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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 Rules for Louisiana District Courts


TITLE VI

RULES FOR LITIGATION FILED BY INMATES

Includes Amendments through May 15, 2013
(Amendments effective June 1, 2013)

 

CHAPTER 60 LITIGATION FILED BY INMATES

 

Rule 60.0 Compliance With Administrative Procedures in Actions Filed by Offenders/Prisoners

Rule 60.1 General Venue Statutes for Litigation by Inmates

Rule 60.2 Proceedings in the 19th Judicial District Court

Rule 60.3 PLRA Civil Actions or Prisoner Suits Based on Delictual Actions of Government Officials or Employees  

Rule 60.4 Additional Procedures in Actions by Prisoners Based on Delictual Actions of Governmental Officials or Employees

Rule 60.5 Declaration of Inmate Counsel Assistance

Rule 60.6 In Forma Pauperis Offender/Prisoner Suits and PLRA Stays

Rule 60.7 Forms To Be Used for Offender/Prisoner In Forma Pauperis Applications

Rule 60.8 Parole Revocation Appeals

 

CHAPTER 60 LITIGATION FILED BY INMATES

 

Rule 60.0 Compliance With Administrative Procedures in Actions Filed by Offenders/Prisoners

 

A. Any offender/prisoner, as defined in La. R.S. 15:1171–1179 (Corrections Administrative Remedy Procedure Act)(hereinafter “CARP”) or La. R.S. 15:1181–1191 (Prison Litigation Reform Act)(hereinafter “PLRA”), shall initiate and exhaust the Administrative Remedy Procedure established by the Department of Corrections or the parish sheriff, if available, before filing an appeal or suit subject to the CARP or the PLRA, whichever is applicable.

 

B. To show compliance with the law and this Rule, any suit or appeal filed by an offender/prisoner subject to the CARP or the PLRA shall have attached to the appeal or suit a copy of the final agency decision.

 

C. Self-represented offenders/prisoners in the custody of the Department of Corrections appealing a decision of the Department or prison administration in accord with the CARP shall use the form IJR–1, ‘‘Petition for Judicial Review,’’ available from the Department and the Clerk of Court for East Baton Rouge Parish, to apply for review of an administrative decision, excluding delictual actions for injury or damages. See Appendix 60.2.

 

D. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

 

1. Appeals of judicial decisions;

 

2. Pending criminal matters;

 

3. Applications for post-conviction relief or habeas corpus applications attacking the petitioner’s conviction.

Adopted April 20, 2010, effective June 1, 2010; amended November 18, 2010, effective January 1, 2011; amended November 21, 2011, effective January 1, 2012.

 

 

Rule 60.1          General Venue Statutes for Litigation by Inmates

 

A. Appeals of Administrative Decisions filed under the CARP shall be filed in the 19th Judicial District Court. Suits seeking monetary damages or based on delictual actions for injury caused by prison personnel are not subject to the CARP, but must be filed in accordance with La. La. Code Civ. Proc. arts. 851 – 893 in the exclusive venue set forth in La. R.S. 15:1184 (see Rule 60.3).

 

B. All Post-Conviction Relief actions shall be filed in the parish of conviction pursuant to La. Code Crim. Proc. art. 924.

 

C. Any ordinary civil actions, including torts or suits seeking monetary damages, shall be filed in accordance with the applicable venue statutes and the PLRA in the parish where prisoner was incarcerated at the time the action arose. Post-conviction relief applications and habeas petitions are excluded from the requirements of the PLRA and shall be filed in accord with the venue statutes applicable to such actions.

 

D. All Parole Revocation Complaints/Appeals are proper only in the 19th Judicial District Court, pursuant to La. R.S. 15:574.11.

Adopted April 20, 2010, effective June 1, 2010; amended November 18, 2010, effective January 1, 2011; amended November 21, 2011, effective January 1, 2012.

