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      RS 33:441     

  

SUBPART G. MUNICIPAL COURTS

§441. Mayor's court

            A.(1) Except as provided in Chapter 7 of Title 13 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, there shall be a mayor's court in the municipality, with jurisdiction over all violations of municipal ordinances. The mayor may try all breaches of the ordinances and impose fines or imprisonment, or both, provided for the infraction thereof. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the mayor may also impose court costs not to exceed thirty dollars for each offense, as defined by ordinance, on any defendant convicted of a violation of a municipal ordinance. The mayor may authorize that a portion of court costs assessed be deposited into a special account and transmitted to the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police to be used for law enforcement education and training as required by Louisiana law.

            (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the mayor may impose additional court costs not to exceed twenty dollars for each offense, as defined by ordinance or traffic violation, on any defendant convicted of a violation of a municipal ordinance, provided that ten dollars of such additional court costs collected shall be remitted to the local public defender's office.

            (3) The mayor may suspend the execution in whole or in part of a fine or imprisonment, or both, imposed for violation of a municipal ordinance and place the defendant on unsupervised or supervised probation with such conditions as the mayor may fix and, at any time during the probation, modify, add, or discharge. The probation shall be for a period as the mayor shall specify up to one year. The mayor may terminate or revoke the probation at any time. At the termination of the probation, the mayor may set the conviction aside and dismiss the prosecution.

            (4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, when a defendant has been convicted of violation of a municipal ordinance, the mayor may suspend the imposition or the execution of the whole or any part of the sentence and place the defendant on unsupervised probation upon such conditions as the mayor may fix. Such suspension of sentence and probation shall be for a period of six months or such shorter period as the mayor may specify. But in no case shall the probationary period imposed exceed the maximum penalty of imprisonment that may be imposed for violation of a particular ordinance.

            (5)(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a mayor's court shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the district court of civil suits to collect utility debts within the municipality, where the good faith amount in dispute does not exceed five thousand dollars, exclusive of penalties, interest, court costs, attorney fees and penalties, whether provided by agreement or by law. The jurisdiction granted by this Paragraph shall be limited to suits to collect utility debts owed to the municipality or to a utility system owned or operated by the municipality.

            (b) If the demand asserted in a good faith original, amended or supplemental pleading, cross claim, or in any good faith incidental demand or any other pleading, exceeds the jurisdiction of the court, the court shall transfer the action to a court of proper jurisdiction.

            (c) Upon request of the mayor, the board of alderman shall appoint one or more attorneys who shall be designated as a court magistrate to hear all civil utility debt suits authorized by this Paragraph. The board of alderman shall fix and pay the salary of each such magistrate.

            (d) Upon adoption of ordinance by the municipality, and upon a finding by the court magistrate that a civil utility debt is owed and delinquent, the court magistrate is authorized to impose court costs against the debtor, not to exceed the sum of thirty-five dollars for each civil suit. Costs received pursuant to this Paragraph shall be deposited into the general fund of the municipality.

            (e) Any person against whom a judgment is rendered in a mayor's court pursuant to this Paragraph shall have the right of direct appeal to the district court for the parish in which the mayor's court is situated which shall be tried de novo. The party against whom a judgment is rendered shall be given written notice of his right to appeal within the time specified in this Paragraph. The delay for appeal shall not run until the day after notice has been provided to the party. The appeal must be filed within ten days of the date of the judgment and notice of the appeal must be given within the ten-day period to the magistrate who adjudicated the matter, the district court to which the matter is being appealed, and the municipality in whose favor judgment was rendered. The appeal from a decision of the district court shall be the same as provided by law for appeals of civil matters adjudicated by a district court. The district court may assess costs as authorized by law to the party against whom judgment is rendered. There shall be no prepayment of court costs on behalf of the appellant. The judge shall inform the defendant of the right to appeal at no prepayment of costs after a determination that the appellant is indigent. The judge shall inform the appellant of his right to appeal as provided for in this Subparagraph.

            (f) The law enforcement authority of the municipality in which the mayor's court is located is authorized to effectuate service of process within the parish of the court for any civil suit before the court pursuant to this Paragraph.

            (g) The provisions of this Paragraph shall not apply in Jefferson Parish.

            B.(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the board of aldermen in its discretion may, upon request of the mayor, appoint one or more attorneys who shall be designated as court magistrate and who shall serve at the pleasure of the mayor and may from time to time be designated by the mayor to serve in his stead as the presiding official over the mayor's court. Whenever a magistrate is so designated by the mayor to preside over the mayor's court, he shall exercise the powers and authority of the mayor over said court. The board of aldermen shall fix and pay the salary of each magistrate, if any are appointed.

            (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the board of aldermen in its discretion may, upon request of the mayor, appoint one or more attorneys who shall be designated as prosecutor and who shall serve at the pleasure of the mayor. The board of aldermen shall fix and pay the salary of each prosecutor, if any are appointed.

            C.(1) The mayor shall have the power of a committing magistrate.

            (2) The presiding officer of a mayor's court shall be entitled to judicial immunity for his official acts as presiding officer in the same capacity as a judge in this state.

            Amended by Acts 1981, No. 104, §1; Acts 1983, No. 350, §1; Acts 1985, No. 890, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986; Acts 1988, No. 827, §1; Acts 1997, No. 189, §1, eff. June 13, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 566, §1; Acts 2001, No. 33, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1225, §1; Acts 2008, No. 401, §1; Acts 2008, No. 661, §1; Acts 2016, No. 361, §1, eff. June 5, 2016; Acts 2019, No. 210, §1, eff. June 11, 2019.



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