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The state Court System is relatively simple and comprised of the Louisiana Supreme Court, a Court of Appeals and the District Courts. The Supreme Court dates back to the 1700s when Spain and then France controlled the state. It is the highest court in the state. Seven justices sit on the Supreme Court in the state, and they serve ten-year terms. Supreme justices are elected into office. The state is divided into seven jurisdictional districts, and each justice oversees a district. Additionally, one justice is selected to act as Chief Justice to serve an administrative role for the entire Court.
LA also has five Courts of Appeal, 43 Districts, 5 Family/Juvenile Courts, 48 City Courts, and 3 Parish Courts. The lower courts all appeal to the Court of Appeals and then to the highest court (Supreme) if necessary. The state has special court programs for things like drug addiction, juvenile delinquency, protective orders, and other specialized issues.
For the past year tallied, the state courts saw 401,261 total cases. Of those 291,552 were for civil actions and 109,709 were for criminal matters. Additionally, 3,937 adults were served by the drug court program, and another 609 juveniles were assisted with drug addiction through the court program.
Most court records in the state will be available to the general public with a few exceptions. Any court-ordered sealed or confidential case may not be accessed by anyone other than court personnel. Juvenile records are typically inaccessible by the public except in special circumstances. United States federal law also prohibits certain information from being exposed through public records. Therefore, things like home addresses, children’s names, social security numbers, tax IDs, trade secrets and other sensitive information must first be removed before the files are made public. Other court rules may also apply.
Although the state court website (la.gov) is outdated and difficult to navigate, they do provide forms on their website to help self-represented individuals and attorneys file motions, briefs, and other online records easily. They do have a page that lists each court location so records may be filed in person. They also offer an e-filing option for anyone to use. Patrons must first register for an account and then log in to e-file and use the system. They also have a section on the website with resources to support self-represented people in cases like small claims and divorce. Additionally, you can visit the clerk of court to file and obtain paperwork. You may have to wait depending on how busy the clerk's office is at the time.
Did you know you could use Infotracer to search for records online? The Infotracer database allows you to access hundreds of court cases in LA, including those in Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, the Western District, and Caddo Parish. According to the LA Public Records Law - LA. R.S.UTH44:1THU, et seq., the general public is allowed to review criminal records, divorces, death certificates, domestic violence cases, marriages, civil cases, family court issues, vital records, land records, dockets, bankruptcies, marriage licenses, civil records, and more!
Any individual may perform public records search privately without any reason or special permission. The only exception is access to private documents which have been sealed through court order or the law.
Infotracer provides records on demand from Louisiana district courts, city and parish courts for all judicial districts in the state. Try Infotracer today to get instant free access to records using a Louisiana state court records search by name.
In 2012, the Louisiana courts received 1,640,050 filings. In 2016, the number of filings decreased by 18.5% and counted 1,337,146 filings.
|Court Type||Incoming Caseloads|
Domestic relations caseload of Louisiana at year end of 2016 has increased by 13.3% compared to the last 5 years.
|Year||Domestic Relations Caseload||Total Statewide Caseload|
The number of criminal cases in Louisiana courts counts to 62,748, with 62,748 felony cases.
|Year||Criminal Caseload||Misdemeanor Caseload||Felony Caseload|
The District Courts are the general jurisdiction trial courts for the state. These courts have jurisdiction over all criminal and civil matters. The types of cases processed are felonies, real property cases, misdemeanors, civil lawsuits, and other criminal issues. These courts are further divided into divisions to handle things like juvenile issues and family matters such as divorce, child abuse, and neglect and criminal matters related to minors and family. These types of cases go directly to either Family Court or Juvenile Court who have original jurisdiction over these legal issues. These courts are divided into 43 districts with one judge in each.
The state's City and Parish Courts are the limited jurisdiction courts for the state. They handle local ordinance violations, misdemeanors, and other minor legal issues in their local region. City Courts are called “courts of record.” These courts work closely with District judges and share jurisdiction in some areas such as civil matters where the dollar amount exceeds $50,000. These courts handle mostly traffic-related issues. LA has only 3 Parish Courts, and they are staffed by full-time judges, unlike City Courts who may use full or part-time judges. Parish Courts can resolve civil actions of up to $20,000 and criminal matters with fines of $1,000 or less.