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Code of Criminal Procedure

Title XXXI-A. Post Conviction Relief

Art. 924. Definitions

As used in this Title:

(1)  An "application for post conviction relief" means a petition filed by a person in custody after sentence following conviction for the commission of an offense seeking to have the conviction and sentence set aside.

(2)  "Custody" means detention or confinement, or probation or parole supervision, after sentence following conviction for the commission of an offense.

(3)  "DNA testing" means any method of testing and comparing deoxyribonucleic acid that would be admissible under the Louisiana Code of Evidence.

(4)  "Unknown sample" means a biological sample from an unknown donor constituting evidence of the commission of an offense or tending to prove the identity of the perpetrator of an offense.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; Acts 2001, No. 1020, §1.

Art. 924.1. Effect of appeal

An application for post conviction relief shall not be entertained if the petitioner may appeal the conviction and sentence which he seeks to challenge, or if an appeal is pending.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981.

Art. 925. Venue

Applications for post conviction relief shall be filed in the parish in which the petitioner was convicted.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981.

Art. 926. Petition

A.  An application for post conviction relief shall be by written petition addressed to the district court for the parish in which the petitioner was convicted.  A copy of the judgment of conviction and sentence shall be annexed to the petition, or the petition shall allege that a copy has been demanded and refused.

B.  The petition shall allege:

(1)  The name of the person in custody and the place of custody, if known, or if not known, a statement to that effect;

(2)  The name of the custodian, if known, or if not known, a designation or description of him as far as possible;

(3)  A statement of the grounds upon which relief is sought, specifying with reasonable particularity the factual basis for such relief;

(4)  A statement of all prior applications for writs of habeas corpus or for post conviction relief filed by or on behalf of the person in custody in connection with his present custody; and

(5)  All errors known or discoverable by the exercise of due diligence.

C.  The application shall be signed by the petitioner and be accompanied by his affidavit that the allegations contained in the petition are true to the best of his information and belief.

D.  The petitioner shall use the uniform application for post conviction relief approved by the Supreme Court of Louisiana.  If the petitioner fails to use the uniform application, the court may provide the petitioner with the uniform application and require its use.

E.  Inexcusable failure of the petitioner to comply with the provisions of this Article may be a basis for dismissal of his application.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981.

Art. 926.1. Application for DNA testing

            A.(1) Prior to August 31, 2024, a person convicted of a felony may file an application under the provisions of this Article for post-conviction relief requesting DNA testing of an unknown sample secured in relation to the offense for which he was convicted. On or after August 31, 2024, a petitioner may request DNA testing under the rules for filing an application for post-conviction relief as provided in Article 930.4 or 930.8.

            (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph, in cases in which the defendant has been sentenced to death prior to August 15, 2001, the application for DNA testing under the provisions of this Article may be filed at any time.

            B. An application filed under the provisions of this Article shall comply with the provisions of Article 926 and shall allege all of the following:

            (1) A factual explanation of why there is an articulable doubt, based on competent evidence whether or not introduced at trial, as to the guilt of the petitioner in that DNA testing will resolve the doubt and establish the innocence of the petitioner.

            (2) The factual circumstances establishing the timeliness of the application.

            (3) The identification of the particular evidence for which DNA testing is sought.

            (4) That the applicant is factually innocent of the crime for which he was convicted, in the form of an affidavit signed by the petitioner under penalty of perjury.

            C. In addition to any other reason established by legislation or jurisprudence, and whether based on the petition and answer or after contradictory hearing, the court shall dismiss any application filed pursuant to this Article unless it finds all of the following:

            (1) There is an articulable doubt based on competent evidence, whether or not introduced at trial, as to the guilt of the petitioner and there is a reasonable likelihood that the requested DNA testing will resolve the doubt and establish the innocence of the petitioner. In making this finding the court shall evaluate and consider the evidentiary importance of the DNA sample to be tested.

            (2) The application has been timely filed.

            (3) The evidence to be tested is available and in a condition that would permit DNA testing.

            D. Relief under this Article shall not be granted when the court finds that there is a substantial question as to the integrity of the evidence to be tested.

            E. Relief under this Article shall not be granted solely because there is evidence currently available for DNA testing but the testing was not available or was not done at the time of the conviction.

