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

Domestic Rules

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Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson,
Efficiency Study of Court Commissioners and Domestic Hearing Officers:
"An Analysis of the Domestic Early Intervention Triage Program"

"An Updated Study of the Domestic Early Intervention Triage Program Utilizing Domestic Commissioners and Hearing Officers"
Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana

Law Review Article by Professor Bobby Marzine Harges on the 24th JDC Commissioners and Hearing Officers


TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT RULES

DOMESTIC EARLY INTERVENTION TRIAGE PROGRAM

Adopted and Effective: May 25, 2005

Revisions Adopted: August 30, 2006, Effective: January 1, 2007


Chapter 22 - JURISDICTION OF THE COURT
Chapter 23 - ORGANIZATION OF THE COURT
Rule 23.0 - Divisions of Court
Chapter 24 - SCHEDULING HEARINGS AND TRIALS; ORDER OF BUSINESS
Rule 24.0 - Scheduling Hearings; Scheduling Trials
Rule 24.1 - Order of Business
Rule 24.2 - Rule Day
Rule 24.3 - Matters Resolved Prior to a Scheduled Hearing Date
Chapter 25 - ALLOTMENT, RE-ALLOTMENT AND TRANSFER OF CASES; FORM OF PLEADINGS
Rule 25.0 - Allotment of Cases
Rule 25.1 - Pleadings in Allotted Cases
Rule 25.2 - Pleadings in Unallotted Cases
Rule 25.3 - Court's Signature
Rule 25.4 - Form of the Pleadings
Rule 25.5 - Signing Pleadings
Rule 25.6 - Re-Allotment of Cases
Rule 25.7 - Transfer of Cases
Rule 25.8 - Allotment of Cases Requiring a Protective Order
Chapter 26 - DISCOVERY
Rule 26. - General Provisions Governing Discovery
Rule 26.0 - Interrogatories
Rule 26.1 - Discovery Motions
Rule 26.2 - The Manner In Which Discovery Motions Shall be Addressed by the Court
Chapter 27 - PRE-TRIAL, SCHEDULING AND STATUS CONFERENCES
Rule 27.0 - Request
Rule 27.1 - Scheduling
Rule 27.2 - Pre-Trial Orders
Chapter 28 - PROCEDURE
Rule 28.0 - Agreements and Stipulations
Rule 28.1 - Payment of Costs Prior to Voluntary Dismissal
Rule 28.2 - Continuances
Rule 28.3 - Oral Arguments
Rule 28.4 - Extension of Time to Plead
Rule 28.5 - Hearing Before Judge to Whom Case Allotted
Chapter 29 - FEES FOR ATTORNEYS APPOINTED TO REPRESENT ABSENTEE DEFENDANTS
Rule 29.0 - Fees for Attorneys Appointed to Represent Absentee Defendants
Rule 29.1 - Requirements to Receive Appointments
Chapter 30 - ENROLLMENT AND WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL
Rule 30.0 - Enrollment and Withdrawal of Counsel
Chapter 31 - 25 WAIVER OF SERVICE AND CITATION
Rule 31.0 - Forms Required for Waiver of Service and Citation
Chapter 32 - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTIVE ORDERS
Rule 32.0 - Forms, Notices and Orders Required
Chapter 33 - CONFIRMATION OF DEFAULTS AND UNCONTESTED MATTERS UNDER LA. C.C. Art. 103 ACCORDING TO LA. C.C.P. Art. 1702 E
Rule 33.0 - Preliminary defaults
Rule 33.1 - Confirmation of defaults
Rule 33.2 - Judgments of Divorce in Chambers Pursuant to La. C.C.P. Art. 1702 E
Rule 33.3 - Summary Judgment of Divorce in Chambers Pursuant to La. C.C. Art. 103(1) and La. C.C.P. Art. 969
Rule 33.4 - Forms Required for Waiver of Service and Citation
Rule 33.5 - Time When Waiver May be Signed and Filed
Rule 33.6 - Consent Judgments and Stipulations of Fact on Incidental Matters and Community Property
Rule 33.7 - Time When Domestic Commissioner Will Address Default Judgments, Consent Judgments and Stipulations
Chapter 34 - DIVORCES PURSUANT TO LA. C.C. ART. 102
Rule 34.0 - Rules to Show Cause
Rule 34.1 - 28 Required Affidavits
Rule 34.2 - Attorney CertificationsM
Rule 34.3 - Dismissal of Divorce
Chapter 35 - SPOUSAL AND CHILD SUPPORT MATTERS ANCILLARY TO CIVIL DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS
Rule 35.0 - Use of Hearing Officers
Rule 35.1 - Notice and Exchange of Information
Rule 35.2 - Child Support Worksheet
Rule 35.3 - Pre-Trial Conferences
Rule 35.4 - Income Assignment Orders
Rule 35.5 - Interim Orders
Rule 35.6 - Arrearages
Chapter 36 - CHILD SUPPORT PURSUANT TO HEARING OFFICER PROCEEDING
Rule 36.0 - Notice and Exchange of Information
Rule 36.1 - Fixing Child Support
Rule 36.2 - Appeal
Rule 36.3 - Income Assignment Orders
Rule 36.4 - AFDC Paternity Suits
Rule 36.5 - Criminal Non-Support
Rule 36.6 - Arrearages
Rule 36.7 - Procedure for Posting/Recording Payments
Chapter 37 - PARTITION OF COMMUNITY PROPERTY
Rule 37.0 - Commencement of Proceedings
Rule 37.1 - Sworn Detailed Descriptive List
Rule 37.2 - Pre-Trial Procedures
Rule 37.3 - Extensions and Continuances
Rule 37.4 - Sanctions
Rule 37.5 - Summary Proceedings
Rule 37.6 - Alternatives for Resolution of Disposition of Assets
Rule 37.7 - Form of Judgment
Chapter 38 - CUSTODY AND VISITATION ORDERS
Rule 38.0 - Provisional/Temporary Custody
Rule 38.1 - Ex Parte Custody Orders
Rule 38.2 - Interim Orders
Rule 38.3 - Submission and Implementation of Joint Custody Plans
Rule 38.4 - Modification of a Custody or Visitation Order
Rule 38.5 - Alternative Procedures (Mediation, Parenting Classes)
Chapter 39 - OTHER RULES
Rule 39.0 - Other Rules


