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Court Rules
Table of Contents

Scope

  • Rule 1. Authority
  • Rule 2. Scope
  • Rule 3. Adoption
  • Rule 4. En Banc Orders
  • Rule 5. Standing Orders

Organization of The Court

  • Rule 6. Divisions
  • Rule 7. Presiding Judge
  • Rule 8. Administrative Judge
  • Rule 9. Duty Judge
  • Court Schedules
  • Rule 10. Yearly Court Schedules
  • Rule 11. Time of Court

Courtroom Decorum
  • Rule 12. Conduct
  • Rule 13. Dress
  • Rule 14. Attorneys
  • Motions & Other Papers
  • Rule 15. Size & Form
  • Rule 16. Heading
  • Rule 17. Nature of The Filing
  • Rule 18. Signature
  • Rule 19. Certificate of Service
  • Rule 20. Name, Address, Etc.

Small Claims
  • Rule 21. Small Claims Division

Evictions
  • Rule 22. Evictions

General
  • Rule 23. Signatures
  • Rule 24. Actions under LA. C.Cr.P. 892.1 & 894
  • Rule 25.  Setting of Court Appearances by the Marshal
  • Rule 26.  Amendment of Charges by the City Prosecutor
  • Rule 27.  Voluntary Dismissal of Civil Actions
  • Rule 28.  Appearance Before the Court


Rule 1. Authority
These rules are adopted under the authority of La. C.C.P. 193 & C.Cr.P. 18.

Rule 2. Scope
These rules along with the La. Revised Statutes, Code of Civil Procedure, and Code of Criminal Procedure shall govern the procedure in all actions in the Shreveport City Court. Copies shall be maintained by the Clerk of Court and on the Web Site of the court.

Rule 3. Adoption
These local rules shall be adopted by En Banc orders of the court.

Rule 4. En Banc Orders
The court shall maintain an En Banc Order book containing all En Banc Orders.

Rule 5. Standing Orders
All En Banc Orders and other orders issued by a judge of this court governing future conduct in the Shreveport City Court shall be maintained in a standing order folder available to the bar and the public, except those adopting or amending a local rule.

Rule 6. Divisions
The Court shall be divided into four (4) divisions, to wit:
Division A
Division B
Division C
Division D

Rule 7. Presiding Judge
The presiding judge shall be the senior judge in point of continuous service pursuant to LSA-RS 13:1878, and shall preside at all meetings of the court.

Rule 8. Administrative Judge
Selection
The judge serving in Division A at the time of the adoption of this order shall be the administrative judge for one (1) year. Thereafter, the position shall rotate alphabetically through the divisions. If a judge chooses not to serve as an administrative judge, the position will go to the next judge in the rotation. An administrative judge shall be subject to removal by a majority vote of the judges of the court.

Term
The administrative judge shall serve for a one (1) year term beginning the 1st day of January and ending the 31st day of December.

Duties
The administrative judge shall supervise and direct the administration of the court, including:
1. Regulating and enforcing hours for court operation.
2. Appointing court committees.
3. Preparation of recommended policies and plans to be submitted to the entire court.
4. Representation of the court in its relations to other courts or branches of government as well as with the media.
5. Calling meetings of the court, at least on a monthly basis,
6. Coordinating vacation schedules for judges.
7. Approval of attendance by court personnel at conferences which require absence from the court during working hours.
8. Direct and general supervision over court programs and employees with the clerk of court.
9. Supervision of court finances, including financial planning, preparation of budgets, and fiscal reporting.
10. Any other responsibility imposed by law, rule of court, or by action of the court.
The administrative judge shall have the authority to carry out the responsibilities listed above and those inherent to the position.

Rule 9. Duty Judge
While each judge is responsible for all cases assigned to such judge, there shall be a duty judge in accordance with La C.C.P 253.3 who shall be authorized to take appropriate action in the Matters referred to them.

