It Is Not A Dollar-for-Dollar Reduction/Increase in Most Cases Guys!

It seems that I have to explain this over and over and over again….and sometimes to attorneys.

Let’s say you pay \$1000 per month in child support PLUS \$400 DIRECTLY to a daycare center to pay all the monthly daycare expenses.  For the sake of discussion, let’s assume child support was calculated with both parents earning the same amount of money (meaning the parents split the total support obligation 50/50.

Question: What is the basic support obligation for both parents? (everything you need to know is in the paragraph above)

Question: What is the total support obligation for both parents?

Answer: \$2800 (basic obligation + daycare)

Explanation: Since the non-custodial parent is paying all the daycare directly then that parent must have received a \$200 credit (half of \$400 since the split is 50/50) meaning his half of the basic obligation must actually be \$1200.  Since child support in this scenario was based upon the parents having the same income then logically the basic support support obligation of both parent is \$1200 x 2 = \$2400.

The second answer is easy: \$2400 + total daycare

So what happens when daycare is no longer required?

Total support obligation now becomes \$2400 (\$2800-\$400).  Parents split the obligation and the non-custodial parent gives the custodial parent \$1200….NOT \$1000

Bet you thought that once daycare was dropped that the \$400 would come off the top and \$1000 would be owed.  What you fail to realize is that you were already given a \$200 credit when you were giving the custodial parent only \$1000.

I see it time and time again that judges and attorneys often have a hard time with this.

(Total Support Obligation of Both Parents) x (Your Percentage of Total Income) Minus (Direct Payments)=Child Support

With Daycare:

(\$2800  x  .50) minus \$400 = \$1000

No Daycare:

(\$2400  x  .50)= \$1200

The reverse works the same of course.  If the custodial parents want to use the daycare again, he/she would only get a \$200 increase in child support for a \$400 expense.

The ONLY time the amounts change dollar-for-dollar is when the custodial parent has no income (which should only occur if he/she is caring for your child while under the age of five).  Be sure to appeal anytime a judge does not impute income to a custodial parent who just wants to sit back and collect child support.

And of course, make sure you get a good family law attorney.

If you think this is complicated;  try this:  Daddy makes \$4000/month and Mama makes \$1500/month.  Daycare is \$388 per month paid by Mama.  Daddy pays dance lessons in the amount of \$30 per week.  Daddy also pays Blue Cross for health insurance in the amount of \$115 per month.  Daddy pays child support for another child from a previous marriage in the amount of \$500 per month but it is not court ordered.

Daddy loses in court and mama is made domiciliary parent.  There is one child under the age of five.  What does Daddy pay Mama in child support?

Once you get the Basic Support Obligation from the statutes then the answer is rather simple.

Pro-se litigant drills judge LaRose in the first circuit

[warning]Check this case out.  Keith J. Labat, arguing in proper person (pro-se) won his case before the first circuit court of appeals on December 21, 2011.

{Okay, okay, so he was a lawyer.  Hmmm, it gets even more Interesting:  The Supreme Court removed his license to practice law.}[/warning]

Very nice.

KEITH J. LABAT, v. F. HUGH LAROSE.

No. 2011 CA 0957.
Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit.

December 21, 2011.
Keith J. Labat, Thibodaux, Louisiana, Plaintiff/Appellee Pro Se.James D. “Buddy” Caldwell, Attorney General, David G. Sanders, Bridget B. Denicola, Assistant Attorneys General, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Counsel for Defendant/Appellant F. Hugh Larose.BEFORE: GAIDRY, McDONALD, AND HUGHES, JJ.

NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION

HUGHES, J.

This is an appeal of a judgment issuing a writ of mandamus to a district court judge, ordering him to allow the plaintiff to inspect and copy an audio recording of a hearing in a civil case in which the plaintiff was a party. For the reasons that follow, we amend the judgment and affirm, as amended.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On September 9, 2005 a hearing was conducted in Labat v. Labat, No. 96,159 (La. 17th J.D.C.), before Judge F. Hugh Larose. An audio recording was made of the hearing, and Keith J. Labat afterward made a request to listen to and/or make a copy of the recording. Mr. Labat’s request was denied by the Lafourche Parish Clerk of Court, Vernon H. Rodrigue, who responded that his office did not have custody of the recording.

On November 14, 2010 Mr. Labat forwarded a formal written request to Judge Larose asking that he be allowed to “inspect and copy” the recording “maintained by” Judge Larose’s office or “under the custody and control of his office. Mr. Labat described the recording as follows:

Any and all audio and/or video tapes, c/d, recordings, written, transcribed or otherwise which relate to, in any manner, however slight, to a September 9, 2005 court proceeding in the matter entitled Jan L. Labat v. Keith J. Labat, bearing docket number 96159, in and for the Parish of Lafourche, State of Louisiana, 17th Judicial District Court. [Italics original.]

Judge Larose responded to Mr. Labat’s request by letter dated November 22, 2010, stating as follows, in pertinent part:

Please be advised that I have no documents responsive to your request. Furthermore, pursuant to La. C.C.P. art. 251 the clerk of court is the legal custodian of all of the court’s records. The court reporter, under La. C.C.P. art. 372, has the duty to retain and maintain the notes and tape recordings in civil cases.

Thereafter, on January 3, 2011, Mr. Labat filed the instant action for mandamus against Judge Larose, based on the Public Records Law, LSA-R.S. 44:1 et seq. Additionally, Mr. Labat sought civil penalties and attorney fees, under LSA-R.S. 44:35, and all costs of the proceedings. All of the judges of the 17th JDC recused themselves, and on February 7, 2001, a retired Ascension Parish judge was assigned, ad hoc, to hear the case.

Judge Larose, represented by the state attorney general’s office, filed an answer on March 24, 2011, contending that the clerk of court is the legal custodian of the court’s records, pursuant to LSA-C.C.P. art. 251, and that the duty to maintain the notes and tape recordings in a civil case is imposed on the court reporter, pursuant to LSA-C.C.P. art. 372. It was further asserted that the plaintiff, as a former attorney representing himself, was not entitled to recover attorney fees, and that civil penalties were recoverable “only when a custodian unreasonably or arbitrarily fails to respond to the request,” pursuant to LSA-R.S. 44:35(E).

Following an April 6, 2011 hearing, judgment was signed on April 21, 2011 in favor of Mr. Labat, ordering Judge Larose to permit Mr. Labat to inspect and copy the audio recording of the hearing held on September 9, 2005 in Labat v. Labat, No. 96,159 (La. 17th J.D.C.), within ten days from the date of the judgment. Mr. Labat’s requests for penalties, attorney fees, and/or damages were denied.

Judge Larose filed a suspensive appeal of the April 21, 2011 judgment, asserting the trial court erred: (1) in finding that the Public Records Law was applicable to the court reporter’s audio recording of a trial proceeding, and thus, effectively, superseded court procedure that requires a request and payment be made to the official court reporter to transcribe the court proceeding; (2) in finding Judge Larose was the custodian of the audio recording from the September 9, 2005 court proceeding in Labat v. Labat; and (3) alternatively, in not recognizing that a court has the inherent authority to exempt “documents” from the Public Records Law.

LAW AND ANALYSIS

Louisiana Constitution, Article XII, Section 3, provides: “No person shall be denied the right to observe the deliberations of public bodies and examine public documents, except in cases established by law.” (Emphasis added.) Further, LSA-Const. Art. I, § 22, states: “All courts shall be open, and every person shall have an adequate remedy by due process of law and justice, administered without denial, partiality, or unreasonable delay, for injury to him in his person, property, reputation, or other rights.”

In this case, Mr. Labat does not suggest that he was prohibited from observing the proceeding held on September 9, 2005 in Labat v. Labat, No. 96,159 (La. 17th J.D.C.). Rather, he seeks to examine and copy the audio recording made of that proceeding, citing Louisiana’s Public Records Law.

As stated in LSA-R.S. 44:31(A), providing access to public records is a responsibility and duty of the appointive or elective office of a custodian[1] and his employees. Except as otherwise provided by law, any person may obtain a copy or reproduction of any public record, and any person of the age of majority may also inspect any public record. See LSA-R.S. 44:31 (B). The burden of proving that a public record is not subject to inspection, copying, or reproduction rests with the custodian. LSA-R.S. 44:31(B)(3).

The Louisiana Supreme Court has recognized that the public has a right to inspect and copy public court records. Copeland v. Copeland 2007-0177, p. 3 (La. 10/16/07), 966 So.2d 1040, 1042-43 (citing Craig v. Harney, 331 U.S. 367, 374, 67 S.Ct. 1249, 91 L.Ed. 1596 (1947), and Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597, 98 S.Ct. 1306, 55 L.Ed.2d 570 (1978)). See also LSA-R.S. 44:40(E) and (F).[2]

Louisiana Constitution, Article XII, Section 3 must be construed liberally in favor of free and unrestricted access to public records, and that access can be denied only when a law, specifically and unequivocally, provides otherwise. Whenever there is doubt as to whether the public has the right of access to certain records, the doubt must be resolved in favor of the public’s right to see. To do otherwise would be an improper and arbitrary restriction on the public’s constitutional rights. Copeland v. Copeland, XXXX-XXXX at pp. 4-5, 966 So.2d at 1043-44 (citing In re Doe, 96-2222 (La. 9/13/96), 679 So.2d 900, 901 (per curiam), and Title Research Corporation v. Rausch, 450 So.2d 933, 936 (La. 1984)).

However, the fact that a document is filed in a court record does not necessarily mean that it will be accessible by the public. The right to inspect and copy judicial records is not absolute. Every court has supervisory power over its own records and files. Access may be denied when court files might become a vehicle for improper purposes. Discretion as to access is best left to the sound discretion of the trial court, a discretion to be exercised in light of the relevant facts and circumstances of the particular case. See Copeland v. Copeland, XXXX-XXXX at pp. 5-6, 966 So.2d at 1044. See also Bester v. Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions, 2000-1360 (La. 2/21/01), 779 So.2d 715.

A trial court’s discretion in exercising this right often comes in the form of sealing all or part of a court record. Although Louisiana has no specific statutory provision allowing trial courts to seal court records, general provisions exist under which trial courts exercise this power. For instance, LSA-C.C.P. art. 191 provides that “a court possesses inherently all of the power necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction even though not granted expressly by law.” In addition, LSA-C.C.P. art. 1631(A) provides that “[t]he court has the power to require that the proceedings shall be conducted with dignity and in an orderly and expeditious manner, and to control the proceedings at the trial, so that justice is done.” Copeland v. Copeland, XXXX-XXXX at pp. 6-7, 966 So.2d at 1045.

For example, with respect to divorce actions, no state statute excepts divorce proceedings from either Louisiana’s constitutional open courts provision (LSA-Const. Art. I, § 22,) or its constitutional public records provision (LSA-Const. Art. XII, § 3). While LSA-Ch.C. art. 407 provides that proceedings before the juvenile court, with certain exceptions, “shall not be public,” the law contains no such provisions with regard to divorce or child custody proceedings that would take such proceedings outside the scope of Art. I, § 22 or Art. XII, § 3. Likewise, LSA-C.C. art. 135, which provides that “[a] custody hearing may be closed to the public,” provides no basis for closing the courts in a case where there is no “custody hearing” involved. Thus, the constitutional right of access extends to civil divorce proceedings. Copeland v. Copeland, XXXX-XXXX at p. 8, 966 So.2d at 1045.

However, that being said, even without a statute exempting certain court proceedings and documents from public review, the constitutional right of access is not unlimited. Article I, § 5 of the Louisiana Constitution, which provides, in part, that “[e]very person shall be secure in his person, property, communications, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches, seizures, or invasions of privacy,” protects certain documents and information from disclosure. The supreme court has defined the right to privacy as the right to be “let alone” and to be free from “unnecessary public scrutiny.” In addition to the specific statutory exceptions found elsewhere, the protection provided by Article I, § 5 has prevailed over the public’s right to know and has protected certain documents and information from disclosure.[3] Copeland v. Copeland, XXXX-XXXX at p. 8, 966 So.2d at 1045-46.

The supreme court has also defined the limits on the right to privacy as follows: the right to privacy is not absolute; it is qualified by the rights of others. The right of privacy is also limited by society’s right to be informed about legitimate subjects of public interest. As the supreme court has recognized, individuals involved in civil litigation may be compelled to give evidence which tends to embarrass them or to produce documents of a confidential nature. Copeland v. Copeland, XXXX-XXXX at p. 9, 966 So.2d at 1046.

Using the example of divorce proceedings again, we note that commentators have indicated that other state courts have handled access to divorce proceedings in different ways. Some courts have applied the common-law rule to prevent those not having a legitimate interest in the divorce proceedings from having access to the entire record, while other courts cited statutes mandating the sealing of divorce records. In some cases involving the custody of children, courts have denied access to the divorce records to protect the children. Courts have also held a number of documents and types of information not to be subject to disclosure in relation to divorce proceedings, including financial information and paternity results. Furthermore, a state court may seal the record until the divorce decree has been entered in order to encourage conciliation. Recently, however, the practice of closing divorce proceedings has changed to allow the public more access in divorce cases. Privacy interests no longer mandate closure of these proceedings in many jurisdictions, although they are still relevant in balancing the interests involved in disclosure. When all factors are equal, the right of access will prevail despite the parties’ privacy interests. Several courts have also permitted access to records obtained in divorce proceedings, including financial information. Moreover, the salaciousness of the details in the divorce records has not been sufficient by itself to prevent disclosure in some states. Copeland v. Copeland, XXXX-XXXX at p. 9, 966 So.2d at 1046.

Based on these precepts, we must conclude that, unless some valid reason to the contrary has been shown, the records of state court cases are subject to inspection, copying, and/or reproduction, as decreed by the Public Records Law. No valid and applicable exception to the Public Records Law has been demonstrated in this case. Nor is there any indication in this appellate record that any part of the Labat v. Labat, No. 96,159 (La. 17th J.D.C.), record was ordered sealed or that there was ever a request by a party-in-interest to have any part of that record sealed.

On appeal, the defendant judge further asserts that the application of the Public Records Law in this case inappropriately supercedes “the procedure mandated by courts which require request and payment be made to the official reporter who will transcribe the court proceeding.” The defendant contends that LSA-C.C.P. art. 372 and/or LSA-R.S. 13:961 govern the plaintiff’s request in this case.

Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 372 provides, in pertinent part:

A. The court reporter of a trial court, when directed by the court, shall report verbatim in shorthand by stenography or stenotype, or by voice recording or any other recognized manner when the equipment therefor has been approved by the court, the testimony of all witnesses, the other evidence introduced or offered, the objections thereto, and the rulings of the court thereon, on the trial of any appealable civil case or matter.

B. When the court so directs, or the fees therefor have been paid or secured, or when an appeal has been granted in cases in which a party has been permitted to litigate without the payment of costs, he shall transcribe verbatim in a manner approved by the supreme court, all of his notes taken at the trial, or such portion thereof as is designated. He shall file one copy of the transcript in the trial court; shall deliver a copy thereof to each of the parties who has paid therefor; and, when an appeal has been granted, he shall furnish to the clerk of the trial court the number of copies of the transcript required by law.

c. The court reporter shall retain all notes and tape recordings in civil cases for a period of not less than five years after the end of the trial. However, if the record of the trial is fully transcribed, the court reporter shall retain all notes and tape recordings which have been fully transcribed for a period of not less than two years after transcription is completed. The court reporter shall destroy any notes and tape recordings of any matter upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

D. The notes and tape recordings of any civil case which are retained by a court reporter pursuant to the provisions of this Article shall be the property of the court in which the case was heard. The court reporter shall have the duty to retain and maintain all such notes and tape recordings pursuant to the provisions of this Article, although the notes and tape recordings shall remain the property of the court.