Chapter 22. JURISDICTION OF THE COURT


Chapter 23. ORGANIZATION OF THE COURT

Rule 23.0 Divisions of Court

A. Domestic cases in the 24th Judicial District Court shall be randomly allotted to all the divisions in the same manner as civil cases and shall be designated as domestic.
B. Domestic Cases Defined
Domestic cases shall consist of:

1. All domestic actions which involve separation, divorce or annulment proceedings; and all issues which are ancillary thereto;
2. All child related actions in marital and non-marital domestic cases and all issues ancillary thereto, except as provided herein;
3. All civil domestic protective orders issued including actions filed pursuant to The Domestic Abuse Assistance Act, The Post-Separation Family Violence Relief Act and Uniform Abuse Prevention Orders;
4. All actions filed seeking to have a foreign judgment or order, or judgment or order of any other judicial district of this state, recognized and enforced which are described within these rules;
5. Enforcement of orders in any of these matters, including the issue of contempt of court.
C. The District Court
All matters allotted to the domestic docket shall be heard by the district judge to whom the case is allotted in a timely manner unless the matter is resolved before the domestic commissioner or the domestic hearing officer as provided for in these rules. Nothing herein shall be construed or interpreted to limit the jurisdiction or authority of any district judge. It is the goal of the 24th Judicial District Court that each district judge hold an aggregate of two domestic rule days per month and an aggregate of one domestic trial week per month. The domestic docket may be commingled with other dockets. Emancipations and annulment proceedings shall be heard exclusively by the district court. These matters are excluded from the jurisdiction of the domestic commissioners and domestic 1 hearing officers.

D. Domestic Commissioners
1. Appointment of Domestic Commissioners The position of domestic commissioner for the 24th Judicial District Court, pursuant to La. R.S. 13:717, which shall consist of one or two domestic commissioners to hear matters as set forth herein, has been established.
2. Purpose: The domestic commissioner position has been created to facilitate an expedited process for the handling of domestic matters.
3. The Powers and Responsibilities of the Domestic Commissioner
a) Administer oaths and affirmations.
b) Conduct domestic abuse hearings including actions filed pursuant to the Domestic Abuse Assistance Act, the Post Separation Family Violence Relief Act, and Uniform Abuse Prevention Orders.
c) In cases where domestic abuse issues are pending, or where there has been a finding of domestic abuse, the domestic commissioner will address the issues normally heard by the domestic hearing officer with objections therefrom made to the district court as set forth in 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 (A).
d) Hear ex parte applications for immediate temporary/provisional custody and visitation rights which are pled under one of the following statutes:

i. La. R.S. 46:2131 et seq., Domestic Abuse Assistance Act;
ii. La. R. S. 9:361, 363, 364 Post Separation Family Violence Relief Act;
iii. La. R.S. 9:372;
iv. La. C.C.P. Art. 3601 et seq.;
v. La. C.C.P. Art. 3945.