Civil Duty Judge. The following matters shall be referred to the Civil Duty Judge:
Executory Process
Seizures
Applications to proceed in forma pauperis
Default Judgments
Appointment of process server
Appointment of a curator ad hoc

Criminal Duty Judge. The following matters shall be referred to the Criminal Duty Judge:
Warrants
Probable Cause determinations

Rule 10. Yearly Court Schedule
A yearly court schedule shall be prepared annually by the clerk of court and published no later than December of the preceding year. This calendar shall account for matters such as legal holidays, conferences, continuing legal education, vacation and other requirements which may affect regular court sessions. Every effort will be made not to cancel any court session. Whenever possible, the court will obtain an ad hoc judge to preside when a judge is not available.

Rule 11. Time of Court
Court sessions shall open at 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM respectively. In criminal cases, defendant and witnesses shall be subpoenaed for 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM in order to permit the city prosecutor time to confer with counsels, defendants, and witnesses.

Rule 12. Conduct
No person shall engage in any conduct that would be disruptive to the business of the court, including, but not limited, to the following:
Using tobacco in any form at any time in the courtroom.
Reading a newspaper while court is in session.
Displaying any political advertisement of any nature.
Talking, texting, recording or using a cell phone in any manner in a courtroom while court is in session.
Private conversations or conferences shall be conducted outside of the courtroom.

Rule 13. Dress
No person shall wear a hat or be barefooted in the courtroom.
No person shall wear shorts, tank tops or flip flops in the courtroom.
All persons in the courtroom shall appear neat and clean within limits of propriety. Allowance will be considered for those who must appear in work clothes or whose attire is dictated by their religion.

Attorneys
Male attorneys shall dress professionally, which includes wearing coats and ties.
Female attorneys shall dress professionally.

Rule 14. Attorneys
As a general rule, attorneys desiring to address the court while in session shall do so while standing.
Attorneys shall address all remarks, objections, and comments to the judge, not the opposing counsel. Impromptu argument or discussion between
counsel will not be permitted.
Unless otherwise directed by the judge, all documents, including judgments, orders or decrees, shall be handed to the clerk, who shall hand them to
the judge.
Except with leave of court obtained, only one attorney for each party shall examine a single witness.
Counsel may not approach the witness in the witness chair without first obtaining the court’s permission.
Before showing an exhibit to a witness, counsel must first have provided a copy of such exhibit to opposing counsel or give opposing counsel an
opportunity to examine such exhibit.
Counsel and parties shall not send the court copies of correspondence between them.
Attorneys shall abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Louisiana Code of Professionalism.

Rule 15. Size & Form
All pleadings, motions or other papers filed with the court shall be typed or printed, double spaced on either legal size, i.e. 8 ½ inch by 14 inch or letter size, i.e. 8 ½ inch by 11 inch, paper and shall be in the English language. Margins shall be two (2) inches at the top and one (1) inch at the sides and the bottom. An exception shall be made for exhibits which may be other sizes, unless specifically prepared for court use in which case they shall be letter size.

Rule 16. Heading
All pleadings, motions or other papers filed with the court shall have a heading, consisting of the name of the court, the names of the parties, the number of the action, the Division of the Court, and the name of the judge.

Rule 17. Nature of the Filing
All pleadings, motions or other papers filed with the court shall contain a designation of the nature of the filing, such as Petition, Motions, etc., under the heading.

Rule 18. Signature
Every pleading, motion, or other paper presented for filing shall be signed personally by the litigant(s) or counsel for the litigant(s).

Rule 19. Certificate of Service
All pleadings, motions, and other papers filed subsequent to the complaint or petition shall be accompanied by a certificate showing that a copy was delivered or mailed to the opposing counsel, or to the opposing litigant or litigants, if not represented by counsel.

Rule 20. Name, Address, Etc.
Attorneys. All pleadings, motions, and other papers shall contain counsel’s name, street address, post office box (if applicable), telephone number and attorney identification number, which shall be typed or printed under their signature.

Litigants. All pleadings, motions, and other papers filed by an unrepresented party shall contain their name, street address, post office box (if applicable), and telephone number, which shall be typed or printed under their signature.

Continuing Obligation. All attorneys and unrepresented parties making filings with the court have a continuing obligation to apprize the Court of any address and/or telephone number change.

