These rules shall govern the operation of the Baton Rouge
City Court. A current copy of these rules shall be maintained in the office of
the Clerk of City Court/Judicial Administrator. Appropriate distribution shall
be made within the local legal community and copies shall be made available upon
request at the office of the Clerk of City Court/Judicial Administrator.
Rule 2-En Banc Orders
The Court may, from time to time, render en banc orders which
shall take precedence over any rule of court in conflict therewith. Such orders
shall be maintained in a special En Banc Order book which shall be available for
inspection upon request at the office of the Clerk of City Court/Judicial
Administrator. Any en banc order rendered prior to the adoption of these rules
and which is in conflict herewith shall be considered as vacated and superseded.
All other such orders are to remain in full force and effect.
Although each judge of this court
is separately elected to his particular division and is not by law generally
subject to the supervision or orders of the other judges, it is necessary for
administrative and policy reasons to coordinate and operate the divisions as one
unified court to the maximum extent possible. Accordingly, except as to
decisions and judgments of each judge in cases specifically assigned to him or
in other litigious matters submitted to him for decision as part of the specific
duties assigned to him by these rules, the decision and judgment of a majority
of the judges then actively pursuing their duties shall be necessary to
administer the affairs of this court.
The court shall be composed of
five (5) divisions, designated A, B, C, D, and E, all in accordance with
Louisiana Revised Statutes 13:1952(4); the Plan of Government for the City of
Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge, Section 11.04, and the Code of
Ordinances for the City and Parish, Title 1, Section 51. One judge shall serve
as administrative judge. Administrative policies for operation of the court
shall be adopted by a majority vote of the judges of the court and shall be
carried out by the Clerk/Judicial Administrator with supervision of the
designated administrative judge.
The term of administrative judge
shall be for a period of one (1) year beginning on the first day of January and
ending on the last day of December. The responsibilities of administrative judge
shall rotate annually, and in alphabetical sequence, from one division of court
to the next with each judge having the option to decline to serve. In the event
a judge declines to serve as administrative judge, the judge of the next
division in the sequence shall be offered the position. The administrative judge
shall be subject to removal by majority vote of the judges of the court.
The general responsibility of the
administrative judge shall be to supervise and direct the administration of the
court. These responsibilities include:
and enforcing hours for court operation.
of court committees.
Preparation of recommended policies and plans and submission of such
recommendations to the entire court or to other authorities as appropriate.
Representation of the court in its relations with other branches of
the government or with other courts and with the news media.
and presiding over meetings of the entire court.
vacation schedules for judges.
of attendance by court personnel at conferences which require absence from
the court during working hours.
Direct and general supervision over court programs and employees
through the Clerk/Judicial Administrator.
of court finances, including financial planning, the preparation of
budgets and fiscal reporting.
other responsibility imposed by law, rule of court or by action of the
administrative judge shall have the authority to carry out the responsibilities
above listed and those inherent to the position.
The Court shall be divided into the following sections:
Civil Trial Section
Criminal Trial Section (including D.W.I.)
Traffic Trial Section
judges shall rotate the general responsibility for these sections weekly,
subject however, to such modification as circumstances may warrant. Current section assignments shall be maintained at the
Office of the
Clerk of City Court/Judicial Administrator. Whenever the circumstances may require, the judge presiding over one
section may also preside over another section, and, by mutual agreement among
affected judges, they may either exchange duties or assist each other with their
respective duties. For purposes of these rules, "judge" includes a
duly appointed "pro tempore" and/or "arbitrator". The term "City Prosecutor" includes an "Assistant City
as otherwise specifically provided herein, the Clerk/Judicial Administrator
shall, upon the filing of any new civil proceeding and the payment of all
costs chargeable thereto, immediately and publicly allot same to a division in
a manner to insure randomassignment.