            F. Once an application has been filed and the court determines the location of the evidence sought to be tested, the court shall serve a copy of the application on the district attorney and the law enforcement agency which has possession of the evidence to be tested, including but not limited to sheriffs, the office of state police, local police agencies, and crime laboratories. If the court grants relief under this Article and orders DNA testing the court shall also issue such orders as are appropriate to obtain the necessary samples to be tested and to protect their integrity. The testing shall be conducted by a laboratory mutually agreed upon by the district attorney and the petitioner. If the parties cannot agree, the court shall designate a laboratory to perform the tests that is accredited in forensic DNA analysis by an accrediting body that is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangements for Testing Laboratories (ILAC MRA) and requires conformance to an accreditation program based on the international standard ISO/IEC 17025 with an accreditation scope in the field of forensic science testing in the discipline of biology, and that is compliant with the current version of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories.

            G. If the court orders the testing performed at a private laboratory, the district attorney shall have the right to withhold a sufficient portion of any unknown sample for purposes of his independent testing. Under such circumstances, the petitioner shall submit DNA samples to the district attorney for purposes of comparison with the unknown sample retained by the district attorney. A laboratory selected to perform the analysis shall, if possible, retain and maintain the integrity of a sufficient portion of the unknown sample for replicate testing. If after initial examination of the evidence, but before actual testing, the laboratory decides that there is insufficient evidentially significant material for replicate tests, then it shall notify the district attorney in writing of its finding. If the petitioner and district attorney cannot agree, the court shall determine which laboratory as required by Paragraph F of this Article is best suited to conduct the testing and shall fashion its order to allow the laboratory conducting the tests to consume the entirety of the unknown sample for testing purposes if necessary.

            H.(1) The results of the DNA testing ordered under this Article shall be filed by the laboratory with the court and served upon the petitioner and the district attorney. The court may, in its discretion, order production of the underlying facts or data and laboratory notes.

            (2) After service of the application on the district attorney and the law enforcement agency in possession of the evidence, no evidence shall be destroyed that is relevant to a case in which an application for DNA testing has been filed until the case has been finally resolved by the court.

            (3) After service of the application on the district attorney and the law enforcement agency in possession of the evidence, the clerks of court of each parish and all law enforcement agencies, including but not limited to district attorneys, sheriffs, the office of state police, local police agencies, and crime laboratories shall preserve until August 31, 2024, all items of evidence in their possession which are known to contain biological material that can be subjected to DNA testing, in all cases that, as of August 15, 2001, have been concluded by a verdict of guilty or a plea of guilty.

            (4) In all cases in which the defendant has been sentenced to death prior to August 15, 2001, the clerks of court of each parish and all law enforcement agencies, including but not limited to district attorneys, sheriffs, the office of state police, local police agencies, and crime laboratories shall preserve, until the execution of sentence is completed, all items of evidence in their possession which are known to contain biological material that can be subjected to DNA testing.

            (5) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraphs (3) and (4) of this Paragraph, after service of the application on the district attorney and the law enforcement agency in possession of the evidence, the clerks of court of each parish and all law enforcement agencies, including but not limited to district attorneys, sheriffs, the office of state police, local police agencies, and crime laboratories may forward for proper storage and preservation all items of evidence described in Subparagraph (3) of this Paragraph to a laboratory that is accredited by an accrediting body that is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangements for Testing Laboratories (ILAC MRA) and requires conformance to an accreditation program based on the international standard ISO/IEC 17025 with an accreditation scope in the field of forensic science testing in the discipline of biology, and that is compliant with the current version of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories.

            (6) Except in the case of willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence, no clerk of court or law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency, including but not limited to any district attorney, sheriff, the office of state police, local police agency, or crime laboratory which is responsible for the storage or preservation of any item of evidence in compliance with either the requirements of Subparagraph (3) of this Paragraph or R.S. 15:621 shall be held civilly or criminally liable for the unavailability or deterioration of any such evidence to the extent that adequate or proper testing cannot be performed on the evidence.

            I. The DNA profile of the petitioner obtained under this Article shall be sent by the district attorney to the state police for inclusion in the state DNA data base established pursuant to R.S. 15:605. The petitioner may seek removal of his DNA record pursuant to R.S. 15:614.

            J. The petitioner, in addition to other service requirements, shall mail a copy of the application requesting DNA testing to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Corrections Services, office of adult services. If the court grants relief under this Article, the court shall mail a copy of the order to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Corrections Services, office of adult services. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Corrections Services, office of adult services, shall keep a copy of all records sent to them pursuant to this Subsection and report to the legislature before January 1, 2003, on the number of petitions filed and the number of orders granting relief.