 

 

Rule 60.2 Proceedings in the 19th Judicial District Court:

 

A. Proceedings that shall be filed in the 19th Judicial District Court include:

 

1. Appeals of administrative decisions pursuant to the CARP, venue for which is proper only in the 19th Judicial District Court for offenders/prisoners in the custody or under the supervision of the Department of Corrections. Administrative Appeals are defined in La. R.S. 15:1171, et seq., and La. R.S. 15:1181, et seq. and include actions against the Department of Corrections for judicial review (appeal) of an administrative decision, including but not limited to Prison Administrative Remedy Requests (that do not involve tortious conduct or request damages); Disciplinary Board Appeals; Lost Property Claims (that do not involve tortious conduct); Time Calculation or Good Time Complaints (even if urged as a Writ of Habeas Corpus); Duty Status Complaints (that do not involve medical care complaints or other tortious conduct); or any other complaints involving an internal prison grievance.

 

2. Parole Revocation Appeals pursuant to La. R.S. 15:574.11. See also Rule 60.8 for further procedures and forms required for Parole Revocations.

 

3. Ordinary civil actions or prisoner suits filed by prisoners, as defined in La. R.S. 15:1181 of the PLRA, filed against the Sheriff of East Baton Rouge or any employee thereof, when based on a cause of action that arose while the plaintiff was incarcerated in East Baton Rouge Parish or in the custody of the Sheriff of East Baton Rouge or any employee thereof. Such ordinary suits that involve a jury trial shall be heard and tried by the allotted judge.

 

B. Referral to Commissioners in the 19th Judicial District Court:

 

1. Proceedings set forth in A(1) and A(2), above, that are properly filed in the 19th Judicial District Court shall be randomly allotted to a section of court, and may then be referred to a commissioner for initial screening and further action in accordance with law.

 

2. Proceedings set forth in A(3), above, with consent of the parties and when the suit does not involve a jury trial.

Adopted April 20, 2010, effective June 1, 2010; amended November 18, 2010, effective January 1, 2011; amended November 21, 2011, effective January 1, 2012.

 

Rule 60.3 PLRA Civil Actions or Prisoner Suits Based on Delictual Actions of Government Officials or Employees  

A. Suits against corrections officers or other governmental personnel that are based on personal injury or delictual actions of corrections officers or other government employees or officials filed by offenders/prisoners seeking monetary damages, injunction or related relief, whether in the custody of the Department of Corrections or the sheriff, shall be filed in the original jurisdiction of the district court of proper venue. Exclusive venue is addressed in La. R.S.15:1184(F) of the PLRA.

 

B. Exhaustion of administrative remedies, when available, is required before filing suit in the parish of proper venue. See La. R.S. 15:1177(C) of the CARP and La. R.S. 15:1184(A)(2) of the PLRA.

Adopted April 20, 2010, effective June 1, 2010; amended November 18, 2010, effective January 1, 2011; amended November 21, 2011, effective January 1, 2012.

                                                                               

 

Rule 60.4 Additional Procedures in Actions by Prisoners Based on Delictual Actions of Governmental Officials or Employees

 

A. When a self-represented offender/prisoner files a complaint/petition that is not subject to judicial review under La. R.S. 15:1177, the inmate is required to follow the PLRA procedures and law in La. R.S. 15:1181, et seq. In addition, the offender/prisoner must follow the law and procedures for civil complaints set forth in the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, the Louisiana Civil Code, and any other applicable law, as well as the civil rules of the court of proper venue that are not in conflict with the PLRA or the Rules of this section.

 

B. Any ordinary petition filed pursuant to Chapter 9 of the Louisiana Rules for District Courts shall specifically comply with La. Code Civ. Proc. arts. 851–893, set forth specific facts to support the elements of each claim pursued, and designate a physical address not a post office box for each opposing party sufficient for service of pleadings.

 

C. Discovery Limitations

 

1. No discovery may be filed before service and until the court has had an opportunity to screen the petition to consider the petitioner’s ‘‘strike’’ status, set the costs due, consider the mandatory venue, order service on the defendants, or dismiss the suit in accordance with the PLRA.

 

2. All discovery requests in prisoner suits shall be filed into the court record by sending the original to the clerk of court, in addition to sending a copy by mail to the opposing party or counsel therefor, and shall include a certificate of compliance with this Rule.