e) Hear objections to recommendations from the hearing officer on stand alone non-support matters (allegations of back due child support which have previously been set when there is no motion to modify child support pending.)
f) Hear disputes concerning discovery and issuance of subpoenas.
g) Following a domestic hearing officer conference sign the interim judgment of the court ordering the implementation of the hearing officer recommendations pending filing of objections and a hearing before the district court.
h) Render consent judgments under La. C.C. Art. 3071 and uncontested judgments.
i) Render and sign judgments and orders confirming default judgments in accordance with the general provisions of law.
j) Grant uncontested divorces under La. C.C. Arts. 102 and 103, or pursuant to R.S. 9:307.
k) Hear exceptions and motions for extension of time.
l) Act as duty domestic commissioner, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with one and one-half (1½) hours for lunch, to address issues of immediate danger on an emergency basis when the domestic commissioner to whom a case has been allotted is unavailable and the issue relates to matters within the powers and responsibilities of the domestic commissioner.
m) Fine and punish for contempt of court in the same manner as a district court judge, as set forth in La. C.C.P. Arts. 221 through 227, when the allegedly contumacious conduct relates to a matter within the powers and responsibilities of the domestic commissioner, including finding of contempt before a hearing officer, as set forth herein.
n) Sign all orders pertaining to the duties enumerated above.
4. Limited Powers Pursuant to La. R.S. 13:717(F) the powers of the domestic commissioner are limited to those specifically enumerated herein. Nothing herein shall diminish the powers of the district court.
5. Signing of Orders The commissioner shall be available, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with one and one-half (1½) hours for lunch, for the signing of all orders allowed under these powers.
E. Domestic Hearing Officers
1.Appointment of Domestic Hearing Officers
There is hereby established the position of domestic hearing officer for the 24th Judicial District Court pursuant to La. R.S. 46:236.5. There shall be one or more domestic hearing officers to hear matters as set forth herein. The domestic hearing officers shall be appointed by the 24th Judicial District Court en banc and serve at the pleasure of the court.
2. Qualifications

a) The domestic hearing officer shall be a full-time or part-time employee of the court and shall be a member in good standing of the Louisiana State Bar Association who has practiced law for a minimum of five (5) years in a practice in which at least fifty (50%) percent of his or her case load involves domestic cases. This qualification does not apply to presently appointed hearing officers.
b) The domestic hearing officers shall be prohibited from appearing or practicing before the 24th Judicial District Court or the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court. Domestic hearing officers shall additionally be prohibited from handling any domestic law or domestic abuse matters in the State of Louisiana. This prohibition shall not be construed to create a conflict of interest within the meaning of the Rules of Professional Responsibility for a law firm in which a domestic hearing officer may be a member, partner or associate.
c) Other than the restrictions listed in (b) above, the domestic hearing officers shall be allowed to practice law, but such practice shall not interfere with their job duties and responsibilities as domestic hearing officer. Full time hearing officers are paid for seven (7) hours of work per day.
3. Compensation The court en banc shall fix the salary or salaries of the hearing officers and any other personnel hired or employed to implement this procedure.
4. Purpose The domestic hearing officer position is created to facilitate an expedited process, for the handling of domestic matters including divorce and all issues ancillary to a divorce proceeding pursuant to La. R.S. 46:236.5.
5. Powers and Responsibilities
a) The domestic hearing officers shall have authority to perform and shall perform any and all duties assigned by the court en banc which are consistent with La. R.S. 46:236.5 (C) (1) (2) (3) (4) and (5).
b) The domestic hearing officer shall act as a finder of fact and shall hear and make written recommendations to the court concerning any domestic matters, including but not limited to the following:

i. All issues which are ancillary to a domestic proceeding, including but not limited to:

a. use and occupancy of movables and immovables;
b. establishment, modification and method of collection of spousal support;
c. injunctive relief, except pursuant to La. R.S. 9:361 and 9:372 where there is an allegation of domestic abuse, fear for safety or imminent danger, La. C.C.P. Art. 3601 et seq., La. R.S. 46:2131, et seq., or La. R.S. 13:4248, or any motion to modify or dissolve an existing Louisiana Uniform Abuse Prevention Order;
d. community property;

ii. All child related actions in marital and non-marital cases, except issues concerning emancipation of minor children, domestic abuse and non emergency UCCJA, including but not limited to:

a. establishment, modification and method of collection of child support;
b. hear all stand alone non-support matters (allegations of back due child support which have previously been set when there is no motion to modify child support pending.)
c. establishment, modification and enforcement of child custody and visitation;
d. contested and uncontested paternity issues;

iii. Contempt;
iv. In cases in which a domestic abuse issue is pending or in which there has been a finding of domestic abuse, the defendant or adjudicated abuser may not appear before the domestic hearing officer during the period in which the abuse petition is pending or the protective order is in effect. In those cases the domestic commissioner will address the issues normally heard by the domestic hearing officer pursuant to Rule 23.0 (D) (3) (b).

