Appealed from the Forty Second Judicial District Court for
the Parish of DeSoto, Louisiana Trial Court No. M1064
Honorable Charles Blaylock Adams, Judge.
KENNETH P. HAINES JODY TODD BENSON COUNSEL FOR 1ST
APPELLANT DESOTO PARISH POLICE JURY
KENNETH P. HAINES COUNSEL FOR 2ND APPELLANT GARY
V. EVANS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY
MOORE, GARRETT, and STONE, JJ.
a dispute between Judge Charles Adams, Chief Judge of the
42nd Judicial District Court ("JDC"), on
one side, and the DeSoto Parish district attorney and police
jury (collectively, the "appellants"), on the other
side. The police jury allegedly owns the 42nd JDC
courthouse. The following narrative is taken from the briefs.
upstairs courtroom in the 42nd JDC courthouse has
two entrances. For the last eight years or so, one of the
entrances has been secured by the posting of bailiffs there.
During that time, the secure entrance has been used as the
judges' primary entrance and as the entrance through
which criminal defendants in the sheriff's custody are
brought into the courtroom. The court's bailiffs occupied
two offices near the secure entrance.
the police jury reallocated these offices to the district
attorney's office, which, according to Chief Judge Adams,
will use these offices for meetings with witnesses and
victims (who do not have security clearance). The police jury
relies on La. R.S. 33:4713 and 33:4715 as authority for doing
so. In relevant part, La. R.S. 47:13 provides:
A. Each parish shall provide and bear the expense of a
suitable building and requisite furniture for the sitting of
the district and circuit courts and such offices, furniture,
and equipment as may be needed by the clerks and recorders of
the parish for the proper conduct of their offices and shall
provide such other offices as may be needed by the sheriffs
of these courts and by the tax collectors and assessors of
the parish and shall provide the necessary heat and
La. R.S. 47:15, in full, states:
The police jury of each parish shall provide a good and
sufficient court-house, with rooms for jurors, and a good and
sufficient jail, at such place as they may deem most
convenient for the parish at large, provided that when the
seat of justice is established by law, they shall not have
power to remove it.
Judge Adams asserts that this action by the police jury
effectively rendered the courtroom entrance unsecured.
Pursuant to Uniform Rules for District Courts, Rule 5.2,
Chief Judge Adams issued an "Order As to Courthouse
Security" that "enjoined" the police jury
from: (1) implementing its resolution to remove the
court's bailiffs from the aforementioned offices; and (2)
re-allocating the probation office space on the west side of
the courtroom…without the approval of the Chief
Rule 5.2 states:
The sheriff or his or her designated deputy shall provide
security for the courtrooms, chambers, judicial offices, and
hallways within the courthouse. Security procedures
shall be approved by the chief judge of ...