or proceedings not in their nature original but growing out of suits or
proceedings previously pending (such as actions of nullity of judgment, or to
restrain or regulate the execution of process, mesne or final, in suits
previously pending) shall not be docketed as separate suits but shall be
treated as parts of the original suits out of which they arise; shall be
docketed and numbered as parts of such suits and shall follow the proper
allotment or assignment to the respective division of the court. Whenever, by
error or oversight, this rule shall be violated, the judge to whom the matter
shall have been allotted may order the same transferred to the proper
division, there to be consolidated with the original suit.
the Court en banc shall consider it in the interest of justice, it may order
all or any of the cases previously allotted be regularly reallotted by chance
or that they be reallotted to a particular division or divisions.
a matter in which a judge has been ordered recused or in which he has recused
himself, there shall be an immediate random reallotment of same to a division
over which said judge does not preside.
a case has been allotted, it may be transferred for good cause from one
division to another by an order signed first by the judge presiding over the
division to which the case is being transferred; or upon an order rendered ex
proprio motu by the Court sitting en banc. If the transfer is made of one or
more cases to effect a consolidation for purposes of trial, the case or cases
with the higher docket number(s) shall be transferred to the division in which
the case with the lowest docket number was allotted. Upon the transfer of a
case for any purpose, the division designation on the record jacket shall be
made to conform, the Clerk's cost docket shall reflect the change, all
additional pleadings are to bear the new division designation, and the
transfer order or a copy thereof is to be filed in all affected records.
a judgment is rendered by confirmation, the judge who rendered the judgment
will handle subsequent motions
relative to the disposition of the judgment. The case will then be returned to the section to which it was
judge who has begun a trial on the merits shall complete said trial and shall
sign any judgment pertaining thereto.
Claims Division proceedings shall conform to the rules prescribed in La.R.S.
13:5200 et seq. as supplemented by the Court.
filing civil claims in the Small Claims Division in which the amount in
dispute is three thousand dollars ($3,000) or less shall complete a form with
the Clerk of City Court/Judicial Administrator setting forth the nature of
such claims which shall include a street address and phone number(s) where the claimant may be contacted during the
pendency of the proceedings.
Claims submitted by mail without claimants physical address shall be
returned to sender.
claims cases shall be allotted in accordance with the procedure set forth
above and shall be assigned for trial as directed by the judge presiding over
the division to which allotted.
Criminal (including D.W.I.)
as otherwise specifically provided herein, the division before whom a
defendant is originally scheduled for arraignment shall preside over the case.
case having been allotted may be transferred from one division to another
division upon written motion of the City Prosecutor or of the defendant or by
the Court, on its own motion, for good cause, provided that such transfer is
ordered in writing by the judge of the section from which and to which the
case is transferred.
the recusal of a judge from a case allotted to his division, the case shall be
matters (including parking infraction proceedings) shall not be allotted to a
division but rather shall be assigned for arraignment/trial based upon the
citing officer's monthly OTA ("one time appearance") date, as
hereinafter set forth. The judge presiding over the Arraignment Section shall
take the plea and the judge presiding over the Traffic Trial Section shall try
as otherwise provided in these rules or as required by special circumstances,
the judge before whom a criminal, D.W.I. or traffic case is ALLOTTED
shall handle all matters incidental thereto, including, but not limited to
hearings on motion for new trial and/or arrest of judgment, appeal, sentence,
probation review, revocation hearing, contempt of court hearing and fine
instances where an individual has a scheduled court appearance on a single
file and has outstanding bench warrants on other files, the judge presiding
over that scheduled court appearance will process and assign all files to
his/her docket, unless the file indicates otherwise.
instances where an individual has multiple files with the same scheduled court
appearance assigned to more than one section of court and has outstanding
bench warrants on other files, the clerk's office will determine which section
of court will handle the bench warrant files.
The presiding judge over that section of court will process and assign
all bench warrant files to his/her docket, unless the file indicates
In instances where an individual makes a
non-scheduled court appearance and has multiple bench warrant files,the Clerk
of Court/Administrator will implement rules for addressing those matters which
are consistent with the efficient operation of the Court. Said rules, prior to
implementation, will be approved by the Judges.
In instances where only multiple early appearance files
are involved, each judge will handle his/her own file.