            K. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special fund designated as the DNA Testing Post-Conviction Relief for Indigents Fund. The fund shall consist of money specially appropriated by the legislature. No other public money may be used to pay for the DNA testing authorized under the provisions of this Article. The fund shall be administered by the Louisiana Public Defender Board. The fund shall be segregated from all other funds and shall be used exclusively for the purposes established under the provisions of this Article. If the court finds that a petitioner under this Article is indigent, the fund shall pay for the testing as authorized in the court order.

            Acts 2001, No. 1020, §1; Acts 2003, No. 823, §1; Acts 2006, No. 120, §1; Acts 2008, No. 297, §1; Acts 2011, No. 250, §2, eff. July 1, 2011; Acts 2014, No. 266, §1; Acts 2019, No. 156, §1.

Art. 927. Procedural objections;  answer

A.  If an application alleges a claim which, if established, would entitle the petitioner to relief, the court shall order the custodian, through the district attorney in the parish in which the defendant was convicted, to file any procedural objections he may have, or an answer on the merits if there are no procedural objections, within a specified period not in excess of thirty days.  If procedural objections are timely filed, no answer on the merits of the claim may be ordered until such objections have been considered and rulings thereon have become final.

B.  In any order of the court requiring a response by the district attorney pursuant to this Article, the court shall render specific rulings dismissing any claim which, if established as alleged, would not entitle the petitioner to relief, and shall order a response only as to such claim or claims which, if established as alleged, would entitle the petitioner to relief.

C.  If the court orders an answer filed, the court need not order production of the petitioner except as provided in Article 930.

Acts 1990, No. 523, §1.

Art. 928. Dismissal upon the pleadings

The application may be dismissed without an answer if the application fails to allege a claim which, if established, would entitle the petitioner to relief.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981.

Art. 929. Summary disposition

A.  If the court determines that the factual and legal issues can be resolved based upon the application and answer, and supporting documents, including relevant transcripts, depositions, and other reliable documents submitted by either party or available to the court, the court may grant or deny relief without further proceedings.

B.  For good cause, oral depositions of the petitioner and witnesses may be taken under conditions specified by the court.  The court may authorize requests for admissions of fact and of genuineness of documents.  In such matters, the court shall be guided by the Code of Civil Procedure.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981.

Art. 930. Evidentiary hearing

A.  An evidentiary hearing for the taking of testimony or other evidence shall be ordered whenever there are questions of fact which cannot properly be resolved pursuant to Articles 928 and 929.  The petitioner, in absence of an express waiver, is entitled to be present at such hearing, unless the only evidence to be received is evidence as permitted pursuant to Subsection B of this Section, and the petitioner has been or will be provided with copies of such evidence and an opportunity to respond thereto in writing.

B.  Duly authenticated records, transcripts, depositions, documents, or portions thereof, or admissions of facts may be received in evidence.

C.  No evidentiary hearing on the merits of a claim shall be ordered or conducted, nor shall any proffer of evidence be received over the objection of the respondent, and no ruling upon procedural objections to the petition shall purport to address the merits of the claim over the objection of the respondent, unless the court has first ruled upon all procedural objections raised by the respondent, and such rulings have become final.  Any language in a ruling on procedural objections raised by the respondent which purports to address the merits of the claim shall be deemed as null, void, and of no effect.

Acts 1990, No. 523, §1.

Art. 930.1. Judgment granting or denying relief under Articles 928, 929, and 930

A copy of the judgment granting or denying relief and written or transcribed reasons for the judgment shall be furnished to the petitioner, the district attorney, and the custodian.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981.

Art. 930.2. Burden of proof

The petitioner in an application for post conviction relief shall have the burden of proving that relief should be granted.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981.

Art. 930.3. Grounds

If the petitioner is in custody after sentence for conviction for an offense, relief shall be granted only on the following grounds:

(1)  The conviction was obtained in violation of the constitution of the United States or the state of Louisiana;

(2)  The court exceeded its jurisdiction;

(3)  The conviction or sentence subjected him to double jeopardy;

(4)  The limitations on the institution of prosecution had expired;

(5)  The statute creating the offense for which he was convicted and sentenced is unconstitutional; or

(6)  The conviction or sentence constitute the ex post facto application of law in violation of the constitution of the United States or the state of Louisiana.

(7)  The results of DNA testing performed pursuant to an application granted under Article 926.1 proves by clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner is factually innocent of the crime for which he was convicted.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; Acts 2001, No. 1020, §1.