Rule 21. Small Claims Division
A. The Small Claims Division of this court is created and shall be governed by Louisiana Revised Statutes 13:5200, et seq.
B. The petition in a small claims action filed pursuant to LA. R.S. 13:5200 et seq. shall contain the following information:
a. The name, address, and phone number of the plaintiff;
b. The name, address, and phone number of the defendant;
c. A statement of the basis for the claim of plaintiff, which may be in the form of an attached “Statement of Claim”;
d. A statement as to whether or not the case may be heard before an arbitrator
e. A statement of the relief sought by plaintiff
The petition shall also have the following attachments:
a. If the claim is based on an instrument, such as a promissory note or contract, the original of such instrument;
b. A Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act affidavit.
C. In the court’s discretion, certain small claims may be referred to and tried before an arbitrator, who shall be an attorney appointed by the judge.
D. Court appointed arbitrators shall serve with compensation to be determined by the judge.
E. The arbitrator’s decision shall be reduced to writing and shall be final and binding upon all parties. Upon ex parte motion by any party, the Court may grant judgment in accordance with the arbitrator’s decision.

F. The court shall publish a handout for the Small Claims Division of the court. This handout shall not amount to nor be cited as legal advice, but shall merely provide informational guidelines.

Rule 22. Evictions 
  1. Petition for Eviction.  A petition for eviction filed pursuant to LA. C.C.P. 4701 et seq. shall contain the following information:
    1. The name, address, and phone number of the plaintiff;
    2. The name, address, and phone number of the defendant;
    3. The name, address, and phone number of the owner of the property, and, if applicable,
      1. The name, address, and phone number of any management company;
      2. The name address, and phone number of any agent appearing on behalf of the owner, along with the power of attorney or other authority to appear on behalf of the owner;
    4. The name, address, and phone number of the tenant seeking to be evicted;
    5. The complete address, including unit number and zip code, of the property from which eviction of the tenant is being sought;
    6. The basis on which eviction is being sought;
    7. That the tenant has been served with the notice required by LA. C.C.P. 4702.

The petition shall also have the following attachments:

  1.  A copy of the lease or other written document setting forth the right of the tenant to occupy the property;
  2. A copy of the notice required by LA. C.C.P. 4702 which was served on the tenant;
  3. Power of attorney for an agent, if applicable;
  4. A Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act affidavit.


    2.    When a judge orders that a tenant vacate the premises within “24 hours”, this shall be interpreted to require vacation of the premises by close of business, i.e. 5:00 P.M., on the following business day.

    3.    A “Notice to Vacate” under LA. C.C.P. 4702 should be given within thirty (30) days of the filing of the petition for eviction.  If a “Notice to Vacate” is over thirty (30) days old, the judge may consider the notice “stale” and request a new notice.


Rule 23. Signatures

When authorized, a document with an electronic or facsimile signature of a judge or the clerk of court, including judgment, order, subpoena, summons or citation, shall have the same force and effect as a conventional document signed by a judge or the clerk of court.

The clerk of court is authorized to use facsimile and/or electronic signatures on subpoenas, summons and citations, such documents having the same force and effect as a conventional document signed by the clerk of court.

A judge may authorize use of his or her facsimile or electronic signature. One method of authorization is by authorizing its use in open court in a specific case. A judge may also authorize use of facsimile or electronic signature by means of a standing orders.

Rule 24.  Actions under LA. C.Cr.P. 892.1 & 894
               
Whenever a defendant pays a traffic violation through the Violations Bureau or is convicted of any law of the State of Louisiana that regulates traffic and the judge orders the defendant to participate in a driver education or improvement program under
LA. C.Cr.P. 892.1, the defendant may file with the court a certificate of completion of an approved program of driver education, training, or improvement and the conviction will be set aside and the charge dismissed under LA. C.Cr.P. 892.1.  The clerk is directed to set aside the conviction and dismiss the charges, and is authorized to take such actions on behalf of the court.


Whenever a defendant is sentenced under LA. C.Cr.P. 894 for any offense other than DWI, the defendant is obligated to take the following actions:

  1. Pay any fine imposed; &
  2. Meet all conditions of probation set forth by the judge.

When the probation officer certifies that the above obligations have been met and the clerk’s office determines that no other offense has been committed during the period of probation, the clerk is directed to set aside the conviction and dismiss the charges, and is authorized to take such actions on behalf of the court.