In instances where a file has heretofore been handled
administratively and has a bench warrant which requires action by a judge, the
original arraignment date assigned by the police officer will be used to
determine the appropriate judge to handle the file.
the judge who issued the bench warrant is not available, the offender will be
given notice to appear the next court day.
hearings shall be scheduled for hearing at least five (5) weeks from the date
ordered and shall be heard by the judge ordering the hearing.
Rule 5-Signing of
Pleadings, Motions and Other Papers
Every pleading, motion, or other
paper presented for filing shall be signed personally by the local counsel in
his or her individual name. Pleadings 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. In addition,
counsel's name, street address, post office box (if applicable), telephone
number and attorney identification number shall be typed or printed under his
signature. If the attorney is admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of
Louisiana, the attorney identification number shall be the same as the number
assigned by the Supreme Court of Louisiana.
Documents filed by a party not
represented by counsel shall be signed by the party and shall give the same
Each attorney and pro se litigant
has a continuing obligation to apprise the Court of any address and/or telephone
Rule 6-Duty Section
"Jail Callout" Hearings
The duty judge shall maintain
regular office hours between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and shall be "on call" from
8:00 a.m. the Monday beginning his week of duty until 8:00 a.m. the Monday
ending his week of duty. It shall be the responsibility of the duty judge to
provide for a replacement during periods of his unavailability.
expected to make bond shall be scheduled for arraignment on the first work day
ten (10) calendar days from the date of probable cause hearing.
Trials-Prisoners not expected to make bond shall be scheduled for trial
throughout the week
that the 14th calendar day falls from the date of arraignment except for cases
which require a
report from the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab; such cases shall be
scheduled for trial not
less than 150 days from the date of arraignment.
When the trial of a prisoner on the Criminal/DWI docket is reassigned, it is
to be reassigned
to the presiding judge’s next rotation to that docket in five (5) weeks.
Sentencings-Prisoners not expected to make bond shall be scheduled for
sentencing five (5)
weeks after jail callout appearance, at a date when the presiding judge will
again be on duty.
Sanity hearings shall be scheduled for hearing at least five (5) weeks
from the date ordered and shall be heard by the judge ordering the hearing.
Revocation hearing bench warrants will be handled by the assigned
judge. All of the offender’s other bench warrants will be handled by the duty
The Offices of City Prosecutor and Public Defender and private attorneys may
appear at jail callout hearings as they deem advisable and appropriate.
City Jail Callout, Courtroom 309–at an appropriate time to be determined by
the duty judge, the Constable’s Office will be notified by the bailiff to bring
the prisoners in custody with pending contempt charges to the courtroom. The
duty judge will handle all contempt matters unless, in the opinion of the judge,
the contempt matter should be handled by the assigned judge. Reassigned
cases are to be set on the docket of the judge who issued the bench warrant
unless the duty judge hearing the contempt wants to keep it on his/her docket.
Conduct all necessary and appropriate actions associated with prisoner
appearance bonds. A schedule of appearance (bail) bonds for misdemeanor offenses
shall be adopted in accordance with La.C.Cr.P. Article 341, copies of which
shall be maintained at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison booking desk,
the City Jail and the office of the Clerk of City Court/Judicial
Administrator. In cases of persons held in custody upon bench warrants, the duty
judge shall, to the maximum extent possible, take all appropriate action to move
the case forward, and may, in the interest of justice, exercise adjudicative
authority over cases allotted to other sections.
Authorize all search and arrest warrants.
Handle cases that cannot be processed administratively when the judge to which
the case is assigned is unavailable.
Conduct all evidentiary hearings on eviction rules, judgment debtor
examination rules (and all bench warrant recalls on said rules), and default
judgment confirmations requiring testimony. Otherwise, all interlocutory
proceedings shall be handled by the judge presiding over the division to which
the matter has been allotted.
Preside over small claims trials.