Art. 930.4. Repetitive applications

A.  Unless required in the interest of justice, any claim for relief which was fully litigated in an appeal from the proceedings leading to the judgment of conviction and sentence shall not be considered.

NOTE:  Paragraphs B-E eff. until Aug. 1, 2014.  See Acts 2013, No. 251, §1.

B.  If the application alleges a claim of which the petitioner had knowledge and inexcusably failed to raise in the proceedings leading to conviction, the court may deny relief.

C.  If the application alleges a claim which the petitioner raised in the trial court and inexcusably failed to pursue on appeal, the court may deny relief.

D.  A successive application may be dismissed if it fails to raise a new or different claim.

E.  A successive application may be dismissed if it raises a new or different claim that was inexcusably omitted from a prior application.

NOTE:  Paragraphs B-E as amended by Acts 2013, No. 251, §1, eff. Aug. 1, 2014.

B.  If the application alleges a claim of which the petitioner had knowledge and inexcusably failed to raise in the proceedings leading to conviction, the court shall deny relief.

C.  If the application alleges a claim which the petitioner raised in the trial court and inexcusably failed to pursue on appeal, the court shall deny relief.

D.  A successive application shall be dismissed if it fails to raise a new or different claim.

E.  A successive application shall be dismissed if it raises a new or different claim that was inexcusably omitted from a prior application.

F.  If the court considers dismissing an application for failure of the petitioner to raise the claim in the proceedings leading to conviction, failure to urge the claim on appeal, or failure to include the claim in a prior application, the court shall order the petitioner to state reasons for his failure.  If the court finds that the failure was excusable, it shall consider the merits of the claim.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; Acts 2013, No. 251, §1, eff. Aug. 1, 2014.

Art. 930.5. Custody pending retrial;  bail

If a court grants relief under an application for post conviction relief, the court shall order that the petitioner be held in custody pending a new trial if it appears that there are legally sufficient grounds upon which to reprosecute the petitioner.

In such a case, the petitioner shall be entitled to bail on the offense as though he has not been convicted of the offense.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981.

Art. 930.6. Review of trial court judgments

A.  The petitioner may invoke the supervisory jurisdiction of the court of appeal if the trial court dismisses the application or otherwise denies relief on an application for post conviction relief.  No appeal lies from a judgment dismissing an application or otherwise denying relief.

B.  If a statute or ordinance is declared unconstitutional, the state may appeal to the supreme court.  If relief is granted on any other ground, the state may invoke the supervisory jurisdiction of the court of appeal.

C.  Pending the state's application for writs, or pending the state's appeal, the district court or the court of appeal may stay the judgment granting relief.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 429, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; Acts 1985, No. 233, §1.

Art. 930.7. Right to counsel

A.  If the petitioner is indigent and alleges a claim which, if established, would entitle him to relief, the court may appoint counsel.

B.  The court may appoint counsel for an indigent petitioner when it orders an evidentiary hearing, authorizes the taking of depositions, or authorizes requests for admissions of fact or genuineness of documents, when such evidence is necessary for the disposition of procedural objections raised by the respondent.

C.  The court shall appoint counsel for an indigent petitioner when it orders an evidentiary hearing on the merits of a claim, or authorizes the taking of depositions or requests for admissions of fact or genuineness of documents for use as evidence in ruling upon the merits of the claim.

Acts 1990, No. 523, §1.

Art. 930.8. Time limitations;  exceptions;  prejudicial delay

            A. No application for post-conviction relief, including applications which seek an out-of-time appeal, shall be considered if it is filed more than two years after the judgment of conviction and sentence has become final under the provisions of Article 914 or 922, unless any of the following apply:

            (1) The application alleges, and the petitioner proves or the state admits, that the facts upon which the claim is predicated were not known to the petitioner or his prior attorneys. Further, the petitioner shall prove that he exercised diligence in attempting to discover any post-conviction claims that may exist. "Diligence" for the purposes of this Article is a subjective inquiry that must take into account the circumstances of the petitioner. Those circumstances shall include but are not limited to the educational background of the petitioner, the petitioner's access to formally trained inmate counsel, the financial resources of the petitioner, the age of the petitioner, the mental abilities of the petitioner, or whether the interests of justice will be served by the consideration of new evidence. New facts discovered pursuant to this exception shall be submitted to the court within two years of discovery.

