courts

Latest News
12:17 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Court hears ex-officers' appeals in Katrina case

Two former New Orleans police officers have asked a federal appeals court to throw out their convictions on charges stemming from the fatal shooting of a man whose burned body turned up in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also on Wednesday heard the Justice Department's appeal of a judge's decision to order a new trial for a third officer, Travis McCabe.

McCabe was convicted of writing a false report on Henry Glover's 2005 shooting.

The panel didn't indicate when it would rule.

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Louisiana Supreme Court
10:54 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Louisiana Chief Justice declines to discuss successor

Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball says the state's code of judicial conduct prohibits her from meeting with a group of community leaders to discuss their concerns about the court's impending debate over naming Kimball's successor.

Several supporters of Justice Bernette Johnson, who sued last week to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is entitled to become the next chief justice, had asked to meet this week with Kimball.

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Latest News
5:07 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Newspaper: DOJ lawyer tried to stifle reporter

Two Louisiana congressmen are calling on the Justice Department to respond to a complaint that one of its attorneys tried to bar a newspaper reporter from quoting or recording her comments at a public hearing in New Iberia.

The Daily Iberian contends Justice Department attorney Rachel Hranitzky became "belligerent and threatening" after the reporter, Matthew Beaton, questioned why he couldn't quote her comments during a June 12 public hearing about the New Iberia Fire Department's hiring and promotion practices.

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Latest News
4:59 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Missing student case to be taken up by grand jury

Officials say a grand jury next week will consider the case involving the man accused of kidnapping and murdering college student Mickey Shunick.

Lafayette Parish District Attorney Mike Harson told the Associated Press Tuesday that Brandon Scott Lavergne's case will be considered by a grand jury July 18.

Lavergne was arrested Thursday and is being held without bail at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.

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School Vouchers
12:16 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

School voucher program allowed to begin in August

A Baton Rouge judge has refused to prevent the start of a statewide voucher program that will use tax dollars to send children to private and parochial schools.

The decision Tuesday by Judge Tim Kelley means the program pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal will begin in August, while a lawsuit by teacher unions and local school boards over the constitutionality of the voucher program continues to wind its way through the court.

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Louisiana Supreme Court
11:25 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Feds asked to review debate over La. chief justice

Several black Louisiana elected officials are asking the Justice Department's civil rights division to intervene in a dispute over whether state Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson is legally entitled to become the court's next chief justice.

A letter sent Monday to the head of the division's voting section accuses Johnson's colleagues of trying to dilute the rights of black voters by unilaterally creating a new process for deciding which justice has the most seniority.

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Louisiana Supreme Court
4:56 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

3 judges recuse themselves from La. justice's suit

Three federal judges in New Orleans have recused themselves from presiding over Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson's lawsuit seeking to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is legally entitled to be the court's next chief justice.

The case was transferred Friday to U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan after three other judges — Jay Zainey, Ivan Lemelle and Carl Barbier — disqualified themselves. It wasn't immediately clear if Morgan will keep the case.

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Louisiana Supreme Court
11:30 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Suit Filed Over Naming Chief Justice

A Louisiana Supreme Court justice is suing to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is legally entitled to become the court's next chief justice.

A federal suit filed Thursday on behalf of Justice Bernette Johnson says she is next in line for the job because she qualifies as the court's longest-serving justice.

But Justice Jeffrey Victory also has staked a claim to succeeding Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball, who retires next year.

Houma Police
7:23 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Houma police officers allege unfair treatment

A federal judge denied two Houma Police officers' request for protection from adverse job treatment while they sue their department.

Capt. Milton Wolfe Jr. and Sgt. Kyle Faulk filed suit last week, alleging mistreatment after disagreeing with legislation that continued to keep the police chief position out of civil service protection.

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Gulf Oil Spill Indictment
12:39 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Ex-BP Engineer: Most Deleted Texts Were Routine

Lawyers for a former BP engineer are pressing federal prosecutors to explain how their client impeded a grand jury probe by deleting text messages about the company's response to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a court filing Monday, Kurt Mix's attorneys also seek a court order requiring prosecutors to specify which deleted texts form the basis for the obstruction-of-justice charges against him.

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