Rule 7-Civil Trial
Motions that are expected to be
contested shall be accompanied by succinct memoranda of authorities, normally
not exceeding two (2) pages. Opposing counsel may furnish memoranda of
authorities, but, to be considered, such memoranda shall be filed with the
appropriate judge at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled
trial assignments shall be made upon the written request of a party and shall
satisfy the following conditions:
Where the request is submitted by an
attorney, the trial request letter shall contain a certificate that attests
that, based upon a conference with all opposing counsel or parties, all
discovery has been completed and the case is ready for trial. If an opponent
is unrepresented and the party requesting trial has been unable to conduct the
conference, the certificate should contain a reference to this fact.
Said letter shall also specify the
probable total number of witnesses and estimated length of trial for each
pursuant to L.C.C.P. 1457 et seq. shall not exceed fifteen (15) in number,
including subparts. The Court, in its discretion, may by written order enlarge
the number of interrogatories to be propounded. Any such request shall be by
written motion directed to the judge who has been assigned the case, and shall
have attached all interrogatories which are to be propounded.
If a motion to compel is filed pursuant to L.C.C.P. 1469, said motion
shall identify as a ground either (1) that no responses have been timely filed,
or (2) that the answers are insufficient or nonresponsive. In the latter case,
the motion shall specify each question and response to which the motion is
directed or, the parties shall submit a copy of the interrogatories and answers.
The judge presiding over the
arraignment section shall conduct all criminal, D.W.I. and traffic initial
appearance arraignments in accordance with the following policies:
Criminal (including D.W.I.)
Unless otherwise so ordered, all
criminal and accompanying traffic charges, and all D.W.I. and accompanying
traffic and/or criminal charges shall be scheduled for arraignment or bond
returnable date in courtroom 128 at 9:00 a.m. EXACTLY sixty (60) days after the
date of arrest or issuance of a misdemeanor summons or in accordance with the
current Court Date Calendar for Non-OTA Tickets/Criminal/DWI (60 Day Rule
Calendar). Computation of this period of time shall begin with the day after the
violation as day number one, even if it is a holiday or weekend. If the sixtieth
(60th) day falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the appearance shall be
scheduled for the next following legal day.
Arrests involving multiple felony and
misdemeanor charges arising from the same set of facts shall be transferred in
their entirety to the l9th Judicial District Court.
Criminal charges susceptible of
prosecution as felonies shall be transferred to the l9th Judicial District Court
with a dated transmittal receipt maintained in the City Court file.
Trials shall be assigned for the
arraigning judge's trial docket, allowing at least three (3) weeks for
issuance of subpoenas.
A schedule of prescribed fines
and costs of court for the violation of certain minor municipal traffic
ordinances ("fine schedule") shall be adopted, copies of which shall be
maintained at the Baton Rouge City Court Criminal/Traffic Division, Room 145,
233 St. Louis Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Any person charged with a citation
listed on the schedule along with a prescribed penalty may enter a plea of
guilty (or, in the case of parking infractions, an "admission of liability"
plea) by signing a declaration to that effect and paying the prescribed penalty
by mail or in person at the Criminal/Traffic Division prior to the assigned
court day. Otherwise, cited motorists shall appear in City Court on the date and
time indicated on the traffic/parking summons. On that occasion, motorists
charged with "one- time-appearance" (hereinafter referred to as "OTA")
violations shall be arraigned and proceed to trial; motorists charged with other
violations shall be arraigned and, if appropriate, assigned a trial date.
Unless otherwise so ordered, traffic
offenses that accompany criminal and/or D.W.I. charges shall be assigned for
arraignment in accordance with Rule 8, A.l.
Unless otherwise so ordered,
the following listed traffic offenses (which are also listed on the back of the
violator's copy of the traffic citation as "Section A") shall be assigned for
arraignment or bond returnable date in courtroom 128 at 8:30 a.m. EXACTLY sixty
(60) days following issuance of arrest or in accordance with the current Court
Date Calendar for Non-OTA Tickets/Criminal/DWI (60 Day Rule Calendar).
Computation of this period of time shall begin with the day after issuance
or arrest as day number one, even if it is a holiday or weekend. If the sixtieth
(60th) day falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the appearance shall be
scheduled for the next following legal day:
Hit and run
Failure to report an accident
Driving under suspension/revocation
The above listed violations require a court appearance for arraignment.