            (2) The claim asserted in the petition is based upon a final ruling of an appellate court establishing a theretofore unknown interpretation of constitutional law and petitioner establishes that this interpretation is retroactively applicable to his case, and the petition is filed within one year of the finality of such ruling.

            (3) The application would already be barred by the provisions of this Article, but the application is filed on or before October 1, 2001, and the date on which the application was filed is within three years after the judgment of conviction and sentence has become final.

            (4) The person asserting the claim has been sentenced to death.

            B. An application for post conviction relief which is timely filed, or which is allowed under an exception to the time limitation as set forth in Paragraph A of this Article, shall be dismissed upon a showing by the state of prejudice to its ability to respond to, negate, or rebut the allegations of the petition caused by events not under the control of the state which have transpired since the date of original conviction, if the court finds, after a hearing limited to that issue, that the state's ability to respond to, negate, or rebut such allegations has been materially prejudiced thereby.

            C. At the time of sentencing, the trial court shall inform the defendant of the prescriptive period for post-conviction relief either verbally or in writing. If a written waiver of rights form is used during the acceptance of a guilty plea, the notice required by this Paragraph may be included in the written waiver of rights.

            Acts 1990, No. 1023, §1, eff. Oct. 1, 1990; Acts 1999, No. 1262, §1; Acts 2004, No. 401, §1; Acts 2013, No. 251, §1, eff. Aug. 1, 2014.

Art. 930.9. Attendance by the petitioner

In the event that the petitioner for post-conviction relief is incarcerated, he may be present at post-conviction relief proceedings by teleconference, video link, or other visual remote technology.

Acts 2008, No. 626, §1.

Title XXXII. Definitions

Art. 931. Courts, judges, and magistrates

Except where the context clearly indicates otherwise, as used in this Code:

(1)  "Court" means a court with criminal jurisdiction or its judge.  It does not include a mayor's court or a justice of the peace.

(2)  "City court" means a city, town, village, or other municipal court, with criminal jurisdiction.  It does not include a mayor's court or a justice of the peace.

(3)  "Judge" means a judge of a court, as defined in this article.

(4)  "Magistrate" means any judge, a justice of the peace, or a mayor of a mayor's court.

Art. 932. Jurors, juries, and jury venires

Except where the context clearly indicates otherwise, as used in this Code:

(1)  "Juror" means a grand or a petit juror.

(2)  "Petit jury" means the jury that tries a defendant.

(3)  "Panel" is a group of persons selected according to law from a grand jury or petit jury venire to serve as a grand jury, or as a petit jury.

Art. 933. Offenses

Except where the context clearly indicates otherwise, as used in this Code:

(1)  "Offense" includes both a felony and a misdemeanor.

(2)  "Capital offense" means an offense that may be punished by death.

(3)  "Felony" means an offense that may be punished by death or by imprisonment at hard labor.

(4)  "Misdemeanor" means any offense other than a felony, and includes the violation of an ordinance providing a penal sanction.

Art. 934. Miscellaneous definitions

Except where the context clearly indicates otherwise, as used in this Code:

(1)  "Act" includes a failure or omission to perform a legal duty.

(2)  "City" means a city, town, village, or other municipality.

(3)  "Convicted" means adjudicated guilty after a plea or after trial on the merits.

(4)  "Defendant" means a person who has been charged with or accused of an offense.

(5)  "District Attorney" includes an assistant district attorney, and where the prosecution is in a city court, includes the prosecuting officer of that court.

(6)  "Indictment" includes information and affidavit, unless it is the clear intent to restrict that word to the finding of a grand jury.

(7)  "Institution of prosecution" means the finding of an indictment, or the filing of an information, or affidavit, which is designed to serve as the basis of a trial.

(8)  "Oath" includes affirmation.

(9)  "Person" includes an individual, partnership, unincorporated association of individuals, joint stock company, or corporation.

(10)  "State" includes a city or other political subdivision of the state.

(11)  "Statute" and "criminal law" mean a criminal statute, a constitutional provision, or an ordinance of a city or other political subdivision of the state.

(12)  "Trial on the merits" means trial on the issue of guilt or innocence.  

Title XXXIII. Emergency or Disaster Provisions
Art. 941. Legislative findings

The legislature hereby finds and declares the following:

(1)  The state of Louisiana could suffer future catastrophic damage through the occurrence of emergencies and disasters of unprecedented size and destructiveness resulting from terrorist events, enemy attack, sabotage, or other hostile action, or from fire, flood, earthquake, or other natural or manmade causes resulting in the displacement of residents or the destruction of or severe damage to courthouses and other facilities supporting the criminal justice system.