* * *

Louisiana Revised Statute 13:961 provides, in pertinent part:

A. In any judicial district there may be appointed as many official court reporters as there are district judges in said judicial district. Each district judge may appoint one court reporter who shall hold office until it is declared vacated by the judge making the appointment. In judicial districts having more than one district judge, the judges, sitting en banc, with the approval of each police jury, may appoint such additional court reporters as in their discretion are required, who shall serve at the pleasure of the court en banc and may be assigned to the various divisions of the court, or to the grand jury, as the court en banc may direct.

* * *

C. (1) The duties of the official court reporter shall be to report in shorthand, stenotype, or any other recognized manner, and transcribe into longhand by typewriting all the testimony taken in all civil appealable cases tried in the judicial district served by the court reporters, when ordered so to do by the presiding judge and to furnish for the purpose of appeal the necessary copies of the testimony required by law for such appeal. In criminal cases tried in the judicial districts, the official court reporter shall record all portions of the proceedings required by law or the court and shall, when required by law or the court, transcribe those portions of the proceedings required, which shall be filed with the clerk of court in the parish where the case is being tried.

(2) The official reporters appointed under Subsection A of this Section shall work concurrently under the direction and supervision of the judges appointing them, according to the needs and requirements in the various parishes comprising the district, in the interest of expediting the business before the judges of the court in said judicial district.

* * *

Our review of LSA-C.C.P. art. 372 and LSA-R.S. 13:961 does not lead us to conclude that there is any conflict between these provisions and the mandates of the Public Records Law, as it relates to the particular facts and circumstances presented in the instant case. The plaintiff in this case has requested to inspect (i.e. listen to) and copy the audio recording of the September 9, 2005 hearing in a civil case in which he was a party. He has not asked for a transcript,”[4] and there is no indication that the matter was appealed.[5] Therefore, the provisions mandating a litigant pay transcription fees have not been triggered.

The defendant judge also contends that the trial court erroneously determined that he was the custodian of the September 9, 2005 audio recordings. We note that the parish clerk of court has been denominated by the legislature as the “legal custodian” of all of “its” records, as stated in LSA-C.C.P. art. 251(A), which provides:

The clerk of court is the legal custodian of all of its records and is responsible for their safekeeping and preservation. He may issue a copy of any of these records, certified by him under the seal of the court to be a correct copy of the original. Except as otherwise provided by law, he shall permit any person to examine, copy, photograph, or make a memorandum of any of these records at any time during which the clerk’s office is required by law to be open. However, notwithstanding the provisions of this Paragraph or R.S. 44:31 et seq., the use, placement, or installation of privately owned copying, reproducing, scanning, or any other such imaging equipment, whether hand-held, portable, fixed, or otherwise, within the offices of the clerk of court is prohibited unless ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

However, in this case the clerk of court, Mr. Rodrigue, testified that his office did not have custody of the audio recording of the September 9, 2005 Labat v. Labat hearing. Both Judge Larose and his court reporter, Renee Matheme, testified that the September 9, 2005 audio recording (which was in the form of a compact disc) was stored in a closet in Judge Larose’s office suite. Ms. Matheme also testified that she had been instructed to present any requests for access to court recordings to the judge,[6] who was her “boss,” that she did so in this case, and that Judge Larose responded to Mr. Labat’s request.

The “custodian” of a public record is defined by LSA-R.S. 44:1(A)(3) as the public official who has “custody or control of a public record.” Therefore, under the specific facts of this case, we can find no error in the trial court’s finding that Judge Larose had custody and control over the recording.

Judge Larose additionally argues on appeal that Mr. Labat is not entitled to receive the records sought in the “specific medium” requested, when the court has in place a procedure whereby a transcript can be obtained from the court reported. We disagree.

Louisiana Revised Statute 44:31 gives to “any person of the age of majority” the right to choose from four options: he may inspect the records; he may copy the records; he may reproduce the records; or he may obtain, from the custodian, a reproduction of the records. The statute is clear and unambiguous in its grant of these alternate rights, and it also is clear that the choice of which optional right to exercise rests with the one requesting the records and not with the custodian. Title Research Corporation v. Rausch, 450 So.2d at 937.

Louisiana Revised Statute 44:32 provides the manner in which a public records custodian must respond to a public records request and states, in pertinent part: “The custodian shall present any public record to any person of the age of majority who so requests . . . and shall extend to the person all reasonable comfort and facility for the full exercise of the right granted . . . .” LSA-R.S. 44:32(A). Further, no fee shall be charged to any person to examine or review any public records (unless otherwise provided in the Public Records Law). LSA-R.S. 44:32(C)(3).[7]

When a “copy or reproduction of any public record” is requested, as authorized by LSA-R.S. 44:31(B)(2), LSA-R.S. 44:32(C)(1)(a) requires the custodian to “provide copies to persons so requesting.” See also LSA-R.S. 44:32(C)(1)(d). A “recording” is a public record, pursuant to LSA-R.S. 44:1 (A)(2)(a).[8] Mr. Labat has requested a copy of a public recording, and he is entitled to be provided with such.

We further note that although, generally, the custodian may establish and collect reasonable fees for making copies of public records, copies of records may be furnished “without charge or at a reduced charge to indigent citizens of this state.” LSA-R.S. 44:32(C)(1)(a). Mr. Labat petitioned to proceed in forma pauperis in this litigation, and the minutes of the trial court reflect that his motion was granted on April 21, 2011. Thus, we conclude that he is entitled to a copy of the public record without charge.

The April 21, 2011 trial court judgment at issue herein stated: “IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED[,] AND DECREED that a Writ of Mandamus issue herein to Judge F. Hugh Larose, ordering him to permit Keith J. Labat to inspect and copy the audio tape of a hearing held on September 9, 2005 in the case of Labat v. Labat, civil docket # 96 159, 17th Judicial District Court, Parish of Lafourche, within ten (10) days from date, in the office of Judge Larose, Court House, Thibodaux, Louisiana.”

The order entitled Mr. Labat to listen to the audio recording in a facility of the 17th Judicial District Court suitable “for the full exercise of the right granted” and with “all reasonable comfort,” as stated in LSA-R.S. 44:32(A). However, Mr. Labat is not entitled to remove the original audio recording from the courthouse. Nor may Mr. Labat use or place on the courthouse premises any “mechanical reproduction, microphotographic reproduction, or any other such imaging, reproduction, or photocopying equipment, unless otherwise ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.” See LSA-R.S. 44:32(C)(1)(c).

Because Mr. Labat is not authorized under the Public Records Law to make an audio copy of the recording himself, Judge Larose must provide an audio copy in the same format as the original recording (the testimony of record indicated this format was a compact disc) or other comparable audio format agreeable to all parties. See, e.g. St. Tammany Parish Coroner v. Doe, 2010-0946, p. 7 (La. App. 1 Cir. 10/29/10), 48 So.3d 1241, 1246.

Accordingly, we hereby amend the trial court judgment to read: “IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that a Writ of Mandamus issue herein to Judge F. Hugh Larose, ordering him to permit Keith J. Labat to inspect the audio tape of a hearing held on September 9, 2005 in the case of Labat v. Labat, civil docket # 96 159, 17th Judicial District Court, Parish of Lafourche, on the premises of the Court House, Thibodaux, Louisiana, in a facility suitable `for the full exercise of the right granted’ and with `all reasonable comfort;’ Judge Larose is further ordered to provide to Mr. Labat an audio copy of the recording, either in the form of a compact disc or some other comparable audio format agreeable to Mr. Labat, and without cost to Mr. Labat; all within ten (10) days from the date of this judgment.”

CONCLUSION

For the reasons assigned herein, the judgment of trial court is amended, as stated hereinabove, and affirmed as amended. All costs of this appeal are to be borne by the appellant.

AMENDED, AFFIRMED AS AMENDED.

