Louisiana Supreme Court - 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130 | Tel: 504-310-2300 Hon. Bernette J. Johnson. Chief Justice.  John Tarlton Olivier., Clerk of Court.  Sandra A. Vujnovich. Judicial Administrator
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 2017 News Releases

News Release #059

 

FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE
NEWS RELEASE #059
   
FROM: CLERK OF SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA  

 

The Opinions handed down on the 6th day of December, 2017, are as follows:

 

BY WEIMER, J.:

2017-CA-0596 LEE RAND, ET AL. v. CITY OF NEW ORLEANS (Parish of Orleans)

This litigation was brought as a challenge to the City’s administrative review procedures, including the right to appeal an adverse administrative decision, arising from citations based on traffic camera images. The plaintiffs in this case have never challenged the initial justification for the City to impose liability based on the use of traffic cameras. Simply put, the plaintiffs did not seek to thwart the City’s issuance of citations based on traffic cameras, but rather sought to avoid liability for the citations based on plaintiffs’ theory that the administrative review process denied the plaintiffs due process and access to the courts. However, under de novo review of the record, we observed that the administrative review procedures of which plaintiffs complained were amended by the City. Moreover, the relevant citations were dismissed. Essentially having achieved what they set out to accomplish in their lawsuit, Plaintiffs had no justiciable interest in this matter, rendering their claims moot. Moreover, no exception to mootness applies. Consequently, we reverse the declaration of unconstitutionality issued by the district court and dismiss this matter with prejudice.
REVERSED; DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE AS MOOT.

JOHNSON, C.J., additionally concurs and assigns reasons.
HUGHES, J., dissents with reasons.

 

BY GUIDRY, J.:

2017-CJ-1054 STATE OF LOUISIANA IN THE INTEREST OF C.F. (Parish of St. John)

For the reasons set forth above, we find DCFS met its burden of proving abandonment pursuant to La. Ch. C. art. 1015(4) by clear and convincing evidence. We also find DCFS proved by clear and convincing evidence that the father failed to comply with the case plan pursuant to La Ch. C. art. 1015(5), and that there was no reasonable expectation of significant improvement in the father’s condition or conduct in the near future, considering C.F.’s age and her need for a safe, stable and permanent home. The district court manifestly erred in finding otherwise. We further find the record clearly showed that it was in C.F.’s best interest to terminate the father’s parental rights, and to allow the child to be free for adoption. The district court was clearly wrong in concluding it was not in C.F.’s best interest. Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s judgment and grant DCFS’s petition to terminate the father’s parental rights. REVERSED.

JOHNSON, C.J., additionally concurs and assigns reasons.
HUGHES, J., dissents with reasons.

 


PER CURIAM:

2016-K -1034 STATE OF LOUISIANA v. WILLIAM SERIGNE & LIONEL SERIGNE (Parish of St. Bernard)

For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the court of appeal’s determination in errors patent review that Lionel Serigne’s conviction and sentence must be set aside because he was unable to validly waive a jury trial. We reinstate Lionel’s conviction and sentence. In addition, we reverse the court of appeal’s determination that William Serigne is entitled to a new trial based on a Brady violation, which issue was never passed on by the trial court, and we reinstate his convictions and sentences. However, we also remand to the district court for further proceedings to determine if Lionel and William are entitled to new trials based on undisclosed Brady material in the grand jury testimony. Thereafter, Lionel and William may appeal any unfavorable determination by the district court on remand as well as seek appellate review of any previously pretermitted assignments of error. In addition, we preserve William’s claim of prejudicial misjoinder for appellate review after further proceedings in the district court.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.

 

2017-B -0430 IN RE: ELISE MARYBETH LAMARTINA

Upon review of the findings and recommendations of the hearing committee and disciplinary board, and considering the record, the brief filed by the ODC, and oral argument, it is ordered that Elise Marybeth LaMartina, Louisiana Bar Roll number 30583, be and she hereby is suspended from the practice of law for three years. All costs and expenses in the matter are assessed against respondent in accordance with Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 10.1, with legal interest to commence thirty days from the date of finality of this court’s judgment until paid.

CLARK, J., dissents.
CRICHTON, J., dissents and assigns reasons.

 

2017-KK-0705 STATE OF LOUISIANA v. REGGIE PATRICK THIBODEAUX (Parish of Terrebonne)

We find the procedure crafted by the court of appeal in Alexander best safeguards a defendant’s rights to due process, access to the courts, and to the assistance of counsel, while also affording the trial court the opportunity to prevent confusion or disruption of the trial process that is risked by the filing of pro-se motions by a represented defendant. That is not to say, however, that a hearing like that envisioned in Alexander will be necessary every time a represented defendant files a pro-se motion and defendant must in each instance necessarily be asked to choose between continued representation of counsel or having his pro-se motion considered. In many instances, counsel may simply wish to adopt the pro-se filing or the trial court can review the motion and assess its potential for confusion, disruption, or reversible error. Regardless, however, the trial court’s use of a stamp to reflexively deny all pro-se filings by a represented defendant is inadequate to safeguard the defendant’s rights while ensuring the efficient and orderly administration of criminal justice. Therefore, we reverse the court of appeal’s ruling and remand to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with the views expressed herein. The trial court is directed to determine whether defense counsel wishes to adopt defendant’s pro-se motion to suppress and, if counsel does not, evaluate its disruptive potential in light of Melon before determining whether to conduct a hearing consistent with Alexander.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.

Retired Judge Burrell Carter assigned as Justice ad hoc, sitting for Weimer, J., recused.

WEIMER, J., recused.
HUGHES, J., concurs with reasons.

 

2017-B -1116 IN RE: ANDRES HUMBERTO AGUILAR

Upon review of the findings and recommendations of the hearing committee and disciplinary board, and considering the record, briefs, and oral argument, it is ordered that Andres Humberto Aguilar, Louisiana Bar Roll number 34176, be and he hereby is suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year and one day, with all but nine months deferred. This suspension shall be retroactive to August 2, 2017, the date of respondent’s interim suspension. Following the active portion of the suspension, respondent shall be placed on unsupervised probation for two years, subject to the conditions set forth in this opinion. The probationary period shall commence from the date respondent and the ODC execute a formal probation plan. Any failure of respondent to comply with the conditions of probation, or any misconduct during the probationary period, may be grounds for making the deferred portion of the suspension executory, or imposing additional discipline, as appropriate. All costs and expenses in the matter are assessed against respondent in accordance with Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 10.1, with legal interest to commence thirty days from the date of finality of this court’s judgment until paid.


2017-B -1290 IN RE: PEGGY M. HAIRSTON ROBINSON

Upon review of the findings and recommendations of the hearing committee and disciplinary board, and considering the record, briefs, and oral argument, it is ordered that Peggy M. Hairston Robinson, Louisiana Bar Roll number 1132, be and she hereby is permanently disbarred. Her name shall be stricken from the roll of attorneys and her license to practice law in the State of Louisiana shall be revoked. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 24(A), it is further ordered that respondent be permanently prohibited from being readmitted to the practice of law in this state. It is further ordered that respondent make full restitution to each of her clients subject of the formal charges, or to the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Client Assistance Fund, as applicable. All costs and expenses in the matter are assessed against respondent in accordance with Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 10.1, with legal interest to commence thirty days from the date of finality of this court’s judgment until paid.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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