(2)  The magnitude of such catastrophic events may cause a disruption of the criminal justice system in any parish directly impacted by the emergency or disaster.

(3)  The response to such an emergency or disaster should ensure the continued effective operation and integrity of the state's criminal justice system while minimizing adverse effects on the interests of the defendant and the state.

(4)  Considering these factors, the Legislature of Louisiana, exercising its authority vested in Article III and Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution of Louisiana, and recognizing the necessity of creating a classification of parishes based upon the need to conduct emergency sessions of court, does hereby enact the provisions of this Title to provide for the effective operation and integrity of the criminal justice system during times of emergency or disaster.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 942. Definitions

As used in this Title:

(1)  "Affected court" means any appellate, district, parish, city, municipal, traffic, juvenile, justice of the peace, or family court having jurisdiction over criminal prosecutions and proceedings for which the Louisiana Supreme Court has made a determination that the court shall conduct emergency sessions outside its parish or territorial jurisdiction as provided for by the provisions of this Title.

(2)  "Emergency sessions" means any criminal court proceeding conducted by an affected court as authorized by the provisions of this Title and by order of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

(3)  "Host jurisdiction" means the location or locations in which the Louisiana Supreme Court has ordered the affected court to conduct emergency sessions.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 943. Preemption of conflicting provisions

The provisions of this Title shall preempt and supersede but not repeal any conflicting provisions of this Code or any other provision of law.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 944. Emergency sessions of court;  criteria

A.  When the supreme court makes the determination that an appellate, district, parish, city, municipal, juvenile, traffic, justice of the peace, or family court having jurisdiction over criminal prosecutions and proceedings shall conduct proceedings outside its parish or territorial jurisdiction, the supreme court may order emergency sessions of court at a location or locations which are both feasible and practicable outside the parish or territorial jurisdiction of that court.  This determination shall be based upon emergency or disaster circumstances, including but not limited to the lack of a readily available alternative location to conduct court within the parish, terrorist events, enemy attack, sabotage, or other hostile action, or from fire, flood, earthquake, or other natural or manmade causes resulting in the displacement of thousands of residents and the destruction of or severe damage to courthouses and other facilities supporting the criminal justice system.  In making this determination, the supreme court shall make a reasonable effort to consult with the chief judge, the district attorney, the district public defender, and the clerk of the affected court.

B.  The supreme court order requiring emergency sessions of court shall name the affected court, the location or locations in which the emergency sessions of that court shall be conducted, and the date on which emergency sessions shall commence.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005; Acts 2007, No. 307, §10.

Art. 945. Venue;  affected court;  emergency sessions;  habeas corpus

A.  Venue for criminal prosecutions in an affected court shall be changed by operation of law to the parish where the affected court is ordered to conduct criminal sessions for the duration of the emergency sessions.  Criminal proceedings may take place in a parish other than the parish where the crime was committed if the supreme court has ordered emergency sessions of that court in another parish pursuant to Article 944 or as otherwise provided by law.

B.  Venue for a writ of habeas corpus for an individual whose physical custody has been transferred as a result of the circumstances which are the basis for the emergency session shall be in the parish of East Baton Rouge.  If the court in East Baton Rouge Parish is also an affected court, venue shall be in the host jurisdiction which has been established by supreme court order for the affected court in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 946. Jurisdiction of affected court conducting emergency sessions

A.  The affected court conducting emergency sessions outside of its parish or territorial jurisdiction pursuant to Article 944 shall retain jurisdiction over all criminal proceedings and prosecutions that would otherwise be conducted by the affected court.

B.  All court proceedings, grand jury proceedings, hearings, preliminary matters, pretrial hearings, and trials may be conducted in the emergency sessions of the affected court.

C.  The affected court conducting emergency sessions may retain jurisdiction to complete all matters in progress in the host jurisdiction even though the order rendered pursuant to Article 944 has been withdrawn, canceled, or rescinded.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 947. Affected court conducting emergency sessions;  authority and powers

An affected court ordered to conduct emergency sessions outside of its parish or territorial jurisdiction pursuant to Article 944 shall retain all authority and powers previously exercised by that court in its parish or territorial jurisdiction.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

 

Art. 948. Emergency sessions;  length;  recision;  continuation;  extensions

A.  Emergency sessions of court shall continue until the supreme court withdraws, cancels, or rescinds the order authorizing the emergency sessions.  The supreme court shall give notice at least ten days prior to the conclusion of the emergency session to the chief judge, the district attorney, the district public defender, and the clerk of the affected court.

