I wanna know: Is Division A a family court? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

I wanna know: Is Division A a family court?

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)
Political signs are beginning to pop up everywhere -- a sure sign the fall elections are rapidly approaching, but there's confusion about one office coming up for a vote.

State District Judge Division A is being vacated by longtime Judge Kent Savoie, who's running for appeal court. There's confusion about the Division A position, because one candidate's signs say district judge, family court. The other two candidates campaign signs read simply, judge or district judge.

Chief Judge David Ritchie says the nine judges of the 14th Judicial District Court have voted, and Division A will handle family and juvenile court.

"In March of last year, the court designated Division A to be a full time family and juvenile court division, effective January 1 of 2015," said Ritchie.

There has been no legislation making the change, but Ritchie says the issue has been litigated before, and the judges have the authority to do what they've done.

"There's a specific state law that allows us, allows a court, allows our court specifically to designate certain divisions of court to handle certain types of matters such as family and juvenile cases, drug courts, criminal, civil, what have you," said Ritchie.

Of the nine state district judges in Calcasieu, two have been full time family and juvenile court: Lilynn Cutrer and Guy Bradberry. Ritchie says another judge is needed, as determined by the judicial council.

"When we applied for a 10th judgeship, we were unsuccessful, but the judicial council, although they all recognized we had a higher than average caseload, we didn't quite meet the benchmark to be eligible for a new judgeship, but what they saw when they were here doing their study was that family and juvenile court, those two judges, had a higher caseload than we had and that their's was higher than the threshold," said Ritchie.

"Rather than give us a new judge for family and juvenile court, they told us that we needed to participate and help in family court, and they recommended that we assign a third judge to assist in family and juvenile court, and then Louisiana Supreme Court adopted that recommendation and they ordered us to resolve that issue," said Ritchie.

Here's how they plan to divvy up the duties in January:

"Judge Bradberry will be handling 1/7 of all the criminal cases, so that the other six of us don't have to absorb that caseload. Then, division A and Division I will each be handling 50 percent of all the juvenile cases, and then Division C, which is Judge Bradberry; I, which is Judge Cutrer, and A, which would be the newly elected judge; will each be handling one third of all the family court cases," said Ritchie.

Though what the judges vote to do they can vote to change if the majority so chooses. Qualifying for state district judge and other offices is August 20-22.

Copyright 2014 KPLC All rights reserved

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • A modern-day 'Sandlot' comes to Lake Charles

    A modern-day 'Sandlot' comes to Lake Charles

    Sunday, May 28 2017 7:54 PM EDT2017-05-28 23:54:49 GMT

    A group of boys are taking their love for baseball off the field and into the backyard. And no, this isn't a scene out of the 1993 classic "The Sandlot." It’s happening right here in Lake Charles.

    At the David household, there's something special going on in the backyard.

    “One day in the backyard we came out here and decided to start playing around,” said Dylan David, who started a Wiffle ball league with his friends.

    More >>

    A group of boys are taking their love for baseball off the field and into the backyard. And no, this isn't a scene out of the 1993 classic "The Sandlot." It’s happening right here in Lake Charles.

    At the David household, there's something special going on in the backyard.

    “One day in the backyard we came out here and decided to start playing around,” said Dylan David, who started a Wiffle ball league with his friends.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Scattered showers and thunderstorms throughout this week

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Scattered showers and thunderstorms throughout this week

    Sunday, May 28 2017 5:25 PM EDT2017-05-28 21:25:05 GMT
    Rain likely on Memorial DayRain likely on Memorial Day

    Through tonight we will see mostly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms. At times we could see heavy rainfall. The rain will make its way out by sunrise on Memorial Day. The winds are still blowing out of the south and will continue to blow 5-10 mph overnight. This will keep our temperatures warm. Overnight, we will struggle to get out of the 70s once again. Unfortunately, the rain chances are still high for Memorial Day and through next week. 

    More >>

    Through tonight we will see mostly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms. At times we could see heavy rainfall. The rain will make its way out by sunrise on Memorial Day. The winds are still blowing out of the south and will continue to blow 5-10 mph overnight. This will keep our temperatures warm. Overnight, we will struggle to get out of the 70s once again. Unfortunately, the rain chances are still high for Memorial Day and through next week. 

    More >>
  • Bolton Ford holds 3rd annual Give A Wish benefit

    Bolton Ford holds 3rd annual Give A Wish benefit

    Sunday, May 28 2017 1:14 PM EDT2017-05-28 17:14:57 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Bolton Ford held its third annual car and truck show benefiting the Give A Wish foundation on Saturday. Give A Wish announced they would be sending Kenzie Noelle Johnson to Disney World. They also gave Johnson her own set of wheels: a fun-size pink Ford Mustang. Paula Livingston, the director of Give A Wish, said it takes thousands of dollars for the organization to make dreams a reality.

    More >>

    Bolton Ford held its third annual car and truck show benefiting the Give A Wish foundation on Saturday. Give A Wish announced they would be sending Kenzie Noelle Johnson to Disney World. They also gave Johnson her own set of wheels: a fun-size pink Ford Mustang. Paula Livingston, the director of Give A Wish, said it takes thousands of dollars for the organization to make dreams a reality.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly