The Twenty Fourth Judicial District Court - 200 Derbigny Street, Gretna, Louisiana

Court House Rules

Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court

Thomas F. Donelon Building

GENERAL COURTHOUSE RULES

1.0 REASONS
2.0 DEFINITIONS
3.0 BUILDING ENTRANCE AND EXIT
3.1 Spectators
3.2 Judges - Elevator
3.3 Judges - Entrance/Exit
3.4 Enforcement
4.0 GENERAL PUBLIC AREAS
4.1 General Public Area Conduct
4.2 Attorney-Client Conference Rooms
4.2.1 General Conference Room Conduct
4.2.2 Equipment and Supplies
4.2.3 Condition of the Conference Room(s)
4.2.4 Acquiring a Conference Room
4.3 Attorney Lounge
4.3.1 General Attorney Lounge Conduct
5.0 JUDGES - CHAMBERS AND COURTROOMS
5.1 Building Maintenance
5.2 Building Structure

------------------------------

GENERAL COURTHOUSE RULES

1.0 REASONS

The purpose of these rules is to minimize interference with and disruptions of the court's business and to preserve decorum in conducting the court's business.

2.0 DEFINITIONS

The term "person" shall refer to any person not a public employee associated with and on official business of the Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court or a licensed attorney with business in the Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court.

The term "premises" shall refer to all portions of the Courthouse Building other than the division and commissioner courtrooms, chambers; judicial administration, the attorney lounge and all en banc areas.

The term "Security Personnel" means the Gretna Police Department, the court division or commissioner bailiffs and/or any law enforcement agency charged with keeping court security.

The term "spectator" shall refer to any person without a direct participation in a particular case, hearing, conference, etc. with a division of the Court.

3.0 BUILDING ENTRANCE AND EXIT

The Jefferson Parish Thomas F. Donelon Building operating hours will be from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. After hours access will be limited by securing the public entrance doors through the General Government Building Rotunda.

All persons shall enter and leave the Thomas F. Donelon Building, the courtrooms, chambers and departments only through such doorways and at such times as shall be designated by security personnel. Upon entering the courthouse, all persons shall turn off all electronic communication devices, including cellular telephones. These items shall remain off unless such person receives specific authorization from a judge of this court.

3.1 Spectators

Spectators shall enter or depart courtrooms only at such times as the presiding judge may direct. Spectators excluded from a courtroom due to lack of seating and spectators leaving the courtroom while court is in session or at any recess shall not loiter or remain in the area adjacent to the courtroom or in any hallway. The atrium on the first floor is available for seating.

3.2 Judges - Elevator

Redacted

3.3 Judges - Entrance/Exit

Redacted

3.4 Enforcement

Security personnel shall enforce theses rules. In accordance with its contract with the parish, the Gretna Police Department and/or other agency charged by the sheriff and contracted with the parish to provide security in the courthouse shall provide security at all courthouse entrances and exits. In addition, they shall provide security in the hallways, other common areas of the courthouse (including Attorney-Client Conference rooms and the Attorney Lounge) and all secure locations of the building. Division and commissioner bailiffs shall provide security in their respective chambers and courtrooms. In addition, they shall periodically patrol the common areas (including any Attorney-Client Conference rooms) in and around the hallway and outside of said chambers in order to enforce these rules and to enforce quiet in the hallways. Nothing herein shall prohibit any duly certified peace officer with jurisdiction in this parish from assisting any Gretna Police Officer and/or bailiff in carrying out his duties.

Any attorney or person breaching the peace and or security is subject to all penalties prescribed by law as well as contempt of court sanctions.

4.0 GENERAL PUBLIC AREAS

4.1 General Public Area Conduct

A. No person shall:

1. Loiter, sleep, sit, lie down nor conduct himself/herself in an unseemly or disorderly manner on the premises, including speaking loudly;

2. Interfere with or disturb the conduct of the court's business in any manner;

3. Eat or drink in the corridors of the premises or in the courtrooms;

4. Block any entrance to or exit from the premises or interfere in any person's entry into or exit from the premises;

5. Answer or receive any electronic communication on any personal cellular telephone or other device without specific authorization from a judge of this court.

