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General Information About Louisiana Court Records and Laws
All states have their own trial court system. In the state of Louisiana, the district courts hold general jurisdiction over all criminal and civil cases. The district courts typically hear the cases that go beyond the jurisdiction of the other courts in the state.
Louisiana's Trial Court of General Jurisdiction
The juvenile courts, city courts, traffic courts, mayor's courts, magistrate courts, parish courts, municipal courts, justice of the peace courts and family courts all have limited jurisdiction. Therefore, if you need to review or obtain a copy of Louisiana court records, you will most likely find what you are looking for by going through the district courts.
The district courts of the state of Louisiana have exclusive jurisdiction over probate cases, social rights matters, political cases and felony crimes. In addition, a number of district courts in the state have separate divisions for criminal, domestic relations and civil cases.
Domestic cases, such as child custody and divorce cases are handled by the family courts. The juvenile courts of Louisiana are responsible for handling cares that involve juvenile delinquency, minors or the termination of parental rights.
Parish courts in the state hear criminal and civil cases that do not involve more than $1,000 in claims or more than six months of imprisonment. Criminal and civil cases that do not require a trial by jury fall under the limited jurisdiction of city courts.
The History of Louisiana Courts
The roots of the legal system in the state of Louisiana go all the way back to the early court systems of France and Spain. In the early 1700s, a superior council was created by a French charter. This council, which had both judicial and executive power, was restructured in 1716. When Spain took over control of the Louisiana Territory in 1769, the Cabildo replaced the superior council. The officers who paid for their positions in the Cabildo were called regidors, while those appointed by the regidors were known as alcaldes.
With only a few changes taking place, the Spanish court system remained in place until 1802. At that time, the land was given up to France. Before selling the Louisiana Territory to the United States the following year, the French did not bother with setting up a new judicial system. After that, the Louisiana courts become somewhat more Americanized.
Today, there are fifty city courts, forty-two district courts, five family/juvenile courts, five courts of appeal, three parish courts and a Supreme Court. A total of over three hundred seventy-five judges work within the Louisiana court system to oversee a variety of cases.
The court system in the state of Louisiana may be old, but the methods that are available for finding Louisiana court records is new and improved. Most of the records kept by the courts in the state of Louisiana are available by searching online databases.
In order to produce the fastest results when searching for specific Louisiana court records, it is a good idea to have a few basic details on hand, such as the name of the persons involved in the case, the date and location of the case and a case number whenever possible.
Louisiana Court Records
  • Legislation Records

    State Capitol, 2nd Floor
    PO Box 44486
    Baton Rouge, LA 70804
    p (225) 342-2456
  • Statewide Court Records

    Judicial Council of the Supreme Court
    400 Royal Street, Suite 1190
    New Orleans, LA 70130-8101
    p (504) 310-2550
    f (504) 310-2587

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