[1] “Custodian” means “the public official or head of any public body having custody or control of a public record, or a representative specifically authorized by him to respond to requests to inspect any such public records.” LSA-R.S. 44:1(A)(3).

[2] Louisiana Revised Statute 44:40(E) and (F) provide:

E. The several clerks of court, including the clerks of the Criminal or Civil District Courts for the parish of Orleans, shall make and retain in their custody, by means of the microphotographic process, a copy of all original criminal and civil records of every nature and kind, which are deemed permanent under a record retention and disposal schedule adopted by the secretary of state and the clerks of court in accordance with R.S. 44:410, and which have been in their custody for a period of five or more years. The clerks of court may then destroy the original criminal records and any other records, the destruction of which is authorized by R.S. 13:917, which have been so copied and retained. However, all records in suits affecting records relating to immovable property, or adoption, interdiction, successions, trusts, or emancipation, shall be retained in their original form, even though they have been copied as provided herein.

F. Five years after rendition of a final judgment from which no appeal may be taken, in any suit, except suits affecting records relating to immovable property, adoption, interdiction, successions, trusts or emancipation, the clerk of court, including the clerk of the Criminal or Civil District Court in the parish of Orleans, shall transfer at the direction of the state archivist all permanent records in the suit to the Department of State, as custodian of the official archives of the state, for safe and secure storage, service, restoration, and preservation. The state archivist shall establish a schedule by which all suit records heretofore accumulated by various clerks of court shall be transferred. The schedule shall include provisions for transfer from the parishes, in alphabetical order, of records from the years 1699 through 1921, to be completed by December 31, 1980, and for transfer, in the same order, of records from the years since 1921 in which the final judgment was rendered prior to September 8, 1973, to be completed by December 31, 1981. Upon receipt, the department shall make reproductions of the original records by the microphotographic process, retain a master negative thereof, and transmit to the sending clerk a copy of the reproductions of the records. The department shall maintain the confidentiality of any records, or parts thereof, which are so classified by law. Thereafter, notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 44:421, the department shall not make or authenticate copies or reproductions of those records but, upon receipt of any request for service or of any inquiry relating to those records, the department shall forward the request or inquiry to the appropriate clerk of court, who may render the necessary services and charge the appropriate fees, as provided in R.S. 13:841 or 844, or in Orleans Parish by R.S. 13:1213 or 1381.

The provisions of this Subsection shall not apply to any records, the destruction of which is authorized by Subsection E of this section or by R.S. 13:917.

[3] The Public Records Law contains numerous exceptions that serve to protect the confidentiality of a variety of records. Among the exceptions are the following: LSA-R.S. 44:2 (records involving preliminary legislative investigations); LSA-R.S. 44:3 (certain records of prosecutive, investigative, law enforcement agencies, and communications districts); LSA-R.S. 44:3.1 (certain records pertaining to terrorist-related activities); LSA-R.S. 44:3.2 (documents regarding proprietary and trade secret information); LSA-R.S. 44:10 (documents and proceedings of the Louisiana Judiciary Commission); LSA-R.S. 44:11 (certain personnel records), and LSA-R.S. 44:13 (certain library registration records). Additionally, LSA-R.S. 44:4 contains over forty additional categories of exemptions from disclosure and addresses the records of a number of different agencies, hi LSA-R.S. 44:4.1(B), the legislature, recognizing that there exists exceptions, exemptions, and limitations to the laws pertaining to public records throughout the revised statutes and codes of this state, provided a list of more than thirty categories of documents, citing to the specific revised statutes and codal articles that provide exemption from disclosure. See Henderson v. Bigelow, 2007-1441, p. 12 (La. App. 4 Cir. 4/9/08), 982 So.2d 941, 948, writ denied, 2008-1025 (La. 6/27/08), 983 So.2d 1292. The Fourth Circuit’s review, in Henderson v. Bigelow, of each of the categories of documents specifically exempted or otherwise excepted from disclosure revealed that there was no general express exemption for documents of the judiciary. See Id.

[4] “When a transcript is requested by a litigant, the court reporter or deputy court reporter shall be paid in advance and shall furnish such transcript within thirty days of payment.” LSA-R.S. 13:961.2(B)(1) (emphasis added).

[5] “The clerk of the court from which an appeal is taken is not required to deliver the transcript of the record of the case before his fees for preparing the same have been paid.” LSA-R.S. 13:4532 (emphasis added). “In all civil and criminal cases a fee not to exceed one dollar and fifty cents per thirty-one-line page and twenty-five cents per copy reported and transcribed shall be charged by and be paid to the court reporter who reported and transcribed the testimony … In the Seventeenth Judicial District such fee shall not exceed two dollars and fifty cents for each thirty-one line page and fifty cents for each copied page. LSA-R.S. 13:961(F)(1)(a) and (c).

[6] In her testimony, Ms. Matherne referenced a “memo” that she said instructed court reporters not to let “anybody come in and listen” to court recordings; however, that memo was not made a part of the record. Further, a review of the Rules for Louisiana District Courts does not reveal the existence of a statewide rule to that effect, nor do the published rules of the 17th JDC contain such a rule.

[7] We also note that balanced against the public’s rights of access, it is the duty of the custodian to preserve the public records, and to ensure that nobody alters or destroys the records. This “vigilance” by the custodian, however, must be reasonable, and it must be by those means that are least intrusive on the right of access. Any restriction or limitation imposed by the custodian places the burden on the custodian to justify the restriction or limitation. Title Research Corporation v. Rausch, 450 So.2d at 937-38. See also LSA-R.S. 44:32(A), providing that nothing in the Public Records Law “shall prevent the custodian from maintaining such vigilance as is required to prevent alteration of any record while it is being examined.”

[8] Except as otherwise provided in the Public Records Law or the Constitution of Louisiana, “public records” are “[a]ll books, records, writings, accounts, letters and letter books, maps, drawings, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings, memoranda, and papers, and all copies, duplicates, photographs, including microfilm, or other reproductions thereof, or any other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, including information contained in electronic data processing equipment, having been used, being in use, or prepared, possessed, or retained for use in the conduct, transaction, or performance of any business, transaction, work, duty, or function which was conducted, transacted, or performed by or under the authority of the constitution or laws of this state, or by or under the authority of any ordinance, regulation, mandate, or order of any public body or concerning the receipt or payment of any money received or paid by or under the authority of the constitution or the laws of this state.” LSA-R.S. 44:1(A)(2)(a) (emphasis added).

House Bill 480

HB840

HOUSE BILL NO. 840  BY REPRESENTATIVE THOMPSON

Another minor change to existing bad law.

[warning][/warning]Drivers license laws should be focused on driving safety and not on payment/nonpayment of amounts unrelated to driving safety !

Sandra Gustitus, Melody Simmons, and Margy Waller

The Mobility Agenda    www.mobilityagenda.org
June 2008     Here is the pdf = 20441