B.  The supreme court may withdraw, cancel, or rescind an order authorizing emergency sessions of court at any time that it determines that the conditions which warranted the issuance of the order no longer exist.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005; Acts 2007, No. 307, §10.

Art. 949. Court costs and fees

All court costs, fees, and fines assessed or taxed and collected previously by the affected court prior to the supreme court order authorizing the conducting of emergency sessions shall be assessed, taxed, collected, distributed, and retained in the same amounts by and to the same entities and in the same manner by the affected court conducting the emergency session in the host jurisdiction.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 950. Authority of district attorney in emergency sessions of court

A.  The district attorney or prosecuting attorney, where applicable, of the affected court conducting emergency sessions of court outside of its parish or territorial jurisdiction pursuant to Article 944 shall have entire charge and control of every criminal prosecution and authority in the host jurisdiction that he would otherwise have exercised in the affected court.

B.  The provisions of this Article are included in the other duties of the district attorney provided by law as authorized by Article V, Section 26(B) of the Constitution of Louisiana.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 951. Sheriff;  law enforcement officer

A.  The sheriff and any other law enforcement agency or officer or court official having jurisdiction in the affected court shall have all necessary authority and powers to operate within the host jurisdiction in which the affected court is conducting emergency sessions pursuant to Article 944, including the collection of fines, fees, costs, and bonds.  This authority shall be limited to those matters being conducted in the emergency session of court.

B.  The provisions of this Article shall constitute an exception to territorial jurisdiction of the sheriff in the same manner as Articles 204 and 213.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 952. Clerk of affected court

A.  During the period in which the supreme court has ordered emergency sessions of court pursuant to Article 944, the clerk of court of the affected court is authorized to establish an ancillary office in the host jurisdiction in which the emergency sessions of the court are held.

B.  The clerk of court of the affected court shall continue to exercise all necessary powers, duties, and authority of his office in order to maintain the effective operation and integrity of the criminal justice system of the affected court in the host jurisdiction, including but not limited to the assessment of fees to which the clerk is entitled.  This authority shall be limited to all matters and proceedings within the jurisdiction of the affected court.

C.  If the affected court is located in Orleans Parish, the provisions of this Article shall apply to the recorder of mortgages and register of conveyances for the parish of Orleans.

D.  The provisions of this Article are included in the other duties of the clerk provided by law as authorized by Article V, Section 28(A) of the Constitution of Louisiana.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 953. Authority of indigent defender board in emergency sessions of court

The district public defender, or regional director, where applicable, of the affected court conducting emergency sessions of court outside of its parish or territorial jurisdiction pursuant to Article 944 shall retain the authority for the appointment of attorneys residing in either the parish or territorial jurisdiction of the affected court or in the host jurisdiction to represent indigent defendants in the host jurisdiction that would otherwise have been exercised in the affected court.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005; Acts 2007, No. 307, §10.

 

Art. 954. Jury pool;  emergency sessions

A.  Upon motion by the district attorney and after a contradictory hearing, the court may summon jurors from the host jurisdiction.  The district attorney must show that the interests of justice are served by the approval of such motion.

B.  The summoning of jurors shall be conducted by the clerk of the host jurisdiction.  The cost of summoning jurors and all costs regarding jurors shall be paid by the affected court.

Acts 2005, 1st. Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 955. Suspension of time limitations in affected courts;  ninety days;  recision;  extensions;  exceptions

A.  The time periods, limitations, and delays established by the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Children's Code, Title 15, and Chapter 26 of Title 40 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 shall be suspended in the jurisdiction of the affected court for a period of ninety days following the issuance of an order authorizing emergency sessions of court as provided for in Article 944.

B.  The ninety-day suspension provided for by this Article shall commence to run from the date the supreme court issued its order authorizing the emergency sessions of court or from the date specified therein, whichever is earlier.

C.  The ninety-day suspension may be extended upon a determination by the supreme court that the continuation of the suspension is necessary.

D.  The supreme court may rescind the suspension at any time and for any jurisdiction within the state upon a determination by the supreme court that the suspension is no longer necessary.

E.  The provisions of this Article shall not apply to Code of Criminal Procedure Articles 230.1, 230.2, 351, 354, and 362.