 

3. Once the defendant has made an appearance (filed an answer or motion), discovery in prisoner suits is governed by the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, the Louisiana Civil Code, the Louisiana Rules for District Courts, and other applicable Louisiana law, subject to the restrictions set forth in this section and pursuant to the PLRA.

 

D. Memoranda Required

 

Any pre-trial motion, rule, exception, etc., including those incorporated into an answer, shall have attached to it a supporting memorandum that cites both the relevant facts and the applicable law, and which includes a declaration that a copy of same has been provided to the opposing party or his or her counsel at a specific address. The memorandum shall be mailed to all other parties so that it is received by the other parties at least fifteen calendar days before the hearing, unless the court sets a shorter time. Any opposition briefs shall be filed with the clerk of court and delivered to the office of the assigned judge or commissioner presiding at least eight calendar days before the date of any hearing set. No motion, rule, exception, etc., shall be assigned for hearing until the above-required memorandum, as well as the name and address of opposing counsel, have been furnished to the judge or commissioner hearing the matter.

E. Pre-Trial and Trial Matters

 

1. In accordance with statutory law, prisoners filing in forma pauperis may subpoena up to six witnesses for trial, but only after a proper pre-trial order has been completed by the plaintiff and approved by the court as required hereinafter. For additional witnesses, see La. Code Civ Proc. art. 5185(A)(2)(a).

 

2. Pre-Trial Conference

 

(a) Unless otherwise provided herein or by law, no suit requiring a trial on the merits may be assigned a trial date except at pre-trial conference. Any party desiring to assign a case for trial shall, after all issues have been joined and all contemplated motions, rules, exceptions, interrogatories, requests for admissions, or other discovery proceedings have been filed and answered, make a written request for pre-trial conference to the judge or commissioner to whom the case has been assigned.

 

(b) The party requesting the pre-trial conference shall certify in his or her request that all pre-trial matters have been completed and that the matter is ready for trial. If the party requesting the conference has any outstanding motions, exceptions, discovery, or other pre-trial matters, such pre-trial matters will be considered waived or withdrawn once a pre-trial conference is requested in writing.

 

(c) The self-represented prisoner requesting a pre-trial conference shall complete and attach his or her completed portion of the Self-Represented Prisoner-Plaintiff’s Portion of the Pre-Trial Order, Appendix 60.4 hereto, to his or her request for a pre-trial conference, and certify that he or she has provided opposing counsel with a copy of the completed Pre-Trial Order and the specific address to which this copy was sent.

 

3. Jury Trial Requests

 

Any request for a jury trial and bond shall be made in accordance with the requirements of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure and Rule 12 of the Louisiana District Court Rules.

Adopted April 1, 2002, effective April 1, 2002. Amended November 3, 2004, effective January 1, 2005; amended November 3, 2008, effective January 1, 2009. Renumbered Rule 60.4 and amended April 20, 2010, effective June 1, 2010; amended November 18, 2010, effective January 1, 2011; amended November 21, 2011, effective January 1, 2012.

 

Rule 60.5  Declaration of Inmate Counsel Assistance

 

If the suit was prepared or filed by or with the help or advice of inmate counsel substitute, counsel substitute’s name and D.O.C. number shall be legibly printed on the appropriate line on the face of the petition. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in delay in the service and review of the petition. If no counsel substitute was involved in the preparation or filing of the petition, the plaintiff shall print “NONE” in the blank for the inmate counsel substitute’s name.

Adopted April 1, 2002, effective April 1, 2002. Renumbered Rule 60.5 and amended April 20, 2010, effective June 1, 2010. Amended November 18, 2010, effective January 1, 2011 ; amended November 21, 2011, effective January 1, 2012.

 

Rule 60.6  In Forma Pauperis Offender/Prisoner Suits and PLRA Stays

 

A. La. R.S. 15:1186 governs in forma pauperis motions in actions filed pursuant to the CARP and the PLRA.

B. In ordinary civil suits governed by the PLRA, pursuant to La. R.S. 15:1186(B)(2), the order granting a prisoner’s request to proceed in forma pauperis automatically stays all proceedings, including any service of process, until all court costs or fees due the clerk by the prisoner are paid. If the prisoner does not pay the full court costs or fees within three years from when incurred, the suit shall be considered abandoned and dismissed without prejudice pursuant to subsection La. R.S. 15:1186(B)(2)(c).

