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 2018 News Releases

News Release #005

 

FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE
NEWS RELEASE #005
   
FROM: CLERK OF SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA  

 

The Opinions handed down on the 30th day of January, 2018, are as follows:

 

BY CLARK, J.:

2017-CA-1340 DAVID CARVER v. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY (Parish of E. Baton Rouge)

This case concerns the constitutionality of La. R.S. 32:667, particularly paragraphs La. R.S. 32:667 (H)(3) and (I)(1)(a). Plaintiff, David T. Carver, alleged these paragraphs violated the Due Process Clauses of the United States and Louisiana Constitutions. Following the District Court’s finding that the paragraphs violated the Due Process Clauses, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Office of Motor Vehicles (the State) directly appealed that finding to this Court. For the reasons that follow, we find that the applicable paragraphs do not violate the Due Process Clauses of the United States and Louisiana Constitutions. Thus, we reverse the District Court’s judgment of unconstitutionality and remand the matter for proceedings consistent with this holding. For the reasons given, we find that La. R.S. 32:667(H)(3), and (I)(1)(a) are constitutional and the judgment of the District Court is reversed. The matter is remanded to the District Court for proceedings consistent with this holding.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.

WEIMER, J., Concurs in the result and assigns reasons.

 

BY CRICHTON, J.:

2017-C -0434 ST. BERNARD PORT, HARBOR & TERMINAL DISTRICT v. VIOLET DOCK PORT, INC., LLC C/W ST. BERNARD PORT, HARBOR & TERMINAL DISTRICT v. VIOLET DOCK PORT, INC., LLC C/W ST. BERNARD PORT, HARBOR & TERMINAL DISTRICT v. VIOLET DOCK PORT, INC., LLC (Parish of St. Bernard)

We affirm the court of appeal’s holding that the expropriation was constitutional. However, we reverse the court of appeal’s holding on the amount of just compensation due to Violet under art. I, § 4(B)(1), after finding that the trial court made a legal error in its determination of just compensation and the court of appeal failed to correct that error. We therefore remand this matter to the court of appeal solely for the purpose of fixing the amount of just compensation based on the evidence in the record and in accordance with the principles set forth in this opinion.
AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.

WEIMER, J., dissents and assigns reasons.
GUIDRY, J., dissents and assigns reasons.
HUGHES, J., dissents for the reasons assigned by Weimer and Guidry, JJ.

 


PER CURIAM:

2016-KH-0949 STATE EX REL. JOHN ESTEEN v. STATE OF LOUISIANA (Parish of Jefferson)

Because three of relator’s sentences are for terms of imprisonment that are no longer authorized by law, and a more lenient penalty provision applies retroactively in accordance with La.R.S. 15:308(B), relator’s remedy is by resentencing in the district court pursuant to his motion to correct illegal sentences. Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s denial of relator’s motion and remand for resentencing on these three counts pursuant to the more lenient penalty provisions that were enacted by the legislature in 2001 La. Acts 403, which the legislature later declared in La.R.S. 15:308(B) apply retroactively under the circumstances enumerated in that section.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.

JOHNSON, C.J., additionally concurs and assigns reasons.
WEIMER, J., dissents and assigns reasons.
GUIDRY, J., dissents.
CLARK, J., dissents for the reasons assigned by Justice Weimer and assigns additional reasons.
CRICHTON, J., additionally concurs and assigns reasons.

 

2016-K -1502 STATE OF LOUISIANA v. DARRYL JONES (Parish of Ascension)

Based on the evidence presented, the jury could only speculate defendant was guilty as a principal to the second degree murder. When issues are raised on appeal both as to the sufficiency of the evidence and as to one or more trial errors, the reviewing court should first assess the sufficiency of the evidence, see State v. Hearold, 603 So.2d 731, 734 (La. 1992), because the accused may therefore be entitled to an acquittal under Hudson v. Louisiana, 450 U.S. 40, 101 S.Ct. 970, 67 L.Ed.2d 30 (1981). Defendant here is so entitled. See generally State v. Corkern, 593 So.2d 1259, 1260 (La. 1992) (per curiam) (When the state’s evidence merely invites the jury to speculate on a number of reasonable probabilities, some consistent with guilt, others consistent of innocence, a reasonable jury must entertain a reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt.); see also State v. Schwander, 345 So.2d 1173, 1175 (La. 1978)) (“[a] trial jury’s inference that an accused aided and abetted in a crime cannot be ‘mere speculation based upon guilt by association.’”) (quoting State v. Williams, 310 So.2d 513, 515 (La. 1975)). Accordingly, for the reasons assigned, defendant’s conviction and sentence are reversed and a judgment of acquittal is entered in his favor.
REVERSED.

WEIMER, J., additionally concurs.

 

2016-K -1836 STATE OF LOUISIANA v. LARRY BROUSSARD, JR. AKA LARRY JAMES BROUSSARD, JR. AKA LARRY J. BROUSSARD, JR. (Parish of Vermilion)

The state’s claim that a reviewing court should truncate the analysis of a Batson claim because a trial court erred in finding the defense carried its burden of production under Batson’s first step is contrary to the jurisprudence. Furthermore, it is inconsistent with the purpose of the Batson framework, which “is designed to produce actual answers to suspicions and inferences that discrimination may have infected the selection process.” Johnson, 545 U.S. at 172, 125 S.Ct. at 2418. The state’s remaining argument regarding the ultimate outcome of the Batson inquiry runs afoul of Snyder v. Louisiana, 522 U.S. 472, 128 S.Ct. 1203, 170 L.Ed.2d 175 (2008), which is dispositive here. A reviewing court should not presume that the trial judge credited a demeanor-based reason from a trial court’s silence and the particular circumstances in Snyder and here are strikingly similar. While we are mindful that a trial court’s determination as to purposeful discrimination rests largely on credibility evaluations and is therefore entitled to great deference, Batson, 476 U.S. at 98 n.21, 106 S.Ct. at 1724, we note that the trial court rejected the state’s first proffered reason and we cannot presume the trial court accepted the state’s demeanor-based proffered reason. Therefore, we find that the court of appeal correctly applied Snyder to vacate the conviction and sentence and remand to the trial court for further proceedings. The court of appeal’s decision is affirmed.
AFFIRMED.

CLARK, J., dissents for the reasons assigned by Justice Genovese.
HUGHES, J., dissents for the reasons assigned by Genovese, J.
GENOVESE, J., dissents and assigns reasons.

 

2017-B -1473 IN RE: JOSEPH G. PASTOREK, II

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 Joseph G. Pastorek, II, Louisiana Bar Roll number 30845, be and he hereby is permanently disbarred. His name shall be stricken from the roll of attorneys and his 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. 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.

HUGHES, J., dissents and would order disbarment.
CRICHTON, J., dissents and would order disbarment.


 

 

 

 

 

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