F.  When the supreme court makes the determination and orders an emergency session of court at a location which are both feasible and practical outside the parish or territorial jurisdiction of the affected court, pursuant to Article 944, in addition to the provisions of Paragraph A of this Article, the supreme court may order an extension of time not to exceed four hundred fifty days for the surrender of the defendant as provided for in Code of Criminal Procedure Article 349.8.  This extension of time is in addition to the one hundred eighty days provided for in Article 349.8 and the ninety days provided for in Paragraph A of this Article, and also applies to the deadlines for filing motions to set aside judgments of bond forfeiture.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005; Acts 2006, No. 466, §2, eff. June 15, 2006; Acts 2010, No. 914, §1.

Art. 956. Appeals;  application for supervisory writs

An application for a supervisory writ or an appeal from a judgment or ruling of an affected court ordered to conduct emergency sessions shall be taken to the appropriate appellate court which exercised proper appellate or supervisory jurisdiction over the affected court prior to the issuance of the supreme court order.  If the appropriate appellate court is also an affected court, an application for a supervisory writ or an appeal from a judgment or ruling of an affected court shall be taken to the host jurisdiction which has been established by supreme court order for the affected appellate court.

Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 52, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005.

Art. 957. Bail during emergency sessions of court;  selected offenses

A.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, an affected court conducting emergency sessions of court outside of its parish or territorial jurisdiction pursuant to Article 944 may release a defendant on bail through an unsecured personal surety as authorized by Article 317, without proof of a security interest pursuant to the provisions of this Article.

B.  The provisions of this Article shall not apply to any defendant who has been arrested for any of the following offenses:

(1)  A crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B).

(2)  A sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541.

(3)  A felony offense, an element of which includes the discharge, use, or possession of a firearm.

(4)  A violation of R.S. 14:98, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or a parish or municipal ordinance that prohibits operating a vehicle while intoxicated, while impaired, or while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled dangerous substance.

C.  The affected court may release a defendant on bail through a personal surety without proof of a security interest as required by Article 319 if all of the following conditions are met:

(1)  The defendant was arrested for an offense which is not excluded by Paragraph B of this Article.

(2)  The personal surety meets the requirements of Articles 315 and 318 for a secured personal surety.

(3)  Proof of a security interest cannot be obtained due to emergency or disaster circumstances as provided for in Article 944.

(4)  The court requires that the unsecured surety be converted to a commercial surety or secured personal surety as soon as proof of a security interest can be obtained, or within thirty days of issuance of the unsecured bail, whichever occurs earlier.  If proof of a security interest cannot be obtained due to emergency or disaster circumstances, the court may extend the period to obtain proof of the security interest for additional thirty-day increments as determined to be necessary by the court.

D.  The provisions of this Article shall not be construed to limit the constitutional right to bail or the inherent authority of the court to set bail.

Acts 2010, No. 141, §1.

Art. 958. Suspension of time limitations in declared disaster, emergency, or public health emergency

A. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, if the governor has declared a
disaster or emergency pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 29:721 et seq. or a public health
emergency pursuant to R.S. 29:760 et seq., the supreme court is authorized to issue an order, or
series of orders as it determines to be necessary and appropriate, that shall have the full force and
effect of suspending all time periods, limitations, and delays pertaining to the initiation,
continuation, prosecution, defense, appeal, and post-conviction relief of any prosecution of any
state or municipal criminal, juvenile, wildlife, or traffic matter within the state of Louisiana
including but not limited to any such provisions in this Code, the Children's Code, and Titles 14,
15, 32, 40, and 56 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, or in any other provision of Louisiana
law, for a determinate period of thirty days except as otherwise provided by this Article.

B. The thirty-day period provided for in this Article shall commence to run from the date
the supreme court issues the order or from a particular date specified by the supreme court in the
order, whichever is earlier.

C. The thirty-day period provided in Paragraph A of this Article may be extended by further
order of the supreme court for additional successive periods with each period not exceeding thirty
days.

D. The period of suspension authorized by the provisions of this Article shall terminate
upon order of the supreme court or upon termination of the declared disaster, emergency, or public health emergency, whichever is earlier.

E. The provisions of this Article shall not apply to Articles 230.1, 230.2, and 232 and Children's Code Articles 624 and 819.

F. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to negate or impair the application of any other
provision of law regarding the suspension or interruption of time periods, limitations, or delays.

Acts 2020, No. 285, §1, eff. June 11, 2020.