The Civil Department handles all facets of civil suits, Clerk's suits, adoptions, successions, and all matters relating thereto. There are three sections or workgroups, each performing particular functions.
Civil Filing and Advance Deposits
The Civil Filing section is responsible for filing civil suits. Filing includes:
- Accepting documents and entering them into the public record
- Indexing of suits into the computer system
- Tracking associated costs
As prescribed by LRS §13:850, the Civil Department accepts fax filings of any document which is a part of a civil action. The fax number for the Civil Filing is 225-686-1867.
- In accordance with LRS §13:842, the Civil Department collects advance payment from the plaintiff for the anticipated costs that will be incurred in the processing of litigation. In accordance with LRS §13:843, it also collects all additional accrued costs from the party incurring them - including, but not limited to, the costs of a jury trial, the costs of taking depositions, and expert witness fees.
- No civil pleadings will be filed or service perfected without an advance deposit.
- To receive certified copies of judgments, all outstanding court costs must be paid.
- All outstanding court costs must be paid before a suit can be dismissed.
The Civil Processing section is responsible for the processing of civil suits, Clerk's suits, adoptions, successions, and tutorships. Processing includes:
- Preparing all civil summonses (subpoenas)
- Distributing civil summonses to the appropriate Sheriff's Office for service
- Scheduling court dates for specific actions (set "Rules")
- Reviewing motions for preliminary default
- Distributing civil writs to the Sheriff's Office for service
The Civil Processing section also assists victims of domestic violence and can refer them to the Southeast Spouse Abuse Program office at 888.411.1333, where it can be determined if the situation meets the criteria for issuance of a restraining order.
The Civil Records section is responsible for the placing of all pleadings into civil suit, Clerk suit, adoption, tutorship, or succession jacket folders for retention by the Clerk. They also assist with searches of digital and physical civil records.
Civil Records deputy clerks answer questions concerning the suit record. For example, they can tell if a defendant has been served or the date a trial or rule has been scheduled. Adoptions of minors are sealed under Louisiana law. These records may not be accessed unless ordered by the District Court.