HLS 12RS-267 ORIGINAL
Page 1 of 3
CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
Regular Session, 2012
HOUSE BILL NO. 840
BY REPRESENTATIVE THOMPSON
CHILDREN/SUPPORT: Provides relative to suspension of licenses for failure to pay child
support obligations
1 AN ACT
2 To amend and reenact R.S. 9:315.33(C) and 315.35 and to enact R.S. 9:315.37, relative to
3 the suspension of licenses for failure to pay child support; to provide for continued
4 jurisdiction of the court; to provide for conflicts; and to provide for related matters.
5 Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:
6 Section 1. R.S. 9:315.33(C) and 315.35 are hereby amended and reenacted and R.S.
7 9:315.37 is hereby enacted to read as follows:
8 §315.33. Suspension of license; notice of suspension from licensing board;
10 * * *
11 C. Upon being presented with a court order of partial compliance and at the
12 request of an obligorwhosemotor vehicle operator’s license, permit, or privilege has
13 been suspended under this Subpart, the office of motor vehicles may shall issue the
14 obligor a temporary license valid for a period not to exceed one hundred twenty days
15 or for such other period as the court orders, provided no other cause for suspension
17 * * *
19 A. A board shall issue, reissue, renew, or otherwise extend an obligor’s or
20 other individual’s license in accordance with the board’s rules upon receipt of a
HLS 12RS-267 ORIGINAL
HB NO. 840
Page 2 of 3
CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
1 certified copy of an order of compliance from the court currently exercising
2 jurisdiction over the matter, provided that the prior court-ordered suspension, or
3 department-ordered suspension pursuant to SubpartDof this Part,was the sole cause
4 of the suspension.
5 B. After receipt of an order of compliance and if no other cause for
6 suspension exists, the board may shall waive any all of its applicable requirements
7 for issuance, reissuance, renewal, or extension if it determines that the imposition of
8 that requirement places an undue burden on the person and that waiver of the
9 requirement is consistent with the public interest.
10 C. If the board determines that a cause for suspension other than the court11
ordered suspension or department-ordered suspension exists after receipt of an order
12 of compliance, the board shall provide written reasons to the obligor for the
13 continued suspension of the license.
14 * * *
15 §315.37. Continued jurisdiction of court; conflicts
16 The provisions of this Subpart shall supersede the provisions of Subpart D
17 of this Part relative to the authority of the court currently exercising jurisdiction over
18 the matter to reinstate or suspend a particular license of an obligor based on the
19 payment or failure to pay a child support obligation, and the determination to
20 continue the suspension or to reinstate the license shall remain within the sole
21 supervisory jurisdiction of the court currently exercising jurisdiction over thematter.

DIGEST
The digest printed below was prepared by House Legislative Services. It constitutes no part
of the legislative instrument. The keyword, one-liner, abstract, and digest do not constitute
part of the law or proof or indicia of legislative intent. [R.S. 1:13(B) and 24:177(E)]
Thompson HB No. 840
Abstract: Provides for the continued jurisdiction of the court relative to the reinstatement and suspension of licenses for failure to pay child support.

Present law provides that upon being presented with a court order of partial compliance, the office of motor vehicles may issue the obligor a temporary license valid for a period not to exceed 120 days.

Proposed law requires the office of motor vehicles to issue the obligor a temporary license for such period as the court orders, provided that no other cause for suspension of the license exists.

Present law requires a board to issue, reissue, or renew an obligor’s license in accordance with the board’s rules upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of compliance from the court, and provides that the board may waive any of its requirements for reissuance, provided that the board determines that waiver of its requirements is consistent with the
public interest.

Proposed law requires the board to issue, reissue, or renew, an obligor’s license and to waive all of its requirements regardless of the board’s rules or the board’s determination of the public interest, provided the court- or department-ordered suspension was the sole cause of
the suspension.

Proposed law requires the board to provide written reasons to the obligor for the continued suspension of the license.

Proposed law provides that provisions of present law and proposed law relative to judicial suspensions shall supersede the provisions of present law relative to administrative suspensions, and provides that the authority of the court to judicially suspend or reinstate licenses shall remain within the sole supervisory jurisdiction of the court currently exercising
jurisdiction over the matter.
(Amends R.S. 9:315.33(C) and 315.35; Adds R.S. 9:315.37)

HOUSE BILL NO. 481 BY REPRESENTATIVE PATRICK WILLIAMS

HB481

HOUSE BILL NO. 481
BY REPRESENTATIVE PATRICK WILLIAMS

Another very minor change.

HLS 12RS-1050 ORIGINAL
Page 1 of 2
CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
Regular Session, 2012
HOUSE BILL NO. 481
BY REPRESENTATIVE PATRICK WILLIAMS
CHILDREN/SUPPORT: Clarifies state law regarding unemployment insurance collections
relative to child support overpayments to align with federal law
1 AN ACT
2 To amend and reenact R.S. 46:236.15(D)(1)(a), relative to the Department of Children and
3 Family Services’ limited administrative authority for certain paternity and child
4 support actions; to clarify state law regarding unemployment insurance collections
5 with respect to child support overpayments to comply with federal law; and to
6 provide for related matters.
7 Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:
8 Section 1. R.S. 46:236.15(D)(1)(a) is hereby amended and reenacted to read as
9 follows:
10 §236.15. Limited administrative authority for certain paternity and child support
11 actions
12 * * *
13 D. Authority to seize and intercept.
14 (1) In cases in which there is a child support arrearage or child support
15 overpayment made to a custodial parent, and after notice of such arrearage or
16 overpayment has been made by certified or regular mail, personal service, or
17 domiciliary service, the agency shall have the administrative authority to:
18 (a) Intercept, encumber, freeze, or seize periodic or lump sum payments
19 from a state or local agency or any entity licensed or permitted by any state agency
20 or board under Chapters 1, 4, 5, or 7 of Title 27 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of
HLS 12RS-1050 ORIGINAL
HB NO. 481
Page 2 of 2
CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
1 1950, including but not limited to unemployment compensation benefits for the
2 limited purpose of child support arrearages only, workers’ compensation, and other
3 benefits, judgments, settlements, lottery winnings, progressive slot machine annuities
4 beginning with the second annuity payment, cash gaming winnings, assets held in
5 financial institutions, and public and private retirement funds. The provisions of R.S.
6 13:3881 providing general exemptions from seizure are applicable to the provisions
7 of this Subparagraph. After the agency encumbers, intercepts, or freezes any assets
8 set out in this Subsection, it shall notify the payor that he has thirty days to advise
9 the agency that he wishes to appeal the seizing of said assets. Upon receipt of such
10 notice, the agency shall either release the property or schedule a hearing with the
11 appropriate court. If the payor fails to file an appeal within thirty days, the agency
12 may institute proceedings through administrative process to seize or sell the property
13 in accordance with state law.
14 * * *
DIGEST
The digest printed below was prepared by House Legislative Services. It constitutes no part
of the legislative instrument. The keyword, one-liner, abstract, and digest do not constitute
part of the law or proof or indicia of legislative intent. [R.S. 1:13(B) and 24:177(E)]
Patrick Williams HB No. 481
Abstract: Clarifies state law relative to the recovery of child support overpayments from
unemployment insurance to comport with federal law.
Present law in pertinent part, authorizes the Dept. of Children and Family Services to
intercept, encumber, freeze, or seize unemployment compensation benefits in cases where
there is a child support arrearage or child support overpayment made to a custodial parent.
Proposed law clarifies that only child support arrearages can be recovered or deducted from
an individual’s unemployment insurance benefits. Specifically, precludes the recovery of
child support overpayments from unemployment insurance benefits.
(Amends R.S. 46:236.15(D)(1)(a))

HOUSE BILL NO. 343 BY REPRESENTATIVE LIGI AND SENATOR APPEL

HB343
BY REPRESENTATIVE LIGI AND SENATOR APPEL

Not much of a change proposed here either.

Jury trials are still prohibited in all domestic matters.

- custody

- visitation

- alimony

- child support

- emancipation

- interdiction

- curatorship

- filiation

- annulment of marriage

- or divorce proceeding

ain’t that a shame !

The ‘home cooking’ will continue.