Whenever a defendant is sentenced under
LA. C.Cr.P. 894 for DWI, the defendant is obligated to take the following actions:

  1. Pay any fine imposed; &
  2. Meet all conditions of probation set forth by the judge;
  3. Comply with LA. C.Cr.P. 894 A (5) by submitting to the clerk’s office
    1. Fingerprints of the defendant;
    2. The date of birth, social security number and driver’s license of the defendant;
    3. Fifty ($50.00) dollar money order payable to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections; &
    4. Fifty ($50.00) dollar money order payable to the Shreveport City Court.
  4. Comply with LA. C.Cr.P. 894 A (7) by completing a driving while intoxicated court or sobriety court program and filing a certificate of completion with the clerk of court. 

When the probation officer certifies that the above obligations have been met and the clerk’s office determines that no other offense has been committed during the period of probation, the clerk is directed to set aside the conviction and dismiss the charges, and is authorized to take such actions on behalf of the court.

Rule 25.  Setting of Court Appearances by the Marshal

When the marshal is in possession of an outstanding warrant for a defendant, the marshal shall contact the issuing judge, or in the event that the issuing judge is unavailable, the duty judge, for authority to reset the time and date of the defendant’s appearance in court if the marshal is satisfied that the defendant is unable to appear at the time and date previously set for an appropriate reason. 

When a defendant is incarcerated, the marshal shall have the authority to reset the defendant’s appearance date to a “Jail Clearance” docket when appropriate. 

In some instances a defendant will be charged with multiple offenses, and, in the interest of judicial efficiency, the marshal shall have the authority to reset those charges to a single appearance date. 

Whenever a matter is reset by the marshal, the marshal shall file with the court a Notice of setting, with any documentation submitted by the defendant attached, which has been served upon the defendant.  The clerk is directed to re-calendar the matter in accordance with the Notice of setting filed.

Notwithstanding any of the previous paragraphs, the marshal shall not have the authority to reset any trial dates.  Trial dates must be reset by the clerk by the authority of the judge.

Rule 26.  Amendment of Charges by the City Prosecutor

In the same manner which a prosecutor may dismiss a charge under Article 691 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure, the City Prosecutor may amend a charge pending before this Court orally in open court or by a written statement of amendment signed by the City Prosecutor and filed with the clerk of court.  The clerk of court shall cause the amendment to be entered on the minutes of the court.

Rule 27.  Voluntary Dismissal of Civil Actions 

Motions by the plaintiff for voluntary dismissal shall be referred to the judge for consideration when the defendant(s) have filed a response to the petition, or if costs are to be shared by the parties or borne by the defendant(s). In all other actions where a voluntary motion for dismissal has been filed by the plaintiff, the civil action may be dismissed without prejudice upon order of the court signed by the Clerk of Court.

Rule 28.  Appearance Before the Court

A. Attorneys.  An attorney duly licensed to practice before the courts of the State of Louisiana may appear in the court to represent a litigant in the court.  An attorney authorized to practice in another jurisdiction may appear in a particular case when specifically authorized by a judge of this court.

B. Litigant.  An individual who is a party in an action before this court may appear before the court on their own behalf.

C. Other Appearances.
1. Any partnership, corporation, or other legal entity may assert or defend any claim, not exceeding five thousand dollars and pertaining to an open account or promissory note, on its own behalf in the Small Claims Division of this court through a duly authorized partner, shareholder, officer, employee, or duly authorized agent or representative.
2. Any individual, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity may assert or defend any claim in an eviction action in this court on its own behalf through a duly authorized partner, shareholder, officer, employee, or duly authorized agent or representative.  The authorization to represent the property owner cannot be re-delegated by any agent or representative.
3. For the limited purpose of pursuing a motion to set aside a bond forfeiture judgment, the bondsmen who was the agent for the surety in posting of the bond upon which the judgment is based, may appear before the court on behalf of the surety with authority from the surety.








City of Shreveport, Louisiana