THE POST-SIGNAL / Desiray Seaux
The Rotary Club of Crowley welcomed Judge Jonathan “J.P.” Perry (left) as their guest speaker at the club’s weekly luncheon. On hand for the presentation was Rotary Club President Michael Doughty.
Court systems explained
The Rotary Club of Crowley recently welcomed Judge Jonathan “J.P.” Perry, Louisiana Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, as their guest speaker.
Judge Perry, a Kaplan native, was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2007; he then won the special election for State Senate District 26 and was elected again without opposition in 2015. Then, in 2019, he was sworn in as the newest judge for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal.
Perry talked about the background of court systems in a presentation of what he called essentially an adult version of a youth program he founded.
A few years ago Perry began the “Court in the Classroom” program because, he said, so much was unknown about the court system. The program includes going into high school civics classrooms and teaching the students how the court systems work in the State of Louisiana.
Starting with the highest state court system, the Supreme Court, Perry explained, “There are seven districts that make up the Louisiana Supreme Court.” Acadia Parish is in the 3rd District. Also included in the district are Avoyelles, St. Landry, Lafayette, Vermillion, Jeff Davis, Calcasieu and Cameron.
Representing the 3rd District is Justice James T. Genovese.
Other justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court are:
• Justice Will Crain, First District
• Justice Scott J. Crichton, Second District
• Justice Jay MaCallum, Fourth District
• Justice Jefferson Jefferson D. Hughes III - Fifth District
• Chief Justice John L. Weimer - Sixth District
• Justice Piper Griffin, Seventh District
The next level of courts in the state is the Louisiana Court of Appeals.
The Louisiana Court of Appeals is made up of five circuits. Acadia Parish sits in the 3rd Circuit, the largest of the circuit courts and consisting of 21 parishes.
Those parishes include: Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Catahoula, Concordia, Evangeline, Grant, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, St. Landry, St. Martin, Vernon and Vermillion.
The reason for such a large territory, according to Perry, is that the circuits are created based on population and many of the parishes in the 3rd Circuit are rural verses area’s such as New Orleans.
The 12 judges on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals include:
• Chief Judge Sylvia R. Cooks
• Judge John D. Saunders
• Judge Elizabeth A. Pickett
• Judge Billy H. Ezell
• Judge Shannon J. Gremillion
• Judge Charles Fitzgerald
• Judge John E. Conery
• Judge D. Kent Savoie
• Judge Van H. Kyzar
• Judge Candyce G. Perret
• Judge Jonathan W. Perry
• Judge Sharon Wilson
Next the court system is at the District Court level.
The Louisiana District Court system is made up of 42 District Courts throughout the state. And, further broken down into 28 single-parish districts; six two-parish districts and eight three-parish districts.
Acadia Parish is included in the 15th Judicial District which also includes Lafayette and Vermilion parishes.
In addition to the district court systems, there are also five family or juvenile courts; 49 city courts and three parish courts.
In total 367 judges preside over these Louisiana courts.