LA Seeks Federal Aid To Reopen State Court System


Louisiana Supreme Court justices are trying to devise plans to get court systems up and running again, reports The Advocate in Baton Rouge. Many court workers, including judges and justices, lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina. “A judge by himself or herself cannot make the court system run,” said Supreme Court Justice Catherine “Kitty” Kimball, who along with her staff and staff members for other justices, has been working 12-hour shifts at her office on the top floor of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge. It’s a tricky task because the parishes’ clerks of court need money to operate and that money won’t come until lawyers begin working again. “Our challenge is, how do we open the courts to generate the revenue when the system doesn’t have the revenue to open the courts,” Kimball said.

Kimball has been talking to the Federal Emergency Management Agency about funding for the court systems. The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office will make a separate request for funding on behalf of the district attorneys, sheriff’s offices, public defenders and others in the court system. Thousands of Orleans Parish inmates, who were evacuated to jails and prisons across Louisiana. Court records, including the charges each person faces, didn’t make the move, and at one point were under 7 feet of floodwaters.


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