B. Notwithstanding, attorney's may meet briefly with clients and/or witnesses in the corridors outside of the courtrooms, although the use of attorney-client conference rooms is encouraged.

4.2 Attorney-Client Conference Rooms

The Attorney-Client Conference Rooms are assigned to specific divisions based on floor location and seniority of the judges on said floor. Each division is assigned one Attorney-Client Conference room on their respective floor. Any remaining rooms shall be assigned to the senior judges on that floor with a maximum of 2 assigned rooms per division.

The Attorney-Client Conference rooms are to remain locked. The assigned division shall retain the keys to their respective Attorney-Client Conference Room(s).

4.2.1 General Conference Room Conduct

A. No person shall:

1. Loiter, sleep or conduct himself/herself in an unseemly or disorderly manner in the conference room(s);

2. Interfere with or disturb the conduct of the court's business in any manner;

3. Eat or drink in the conference room(s);

4. Block any entrance to or exit from the conference room(s) or interfere in any person's entry into or exit from the same.

4.2.2 Equipment and Supplies

Any equipment other than that provided by the Court is the responsibility of the user. The Court assumes no liability for use of or loss of any item(s) brought into the conference room(s). All user equipment shall be removed upon exiting the conference room, unless a judge specifically allows otherwise. Attorneys shall not use these rooms for any reason other than meeting with clients or working on an ongoing case. Attorneys wishing to conduct personal business on their own laptop computer (or similar compact device) may do so in the Attorney Lounge.

No user shall use the walls of the conference room(s) for any purpose other than projection (i.e., no signs, graphs, charts, etc. of any kind may be temporarily or permanently affixed to any conference room wall).

Each division shall be allowed to locate a copier and/or file cabinet in one of their assigned Attorney-Client Conference room. However, that Attorney-Client Conference Room shall remain available for use as a conference room.

4.2.3 Condition of the Conference Room(s)

The conference room(s) shall be left in the same condition as they were prior to entering.

4.2.4 Acquiring a Conference Room

Any licensed attorney with business in a division of this court may use an Attorney-Client Conference Room for the purpose of meeting with a client(s), witness(es) or working on an ongoing case. On the day of business with the Court the attorney wishing to use the room may request the room from the administrative assistant of the assigned division. The attorney shall state the approximate length of time s/he needs the room. The administrative assistant will then facilitate unlocking the conference room.

Keys to the Attorney-Client Conference Rooms shall be distributed on a "first-come, first-served" basis. When more than one attorney seeks the same room at or about the same time, the Judge shall determine the room assignment. If the Attorney-Client Conference Room(s) of a respective division are occupied or committed, Attorneys may request the use of the Attorney-Client Conference Room(s) of another division from the assigned division.

Rooms may not be reserved other than as provided herein above.

4.3 Attorney Lounge

4.3.1 General Attorney Lounge Conduct

The Attorney Lounge is located on the fifth floor of the Thomas F. Donelon Building for the use of Attorneys only. It is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The lounge provides attorneys a variety of services and conveniences, such as refreshments, restrooms and kitchenette. It affords a quiet and comfortable place in which to work or relax. Refreshments are available, but may not be taken out of the lounge. All drinks, food and other trash must be properly disposed of prior to leaving the lounge and all tables must be left clean.

5.0 JUDGES - CHAMBERS AND COURTROOMS

5.1 Building Maintenance

Janitorial services will be provided by Jefferson Parish contractor at night time to all chambers and courtroom areas. Daytime janitorial will not be provided to areas where access is not available at night time.

5.2 Building Structure

All changes to interior spaces will need prior approval by Jefferson Parish. If the changes are approved by Jefferson Parish, the changes made will be at the expense of the 24th Judicial District Court.

Any work performed in the building by any outside source or contractor must have prior approval by Jefferson Parish.

No walls shall be added or removed and no door shall be added or removed without prior approval of Jefferson Parish. No locks are to be changed except by Jefferson Parish.

Any relocation of 24th Judicial District Court divisions or departments within the Thomas F. Donelon Building will be at the expense of the 24th Judicial District Court.