HLS 12RS-993 ORIGINAL
Page 1 of 2
CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
Regular Session, 2012
HOUSE BILL NO. 343
BY REPRESENTATIVE LIGI AND SENATOR APPEL
CIVIL/JURY TRIALS: Provides with respect to the availability of jury trials in certain civil
matters
1 AN ACT
2 To amend and reenact Code of Civil Procedure Article 1732, relative to limitation on jury
3 trials; to provide relative to the amount in controversy required for a jury trial; and
4 to provide for related matters.
5 Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:
6 Section 1. Code of Civil Procedure 1732 is hereby amended and reenacted to read
7 as follows:
8 Art. 1732. Limitation upon jury trials
9 A trial by jury shall not be available in:
10 (1) A suit brought pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 3 of Title V of Book
11 III of the Civil Code, where the amount of no individual petitioner’s cause of action
12 exceeds five thousand dollars exclusive of interest and costs.
13 (1) (2) A suit, other than one brought pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title V of
14 Book III of the Civil Code, where the amount of no individual petitioner’s cause of
15 action exceeds fifty thousand dollars exclusive of interest and costs.
16 (2)(3) A suit on an unconditional obligation to pay a specific sum of money,
17 unless the defense thereto is forgery, fraud, error, want, or failure of consideration.
18 (3)(4) A summary, executory, probate, partition, mandamus, habeas corpus,
19 quo warranto, injunction, concursus, workers’ compensation, emancipation,
HLS 12RS-993 ORIGINAL
HB NO. 343
Page 2 of 2
CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
1 tutorship, interdiction, curatorship, filiation, annulment of marriage, or divorce
2 proceeding.
3 (4)(5) A proceeding to determine custody, visitation, alimony, or child
4 support.
5 (5)(6) A proceeding to review an action by an administrative or municipal
6 body.
7 (6)(7) All cases where a jury trial is specifically denied by law.

DIGEST
The digest printed below was prepared by House Legislative Services. It constitutes no part of the legislative instrument. The keyword, one-liner, abstract, and digest do not constitute part of the law or proof or indicia of legislative intent. [R.S. 1:13(B) and 24:177(E)]  Ligi HB No. 343
Abstract: Provides for access to jury trials for tort suits where the cause of action amounts to greater than \$5,000.
Present law prohibits certain suits from being tried before a jury, including suits where no individual petitioner’s cause of action exceeds \$50,000.

Proposed law retains present law and provides for tort suits, which have a cause of action amounting to greater than \$5,000, to be tried before a jury.
(Amends C.C.P. Art. 1732)

HB227 – Schroder

No substantive change here.

HLS 12RS-790 ORIGINAL
Page 1 of 2
CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
Regular Session, 2012
HOUSE BILL NO. 227
BY REPRESENTATIVE SCHRODER
CHILDREN/SUPPORT: Provides with respect to child support enforcement
1 AN ACT
2 To amend and reenact R.S. 46:236.1.8(D), relative to support enforcement services; to
3 provide for designation of field officers; and to provide for related matters.
4 Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:
5 Section 1. R.S. 46:236.1.8(D) is hereby amended and reenacted to read as follows:
6 §236.1.8. Family and child support programs; additional authorized employee
7 actions
8 * * *
9 D. The support services authorized by this Subpart shall be provided by the
10 office of children and family services, Support Enforcement Services program. Field
11 officers responsible for supplying these services shall be designated as support
12 enforcement regional administrators, support enforcement district managers, social
13 service analyst supervisors, and social service analystsby the secretary. Such
14 officers shall have the power and authority to make arrests, supervise the probation
15 of offenders, serve notices, orders, subpoenas, summons, citations, motions, and
16 writs, and to execute all warrants and orders and to performany other duties incident
17 to their office. All such officers are hereby authorized to carry weapons and arms,
18 concealed or openly, while in the actual performance of any duty or while under
19 assignment to any duty, but under no circumstances shall officers be authorized to
HLS 12RS-790 ORIGINAL
HB NO. 227
Page 2 of 2
CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
1 carry weapons unless they have been trained in the proper carrying and use of
2 firearms by a recognized firearm training program.
3 * * *
DIGEST
The digest printed below was prepared by House Legislative Services. It constitutes no part of the legislative instrument. The keyword, one-liner, abstract, and digest do not constitute part of the law or proof or indicia of legislative intent. [R.S. 1:13(B) and 24:177(E)]

Schroder HB No. 227
Abstract: Provides that field officers for the Support Enforcement Services program shall be designated by the secretary of the Dept. of Children and Family Services.
Present law provides for child support enforcement services and provides for the specific designation of field officers responsible for supplying these services.
Proposed law provides for field officers to be designated by the secretary of the Dept. of Children and Family Services.
(Amends R.S. 46:236.1.8(D))

HB224 by Armes – Provides relative to enforcement of child support by income assignment

There is not much of a change in this law.  They are repeatedly deleting the word ‘employer or payor’ and going with ‘payor’.

There may need to be a change made to the substance of this law.

This law prohibits an employer from being held liable for honoring an income assignment order.  So does this protect an employer if that income assignment order is in excess of 50% of the persons net income – see R.S. 13:3881.

Perhaps the law needs to be tweaked so that it is clear that an employer that is overzealous in enforcing an abusive income assignment order can still be held liable per R.S. 13:3881.

HLS 12RS-903 ORIGINAL
Page 1 of 2
CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
Regular Session, 2012
HOUSE BILL NO. 224
BY REPRESENTATIVE ARMES
CHILDREN/SUPPORT: Provides relative to enforcement of child support by income
assignment
1 AN ACT
2 To amend and reenact R.S. 46:236.3(E)(1)(a), (G), and (O), relative to child support
3 enforcement; to provide forwithholdings for support; to providewith respect to civil
4 liability of persons who honor an income assignment order; and to provide for
5 related matters.
6 Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:
7 Section 1. R.S. 46:236.3(E)(1)(a), (G), and (O) are hereby amended and reenacted
9 §236.3. Enforcement of support by income assignment
10 * * *
11 E.(1)(a) Upon receipt of a notice to withhold, the payor of income shall
12 withhold from the income of the obligor the amount ordered for support, as it
13 becomes due, together with an additional sum, determined by the obligee, subject to
14 the limitations provided byR.S. 13:3881, to discharge the past due amount, and shall
15 continue the withholding each pay period or each singular or periodic payment until
16 further order of the court or until the requirements in Subparagraph (1)(b) of this
17 Subsection Paragraph have been met. The employer or payor of income must shall
18 implement withholding no later than the first pay period or first singular or periodic
19 payment that occurs following receipt of the notice of income assignment and must
20 shall remit amounts withheld within seven days.
21 * * *
HLS 12RS-903 ORIGINAL
HB NO. 224
Page 2 of 2
CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
1 G. Any person whose income is assigned under the provisions of this Section
2 shall advise the court of any change in his employment during the effective period
3 of assignment and shall advise the court of the name and address of any new
4 employer or payor of any singular or periodic payment of income. The information
5 required herein shall be filed with the clerk of court on a form which shall be
6 developed and distributed by the Department of Children and Family Services. The
7 employer or payor of a person whose income is assigned under the provisions of this
8 Section shall inform the assignee in writing within ten days when the obligor
9 terminates employment or the payment of income terminates and provide the
10 obligor’s last known address and the name and address of the obligor’s new
11 employer, if known. Any person who violates the provisions of this Subsection may
12 be found guilty of contempt of court.
13 * * *
14 O. An employer A payor who complies with a notice to withhold issued in
15 accordance with this Section shall not be subject to civil liability to any person or
16 agency with regard to the employer’s payor’s withholding of support from the
17 obligor’s income.
DIGEST
The digest printed below was prepared by House Legislative Services. It constitutes no part
of the legislative instrument. The keyword, one-liner, abstract, and digest do not constitute
part of the law or proof or indicia of legislative intent. [R.S. 1:13(B) and 24:177(E)]
Armes HB No. 224
Abstract: Deletes references to “employer” relative to provisions involving income
assignment orders for the purposes of child support enforcement.
Present law provides for an income assignment by the court directing a payor to withhold
a certain amount for current support. Provides that an employer shall not be civilly liable
for honoring an income assignment order.
Proposed law retains present law except it provides for a change in terminology to allow for
consistency throughout proposed law.
(Amends R.S. 46:236.3(E)(1)(a), (G), and (O))