 

C. A prisoner may not bring a civil action, or appeal a judgment in a civil action or proceeding, in forma pauperis if the prisoner has, on three or more prior occasions while incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action or appeal in a state court that was dismissed on the grounds it was frivolous, malicious, failed to state a cause of action, or failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to La. R.S. 15:1187. If a prisoner has at least three dismissals as described in La. R.S. 15:1187 that are not yet final, and further, if the prisoner is disqualified from proceeding as a pauper either in federal court by operation of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) or in the courts of another state by operation of a similar law of that state, then the court on its own motion may, or on motion of a party shall, stay all proceedings in any other prisoner suit or appeal in which the prisoner is proceeding as a pauper until such time as the dismissals become final, unless the court finds that the prisoner is in imminent danger of serious physical injury.

 

D. Actions filed in forma pauperis not governed by the CARP or the PLRA are governed by La. Code Civ. Proc. arts. 5181–5185. See also Louisiana Rules for District Courts, Rules 8.0 – 8.2.

 

E. Rules 8.1 and 8.2 of the Louisiana District Court Rules apply to suits brought by offenders/prisoners who proceed in forma pauperis.

Adopted November 3, 2008, effective January 1, 2009. Renumbered Rule 60.6 and amended April 20, 2010, effective June 1, 2010. Amended November 18, 2010, effective January 1, 2011; amended November 21, 2011, effective January 1, 2012.

 

Rule 60.7  Forms To Be Used for Offender/Prisoner In Forma Pauperis Applications

 

To proceed in forma pauperis, an offender/prisoner shall complete and file one of the following:

 

DISTRICT COURTS

 

For proceedings in district courts, including ordinary suits or other proceedings subject to the PLRA appeals, CARP appeals, and Parole Revocation appeals, use the pauper form in Appendix 60.7A.

 

APPELLATE COURTS

 

For appeals to Louisiana Courts of Appeal, use the forms in Appendix 60.7B.

Adopted April 1, 2002, effective April 1, 2002 as Rule 13.2. Amended November 3, 2008, effective January 1, 2009. Redesignated from Rule 13.2 to Rule 13.3, effective January 1, 2009. Renumbered Rule 60.7 and amended April 20, 2010, effective June 1, 2010. Amended November 18, 2010, effective January 1, 2011. ; amended November 21, 2011, effective January 1, 2012.

 

Rule 60.8  Parole Revocation Appeals

 

Parole is governed by La. R.S. 15:574.2, et seq. Venue for any action by an individual committed to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections contesting any action of the Board of Parole shall be in the Parish of East Baton Rouge pursuant to La. R.S. 15:574.11. Subject to the limitations set forth in La. R. S. 15:574.11, an offender/prisoner appealing the validity of his or her parole revocation shall use the appellate form Appeal of Parole Revocation in Appendix 60.8 and attach to his or her petition a copy of the Order of Revocation provided to him or her by the Parole Board. Service, if ordered by the court, shall be requested on the Parole Board only. Within thirty days of service of the petition on the Parole Board, counsel for the Parole Board shall file a copy of the appellate record of the parole revocation maintained by the Department/Parole Board, and provide the petitioner with a copy of same. Any motions/exceptions requested to be heard before the merits of the appeal shall be filed within fifteen days of the filing of the appellate record. Thereafter, the matter will be reviewed and set for hearing on any motions/exceptions filed and/or alternatively for oral argument on the appeal, upon notice by the court to the parties, unless the court orders the appeal heard on the briefs.

Adopted November 3, 2008, effective January 2, 2009. Renumbered Rule 60.8 and amended April 20, 2010, effective June 1, 2010. Amended November 18, 2010, effective January 1, 2011.

 

Comments

This Chapter replaces former Chapter 13 of the Louisiana Rules for District Courts, which was entitled ‘‘Civil Litigation Filed by Inmates.’’

 


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