LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - State District Judge Robert Wyatt will be moving to Family Court January 1. Moving day is soon for Wyatt who, will trade his traditional role handling criminal and civil matters to serve in Family Court-- where Judge Ron Ware has been helping out since he took office in 2008.
Judge Wyatt is committed to work in family court for at least two years to help with the caseload. "You handle divorce, separation of property, any protective orders if there are issues concerning the safety of spouses, custody of children, juvenile matters, juvenile crime."
Judges Guy Bradberry and Lilynn Cutrer, soon to become chief judge, were elected to serve in Family Court and serve their permanently. Wyatt says deciding family court cases today can be complex. He hopes his years as a husband and father will help provide insight needed to serve well. "It's not just a matter of putting people in jail. We recognize we've got to address the reasons people commit crimes,"said Wyatt.
Even though Wyatt is moving across the street to family court he still plans to move forward with Mental Health Court. "It's my baby. I want to give birth to that baby. We're going to actually commence it. We've received the funding."
Mental Health Court will seek to meet the needs of those in the court system who need mental health services. "The emphasis is to cut down on the time they spend in jail and to address the issues that caused them to come in contact with the criminal justice system."He hopes Mental Health Court will start after the first of the year.