Search result for the following criteria: child support

17 instruments found

 Instrument Author Status Summary HB1 FANNIN ASSIGNED TO HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS APPROPRIATIONS:Provide for the ordinary operating expenses of state government for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 HB43 CHAMPAGNE ASSIGNED TO HOUSE RETIREMENT RETIREMENT BENEFITS:Provides relative to the forfeiture of pension benefits by public officials upon felony conviction for certain offenses HB224 ARMES ASSIGNED TO HOUSE HEALTH & WELFARE CHILDREN/SUPPORT:Provides relative to enforcement of child support by income assignment HB227 SCHRODER ASSIGNED TO HOUSE HEALTH & WELFARE CHILDREN/SUPPORT:Provides with respect to child support enforcement HB343 LIGI ASSIGNED TO HOUSE CIVIL LAW & PROCEDURE CIVIL/JURY TRIALS:Provides with respect to the availability of jury trials in certain civil matters HB389 SCHRODER ASSIGNED TO HOUSE HEALTH & WELFARE CHILDREN/DCFS:Makes technical corrections to provisions relative to child support enforcement functions of DCFS HB479 ABRAMSON ASSIGNED TO HOUSE JUDICIARY COURTS:Provides for an additional permanent domestic division in Orleans Parish (OR NO IMPACT LF EX See Note) HB481 P.WILLIAMS ASSIGNED TO HOUSE HEALTH & WELFARE CHILDREN/SUPPORT:Clarifies state law regarding unemployment insurance collections relative to child support overpayments to align with federal law HB534 A.WILLIAMS ASSIGNED TO HOUSE LABOR & INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS UNEMPLOYMENT COMP:Provides for the suspension of certain licenses to persons who owe overpayment obligations of unemployment compensation benefits HB737 BROADWATER ASSIGNED TO HOUSE LABOR & INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS WORKERS COMPENSATION:Provides with respect to death benefits to living descendants HB806 P.SMITH ASSIGNED TO HOUSE EDUCATION EDUCATION DEPARTMENT:Authorizes a Dept. of Education survey of students regarding risk behaviors HB840 THOMPSON ASSIGNED TO HOUSE CIVIL LAW & PROCEDURE CHILDREN/SUPPORT:Provides relative to suspension of licenses for failure to pay child support obligations HB872 HAZEL ASSIGNED TO HOUSE CIVIL LAW & PROCEDURE CHILDREN/SUPPORT:To provide with respect to child support calculations HB910 JOHNSON ASSIGNED TO HOUSE CIVIL LAW & PROCEDURE CHILDREN/SUPPORT:Provides for child support obligations due to nonparent custodians and other third parties SB153 BROOME ASSIGNED TO SENATE JUDICIARY A CHILDREN:Provides for relocation of the residence of a child. (8/1/12) SB519 MARTINY ASSIGNED TO SENATE JUDICIARY A JUVENILES:Provides relative to juvenile delinquency proceedings. (8/1/12) SB520 BROOME ASSIGNED TO SENATE LABOR & INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION:To provide for death benefit awards to dependent children of deceased employee. (8/1/12)

17 instruments found

Current List of Louisiana Board Certified Family Law Attorneys

Louisiana Board Certified Family Law Attorneys

Here is the list of professionals who are certified as Family Law specialists as of March 7, 2012 by the Louisiana Board of Certified Family Law Attorneys

Family Law Directory

 Layne M Adams Downsville Dawn Amacker – Inactive Covington Charles Kerry Anderson – Inactive Deridder Ernest S Anderson Slidell D Rex Anglin Shreveport James H Askew Shreveport Terry George Aubin Alexandria Andrea Ducote Aymond Marksville Michael Baham Metairie Suzanne Ecuyer Bayle New Orleans Jeffrey W Bennett Harahan Alfred R Beresko Shreveport David A Blanchet – Inactive Lafayette Lisa Leslie Boudreaux Baton Rouge Laurie J Burkett Monroe H Craig Cabral Metairie David L Carriere Opelousas Teresa Culpepper Carroll Jonesboro Monique Babin Clement Ruston Lauren G Coleman Alexandria Michael D Conroy Covington Amy Elizabeth Counce Baton Rouge Angela Wilt Cox Slidell Robert P Cuccia Houma Jennifer Carter deBlanc Marrero Mary Clemence Devereux – Inactive Covington Karen D Downs Baton Rouge Elizabeth Ann Dugal Lafayette Lillian T Dunlap West Monroe Jack L Dveirin New Orleans Desiree Duhon Dyess Natchitoches Linda Kay Ewbank Monroe William J Faustermann Slidell Calvin A Fleming Gretna Jamie Elizabeth Fontenot Port Allen Marcus Todd Foote Baton Rouge James L Fortson Shreveport Patricia M Franz Metairie Deborah Parker Gibbs Baton Rouge Frank A Granger Lake Charles Nancy S Gregorie Baton Rouge Grace Phyllis Gremillion Covington Kenneth P Haines Shreveport Steven W Hale Lake Charles Helen Popich Harris Lafayette Paul M. Hebert Baton Rouge David Cleveland Hesser Alexandria Mitchell J Hoffman New Orleans Lila Tritico Hogan Hammond Melanie Newkome Jones Baton Rouge Patricia M Joyce – Inactive Gretna Charlene Ory Kazan – Inactive Slidell Margaret H Kern Covington Debra M Kesler Metairie Paul H Kidd Monroe Philip C Kobetz Lafayette Charles O LaCroix Alexandria Lindsey M Ladouceur Abita Springs Bernadette Rocco Lee New Orleans Robert D Levenstein Laplace Robert G Levy Alexandria Robert C Lowe New Orleans Christine O’Brien Lozes Covington Barbara Volk Madere Marrero Mark Joseph Mansfield Covington Rachel C Marinovich New Orleans Kenneth R Martinez Opelousas Lisa C Matthews – Inactive Covington Lorraine Jane Andresen McCormick Baton Rouge Jean M Meaux Covington James Ogden Middleton Alexandria Terri McDonough Miles Gretna Sean David Miller Bossier City Edith H Morris New Orleans Susan Helene Neathamer Gretna Kim M O’Dowd New Orleans Patrice Wightman Oppenheim Covington W James Ortego Lake Charles Carolyn F Ott Denham Springs Evelyn M Oubre Lake Charles David R Paddison Covington David M Prados New Orleans Vanessa Denise Randall – Inactive Lafayette Carol T Richards Covington Philip Riegel Metairie Kenneth Rigby Shreveport Vincent Anthony Saffiotti Baton Rouge Laurel Annette Salley Metairie Sandra S Salley Metairie Lila Molaison Samuel Gretna Walter M Sanchez Lake Charles Jane C Scheuermann Metairie Susan D Scott Shreveport Suzette Marie Smith New Orleans H F Sockrider Shreveport Diane A Sorola Lafayette D Reardon Stanford Lafayette Charles W Strickland Shreveport Susan L Theall Lafayette Frank P Tranchina Covington Linda A Veazey Abbeville Sandra Lynn Walker Shreveport Lynne W Wasserman Metairie Marc D Winsberg New Orleans Jeffrey S Wittenbrink Baton Rouge Barbara J Ziv New Orleans

Here are the requirements to be certified as a Family Law professional by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization as of March 7, 2012  FamilyLaw

Louisiana Legal Specialization – Standards for Family Law Certification

Standards for Family Law Certification

The following are the standards for qualifying for certification in the field of family law.

1. A minimum of five years of actual practice of law on a full time basis immediately preceding the year of certification.

2. A minimum of 35% of the total time devoted to the practice of law annually in each of the 5 years preceding application and in each year of certification shall be in the field of family law. Additionally, the attorney must demonstrate actual experience in the representation of clients, contested hearings and trials, negotiation and settlement of family law matters, and knowledge of appellate procedures.

3.

a. In the year of application, and in each year of certification, the applicant must obtain credit for eighteen (18) hours of approved continuing legal education pursuant to the Supreme Court of Louisiana Rules for Continuing Legal Education.  All eighteen (18) hours must be in the field of family law.  All continuing legal education credits of an applicant or certificate holder must be approved by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization and the family law credits must be approved by the Family Law Advisory Commission.

b. CLE earned in prior years may not be used to satisfy the eighteen (18) hours required within the year of application.

c. CLE carry forward from the year of application will not be permitted.

d. Following certification, a CLE carry forward of up to eight (8) hours of approved family law CLE earned in excess of the eighteen (18) hours minimum required per year, will be permitted.

e. Family law specialization CLE credit will be allowed for teaching a family law course at any MCLE approved seminar.