Unless otherwise so ordered, all other traffic offenses (excluding those
identified in paragraphs 1 and 2 immediately above) shall be assigned for
arraignment pursuant to the following policies which shall constitute the OTA
Traffic offenses specifically so designated in Sections A. and B. on the
back of the violator’s copy require a court appearance for arraignment.
The penalty for traffic offenses or parking infractions NOT appearing in
Sections A. and B. on the back of the violator’s copy may be paid at the City
Court Criminal/Traffic Division according to the pre-set fine schedule on any
day prior to the court date. If the penalty is not paid by the court
date, a not guilty plea (or in the case of parking infractions, denial of
liability) is assumed and the defendant is expected to appear in court for
arraignment and/or trial on the assigned court date.
The court appearnce date affixed by the issuing officer upon the citation,
shall correspond to the officer’s nearest available, regularly assigned,
monthly court date (hereinafter referred to as OTA date) no less than
twenty-eight (28) days after date of issuance.
All officers who write OTA traffic citations for City Court must have an
OTA date, and since no subpoenas issue in connection with the OTA System, must
be personally and individually responsible for calling the City Court
Criminal/Traffic Division at 389-3108 to verify that physical appearance is
required on his OTA date. This requirement exists even though an officer may
not have cited any motorists for court appearance on that day since
reassignments (e.g. continuances, bench warrants, etc.) will be scheduled for
that date. The name of each officer required to appear on his OTA date will be
available by 5:00 p.m. the work day prior to his OTA date, and until 9:00 a.m.
on his OTA date. In the event of a failure of the answering machine or the
telephone line, a list of officers required to appear will be on file at the
Criminal/Traffic Division of Baton Rouge City Court at 389-8430. (This
procedure is established for OTA violations only and does not excuse an
officer from a subpoenaed appearance. Call the number provided on the subpoena
for verification of required subpoena appearance.)
If an officer's name is accurately INCLUDED on the appearance required
recording and he fails to appear on his OTA date, he will be reported to the
City Police Chief for appropriate
disciplinary action. Also, if his name was accurately EXCLUDED from the
appearance required recording and he unnecessarily appears on his OTA date
while off duty, he is not entitled to overtime payment.
The Criminal/Traffic Division of the City Court shall maintain and
distribute a computerized list of names and IBM numbers of police officers and
their assigned OTA date. Any change or requested change (whether temporary or
permanent) in OTA date, regardless of the reason, must be immediately reported
in writing to the City Prosecutor's Office and the City Court Criminal/Traffic
Division by the City Police department(s) responsible for maintaining duty
Officers should not, as far as possible, schedule any conflicting
activities (vacations, funeral escorts, examinations, other courts, etc.) on
their OTA date. If tickets have already been assigned for appearance on a
conflicting date for which absence has been approved by a judge, the officer
must immediately bring this fact to the attention of the City Prosecutor's
Office. If an officer's absence from his OTA date is for medical reasons, he
should be prepared to furnish verification from a physician.
OTA tickets should not be issued for the following violations:
Hit and run
Failure to report an accident
Driving under suspension/revocation
D.W.I. and accompanying traffic offenses
Traffic offenses accompanying criminal cases.
All OTA tickets shall be written for 8:30 a.m. court appearance and shall
allow not less than twenty-eight (28) days between date of issuance and court
An annual schedule of legal holidays and "No Court" days shall be
published approximately December 1st for the upcoming year. Officers shall not
assign court appearances for these days. When an officer's OTA date falls on one
of these designated legal holidays or "No Court" days, motorists' court
appearances should be scheduled for the closest business day immediately
preceding or following such date or for the officer's OTA date for the following
month. Since no subpoenas issue in connection with the OTA System, the officer
must be personally and individually responsible for calling the City Court
Criminal/Traffic Division at 389-3108 to verify if his appearance is required on
these dates. If an officer assigns an OTA ticket on a holiday or "No Court" day,
he is responsible for notifying the violator of the new court appearance date
assigned by the Court.
