ; Grounds for Removal ; Powers

29 Section 27. (A) The Judiciary Commission shall consist

30 of one court of appeal judge and two district court judges

31 selected by the supreme court; three attorneys admitted

32 to the practice of law for at least ten years who are not

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C. P. No. 6

1 judges, active or retired, nor public officials, selected by

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

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

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

5 the Louisiana District Judges' Association or its successor.
g (B) A member of the commission shall .serve a four-year
7 term and shall not be eligible to succeed himself.

g (C) A member's term shall terminate when he loses the

9 status causing his appointment or when any event occurs

10 which would have made him ineligible for appointment.

11 (D) When a vacancy occurs, a successor shall be ap-

12 pointed for a four-year term by the appointing authority

13 for the position for which the vacancy occurred.

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

15 supreme court may censure, suspend with or without salary,

16 remove from office, or retire involuntarily a judge for will-

17 ful misconduct relating to his official duty, willful and per-
Ig sistent failure to perform his duty, persistent and public

19 conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings

20 the judicial office into disrepute, or conduct while in office

21 which would constitute a felony, or conviction of a felony.

22 On recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the su-

23 preme court may disqualify a judge from exercising any

24 judicial function, without loss of salary, during the pendency

25 of the proceedings in the supreme court. On recommenda-

26 tion of the Judiciary Commission, the supreme court may

27 retire involuntarily a judge for disability that seriously in-

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

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

30 court shall make rules implementing this section and pro-

31 viding for confidentiality and privilege of proceedings.

32 Section 28. Department of Justice; Composition: Attorney

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General ; Election and Assistants

C. P. No. 6

9 Section 28. There shall be a department of justice con-

q sisting of an attorney general, a first and second attorney

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

c ney general shall be elected for a term of four years at the

g .state general election, and the assistants shall be appointed

n by the attorney general to serve at his pleasure.

Q Section 29. Attorney General; Qualifications; Powers and

g Duties; Vacancy

iQ Section 29. The attorney general and the first and second

11 assistants shall have resided in this state and been ad-

19 mitted to the practice of law for at least five years pre-
ig ceding their selection. The attorney general shall attend to,
1^ and have charge of all legal matters in which the state
ic has an interest, or to which the state is a party, with
IC power and authority to institute and prosecute or to inter-
JY venc in any and all suits or other proceedings, civil or crimi-
ng nal, as shall be necessary for the assertion or protection of
jg the rights and interests of the state.

20 In case of a vacancy in the office of attorney general,

21 the first assistant attorney general shall perform the duties

22 of 'he attorney general until his successor is elected and

23 qualified.

24 Section 30. District Attorney; Election; Qualifications;

25 Assistants

26 Section 30. In each judicial district a district attorney

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

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

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

30 to his election and shall have resided in the district for

31 the two years immediately preceding election. A district
?2 attorney may select his assistants and other personnel and

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C. P. No. 6

1 prescribe their duties.

2 Section 31. Defense of Criminal Prosecution ; Removal

3 Section 31. No district attorney or assistant district attor-

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

5 defending any criminal prosecution or charge. A violation

6 shall be cause for removal.

7 Section 32. Sheriff; Duties; Tax Collector

8 Section 32. In each parish, a sheriff shall be elected for a

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

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

11 constitution, and shall execute court orders and process.

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

13 taxes and such other taxes and licenses as provided by

14 law.

15 Section 33. Clerks; Election; Powers and Duties; Depu-

16 ties ; Office Hours

17 Section 33. (A) In each parish, a clerk of the district

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

19 for a term of four years. He shall be ex officio notary

20 public and parish recorder of conveyances, mortgages, and

21 other acts and shall have such other duties and powers as

22 may be prescribed by law. The clerk may appoint depu-

23 ties with such duties and powers as may be prescribed

24 by law and he may appoint, with the approval of the dis-

25 trict judges, minute clerks with such duties and powers

26 as may be prescribed by law.

27 (B) The legislature shall establish statewide uniform

28 office hours for all clerks of district courts.

29 Section 34. Coroner; Election; Term; Qualifications;

30 Duties

31 Section 34. In each parish, a coroner shall be elected for

32 a term of four years with such qualifications and duties

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C. p. No. 6

1 as may be prescribed by law.

2 Section 35. Vacancies

3 Section 35. Until filled by election as provided by law,

4 when a vacancy occurs in the following offices, the duties

5 of the office shall be assumed by: in the case of sheriff.

6 the chief criminal deputy; district attorney, the first as-

7 sistant; clerk of a district court, the chief deputy; coroner,

8 the chief deputy. If there is no such person to assume the

9 duties at the time of the vacancy, the governing authority

10 or authorities of the parish or parishes concerned shall

11 appoint a qualified person to assume the duties of the office

12 until filled by election.

13 Section 36. Reduction of Salaries and Benefits Prohibited

14 Section 36. The attorney general, a district attorney, a

15 sheriff, or a clerk of the district court shall have neither
Ig his salary nor retirement benefits diminished during his

17 term of office.

18 Section 37. Orleans Parish, Officials; Continued

19 Section 37. Notwithstanding any provisions of Sections 32

20 and 33 of this Article to the contrary, the following officers

21 in Orleans Parish are continued, subject to change by a

22 majority vote of the elected members of each house of the

23 legislature and by approval in a referendum in the parish:

24 the clerks of the civil and criminal district courts, the civil

25 and criminal sheriffs, the constables and the clerks of the

26 first and second city courts, the register of conveyances,

27 and the recorder of mortgages, all of which .shall be elected

28 for four-year terms with such duties and powers as pro-

29 vided by the legislature. Their terms of office, retirement

30 benefits, or compensation shall not be reduced during their

31 terms of office.

32 Section 38. Jurors; Qualifications; Selection

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C. p. No. 6

Section 38. A citizen of the state who has reached

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