4. All applicants must pass a written examination applied uniformly to all applicants demonstrating sufficient knowledge, proficiency and experience in the following areas of family law as is necessary to justify the representation of special competence to the legal profession and to the public:

a. The procedure in Civil Code Articles 102 and 103 Divorces

b. Domicile, Venue and Jurisdiction

c. Child Support

d. Child Custody

e. Alimony/Spousal Support and Alimony/Spousal Support Pendente Lite

f. Use and Occupancy of the Family Home and Community Movables and Immovables, and Rental Value for Use and Occupancy

g. Temporary Restraining Orders and Injunctive Relief

h. Appointment of Attorneys to Represent Children in Child Custody and Visitation Proceedings

i. Matrimonial Regimes, including Partition of Community Property and Settlement of Claims Arising from Matrimonial Regimes

j. Co-ownership of Former Community Property

k. Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

l. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act

m. Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act

n. Matrimonial Agreements

o. The Domestic Abuse Assistance Act

p. Ethics and Professional Conflicts

q. Income Tax Consequences upon Divorce and Partition of Community Property

r. Qualified Medical Child Support Orders

The written examination may also include the following subjects, which are of lesser importance than the areas of family law listed above:

a. Appeals and Writs

b. Ex-parte Orders

c. Illegitimates, Acknowledgement, Legitimation, Filiation, Disavowal, and Paternity Testing

d. Divorce When the Defendant is a Non-resident, and Other Curator Issues

e. Claims for Contributions to Education or Training

f. Affidavits of Non-Miliary Service

g. Visitation Rights of Non-Parents

h. Major Pension Partition Cases

i. Court Ordered Mediation

j. Emancipation

k. Evidence, but limited to evidentiary rules that are peculiar to family law or particularly important to family law.

The following subjects, which are considered of lesser importance than the areas and subjects listed above, may be tested to a limited extent on the written examination:

a. Name Confirmations

b. Conflict of Laws

c. Putative Marriages

The following topics are of limited importance, but the written examination may contain questions concerning them:

b. The Hague Convention

c. Nullity of Marriage

5. Each applicant will consent to a confidential inquiry, by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization or the Family Law Advisory Commission, directed to all persons who serve as references for the applicant and to other persons regarding the applicant’s competence and qualifications to be recognized as a Family Law Specialist.  This inquiry and review shall consider information furnished by references and other information which the advisory commission deems relevant to demonstrate whether the applicant has achieved recognition as having a level of competence indicating proficient performance and handling the usual matters of the specialty field. Such information may include the applicant’s work product, problem analysis, statement of issues and analysis, ethics, reputation, professionalism or such other criteria which the advisory commission deems appropriate to take into account prior to making its recommendations.

6. Each applicant shall submit to the Family Law Advisory Commission the names and addresses of at least five persons who are lawyers or judges, at least two of whom are Board Certified Family Law Specialists, who can attest to the applicant’s competence in the specialty field in which recognition is sought.

7. Each applicant must carry malpractice insurance in the minimum amount of \$500,000, unless waived for good cause by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization.

8. Recertification shall be required every five years from the date of certification or recertification, as the case may be.

9. The applicant must comply with the rules established by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization as they relate to release of disciplinary action information.

10. Each applicant shall pay the fees required by the Board and by the Family Law Advisory Commission

For more information, contact the Executive Director of the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization.

Megan Landry
Executive Director
Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization
601 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, La 70130
Direct (504) 619-0128
Toll Free (800) 421-5722
Fax (504) 598-6753
megan.landry@lsba.org
http://www.lascmcle.org/specialization

LOUISIANA LEGAL SPECIALIZATION

CHAIR:  William J. Faustermann, Jr.
2238 Gause Blvd. E
Slidell, LA 70461-4231
(985) 649-6010 Telephone
(985) 649-6693 Fax
bill@faustermannlawfirm.com
Term expires: June 30, 2012

VICE CHAIR:   D. Reardon Stanford*
315 S. College Rd., Suite 165
Lafayette, LA 70503
(337) 234-1012 Telephone
(337) 237-1128 Fax
drstanford@hoytlaw.com
Term expires: June 30, 2014

SECRETARY:   Melanie Newkome Jones
533 Europe Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
(225) 344-2200 Telephone
(225) 344-1200 Fax
mnjaplc@aol.com
Term expires: June 30, 2014

Jamie Elizabeth Fontenot
1650 Beaulieu Lane
Port Allen, LA 70767-5874
(225) 749-3242 Telephone
(225) 749-0819 Fax

Term expires: June 30, 2011

Lisa Leslie Boudreaux*
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
(225) 769-8500 Telephone
(225) 769-8552 Fax
Lisa@downsandsaffiotti.com
Term expires: June 30, 2014

Randy Fuerst*
130 W. Kirby Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601
(337) 436-3332 Telephone
(337) 491-6888 Fax
rfuerst@fuerstgodley.com
Term expires:  June 30, 2012

Kenneth P. Haines
912 Kings Hwy.
Shreveport, LA 71104-4236
(318) 222-2100 Telephone
(318) 226-5152 Fax
haines@weems-law.com
Term expires: June 30, 2012

Robert G. Levy**
1101 Bolton Ave Ste B
Alexandria, LA 71301
(318) 443-7615 Telephone
(318) 443-0074 Fax
rlevy@llbattorneys.com
Term expires: June 30, 2013

LBLS Liaison
Megan Landry
Executive Director
Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization
601 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, La 70130
(504) 619-0128 Direct
megan.landry@lsba.org

*CLE Committee
**Chair,2012 Examination Chair

Representative Chris Hazel introduces legislation to tweak the definition of “net child care cost”

Chris Hazel has filed HB 872:  http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=780440

The underlined section is the addition to the law:

(7) “Net child care costs” means the reasonable costs of child care incurred by a party due to employment, or job search, job training, or obtaining an education minus the value of the federal income tax credit for child care.

This bill seems to follow the jurisprudence that women should be allowed to attend college and have daycare provided to do so.  I have absolutely no idea if the case law influenced this bill but I recall discussing one of the cases of the main forum.

On September 15, 2011, I wrote on the main site:

A reading of Guidry v. Guidry seems to suggest that the court may have ruled differently had the mother presented evidence that she was enrolling in school.  The parties’ child was under the age of five, but was in daycare from nine to five, five days per week, and Mr. Guidry was paying the daycare expense. Thus, Ms. Guidry should have been imputed an income since she was not actually caring for the child at home during working hours.  The court however does not address what the decision would be if she had been enrolled in school.  I made a mistake in my last post unless I am thinking of another case.

What I find funny is that the domiciliary parent is allowed to go to college while the non-domiciliary parent (usually the dad) would be LAUGHED OUT OF COURT if he asked to not pay child support in order to attend college.  Again, another example of the disparity placed upon the way the courts treat men and women.

I believe that everyone should be treated equally.  Why is that men are told to drop out of school and go to work to provide support while at the same time women are encouraged to NOT WORK and get a college degree?  This is one reason why you see so many mothers who are career college students.  Why go to work?  Live off student loans, welfare and child support! Genius!

Sorry Mr. Hazel, this bill just reinforces the notion that women need only sit back and avoid employment under the guise of seeking a college degree that never seems to come to fruition.  This proposed legislation looks more like a backdoor way of making it possible to quit work, go to college, and get daycare while the ex works his ass off at a blue-collar job to provide some outrageous amount in child support.

Sauce for the goose is not always sauce for the gander in family law.

My version is as follows:

(7) “Net child care costs” means the reasonable costs of child care incurred by a party due to employment or the reasonable preparation for gainful employment minus the value of the federal income tax credit for child care.

Go to our forum page for further discussion on the 2012 Legislative Session.