Only the issuing officer's name should appear on an OTA citation; his
riding partner's name should not. If the issuing officer deems it appropriate
or desirable to have witnesses other than himself at the trial of an OTA
ticket, he should furnish the names and addresses to the office of the City
Prosecutor at least fifteen (15) days before the scheduled trial so that
subpoenas may be issued.
Officers reporting for court on their OTA date should check with the
assistant city prosecutor in the arraignment courtroom (Room 128) to ascertain
if they have any trials scheduled for that session of court. If no motorists
to which an officer issued OTA citations appear in court within one (l) hour
after the scheduled appearance time, that officer shall be released.
Any questions concerning these guidelines should be directed to the Senior
Deputy Clerk of the Criminal/Traffic Division of Baton Rouge City Court.
Rule 9-Criminal Trial
shall be assigned for the arraigning judge's trial docket, allowing at least
three (3) weeks for issuance of subpoenas.
Except in extraordinary cases, when
an OTA motorist appears on a bench warrant and desires a trial, or seeks
continuance of a trial, the case will be reassigned for the officer's next OTA
date. As far as practicable, all traffic court trial assignments and/or
reassignments shall be scheduled for the citing officer's next OTA date.
A traffic case assigned for hearing
to name attorney shall be heard by the judge who will try the case.
of Representation by Counsel
With the consent of all parties or
their counsel, or prior to any adverse party filing a pleading or making an
appearance, an attorney may, by ex parte order of the judge of the division in
which the case is pending, be permitted to withdraw his representation of a
litigant. Otherwise, an attorney may withdraw his representation of a party
litigant only upon contradictory motion and hearing and for good cause shown.
All opposing counsel are to be served with a copy of the motion and order to
show cause why mover should not be permitted to withdraw. The Court
shall not grant the motion if to do so would necessitate the reassignment of
the case for trial.
An attorney who has been permitted
by ex parte order to withdraw prior to an adverse pleading or appearance,
shall give notice of same to all counsel who may thereafter plead in the case.
In all cases of withdrawal, he shall advise the party he was previously
representing, by certified mail, that he is no longer of counsel for him and
shall further advise him of the status of the case on the Court's docket.
Should a pretrial request be pending at the time a withdrawal is permitted, it
shall be the further duty of withdrawing counsel to submit to the Court an
amendment to the request clarifying the change in status.
Nothing in this Rule shall be
construed to prevent the substitution of counsel for a litigant at any time
provided the motion to substitute is signed by both the withdrawing attorney
and the one to be enrolled.
Criminal (including D.W.I.) and Traffic Proceedings
Written motions shall be filed and heard
contradictorily with the accused and City Prosecutor prior to trial, except in
extreme circumstances, for good cause shown.
Civil and Criminal (including D.W.I.)
Requests for continuance in civil
and criminal proceedings shall, absent extraordinary circumstances, be filed not
less than seven (7) days prior to a scheduled court date and shall conform to
the applicable provisions of the Louisiana Code of Civil and Criminal Procedure.
Continuance motions shall be directed to the division regularly assigned to
preside over the section in which the matter is scheduled.
Requests for continuance of the trial of
minor municipal traffic ordinance violations based upon the absence of the
issuing police officer on his assigned court date shall not be granted except
in extraordinary circumstances and for good cause shown. As far as
practicable, all continuances of minor traffic ordinance violations shall be
scheduled for trial on the issuing officer's next OTA date.
Criminal (including D.W.I.) and Traffic
Requests for issuance of subpoenas shall be
directed to the Clerk of City Court/Judicial Administrator IN WRITING (including
both name and address of witness(es) not less than fifteen (15) days prior to
the date upon which a trial or evidentiary hearing is to be held.
Rule 14-Night Court
Night court sessions shall be held at such
intervals as the case load warrants. Each division shall schedule and adjudicate
its own night court docket. The Clerk's Office shall not assign cases for night
Rules for Peace Officers
All peace officers reporting for court
(whether on duty or off duty) are required to check-in on arrival and check-out
on departure at the Criminal/Traffic counter, Room 145.