c) In connection with his or her powers and responsibilities the hearing officer may:

i. Administer oaths and affirmations;
ii. Compel the attendance of witnesses and issue subpoenas;
iii. Recommend blood and tissue tests for the determination of paternity in accordance with R.S. 9:396 et seq.;
iv. Recommend the referral of parties to mediation, medical and psychological evaluation, and drug testing in accordance with R.S. 9:306 and 331 et seq., and make recommendations regarding the referral of parties to counseling and substance abuse treatment;
v. Recommend the appointment of special masters, accountants, other financial experts, real estate agents, appraisers of movables and immovables and other experts as deemed necessary;
vi. Hear and make recommendations on default orders or rules to show cause, if the absent party does not respond to notice;
vii. Hear and make recommendations on the punishment by the commissioner or court for constructive contempt of an order of the court, commissioner, or hearing officer;
viii. Issue bench warrants for the failure to respond to summons, or appear at hearings, or produce documents; as ordered by the hearing officer;
ix. Prepare a suggested scheduling order where appropriate;
x. Accept voluntary acknowledgments of support liabilities and stipulated agreements setting forth the amount of support to be paid;
xi. Sign and issue all rules nisi, orders to appear and show cause, and other orders necessary to the performance of the duties of the office;
xii. Prepare consent judgments, where appropriate, following the domestic hearing officer conference for immediate signature by all parties and the domestic commissioner;
xiii. Schedule additional conferences, hearings, rule dates as necessary.

Chapter 24. SCHEDULING HEARINGS AND TRIALS; ORDER OF BUSINESS

Rule 24.0 Scheduling Hearings; Scheduling Trials

A. Hearing or Trial Date before the District Court

1. The District Court All domestic matters shall be heard by the district judge to whom the case is allotted in a timely manner, unless the matter is resolved before the domestic commissioner or the domestic hearing officer as provided for in these rules.

a) Objections to Orders. A party shall have three (3) days from the receipt of the order, ruling, or judgment of the domestic commissioner to file a written objection to said order, ruling or judgment. Thereafter, the order, ruling or judgment of the domestic commissioner shall become the order, ruling or judgment of the court pursuant to La. R.S. 13:717.

i. Rendition of the judgment in open court constitutes notice to all parties present. La. C.C.P. Art. 1914.
ii. If neither a party nor counsel is present, the objection shall be filed within three (3) days of receipt of the judgment or order. Notice of the signing of the judgment or order shall be reduced to writing, filed in the record, and mailed in conformity of La. R. S. 13:717.

b) At the time an objection from an order, ruling, or judgment of the domestic commissioner is filed, the clerk of court shall endeavor to set a hearing or trial date on the docket of the district judge to whom the case was allotted within not less than thirty (30) nor more than thirty-five (35) days where an earlier date is not required by law, or these rules. When the matter was previously set on the district court's docket upon filing of the original pleading in question, the objection shall be heard on the district court's docket as originally set. In the case of an emergency, the district judge to whom the case was allotted shall address the matter immediately; if that judge is truly unavailable, the duty judge shall address the matter immediately.
c) If the hearing date before the district judge has not already been set, notice of said hearing date with the pleading shall be mailed or served in conformity with La. C.C.P. Art. 1313 et seq. upon the parties or counsel at the same time as service of the objection unless notice was given in open court or waived by both parties.
d) Any party who is aggrieved by a judgment entered by a district judge on objection from a decision of the domestic commissioner may appeal or take a writ from that judgment in the same manner as any other judgment entered by a district court.
2. The Domestic Commissioner
a) At the time a petition, motion, or rule to show cause is filed in which an issue exists which is within the authority and responsibility of both the district court and the domestic commissioner, the clerk of court shall endeavor to set the matter, except as listed below, on the docket of the domestic commissioner within not less than thirty (30) nor more then thirty-five (35) days of filing where an earlier, or later, date is not required by law. Exceptions may be set for hearing by motion of the exceptor prior to the scheduled hearing before the domestic commissioner.
b) The clerk of court shall endeavor to set a hearing or trial date before the district court division to whom the case is allotted for not less than forty (40) nor more than fifty-five (55) days following the filing of the original pleading in question, unless a shorter, or longer, period is required by law.
i. In the case of an emergency, the domestic commissioner to whom the case was allotted shall hear the matter without delay. If that domestic commissioner is truly unavailable, the other domestic commissioner, the district judge to whom the case is allotted, or the duty judge, in that order, shall hear the matter without delay. In the case of an objection to a ruling of the domestic commissioner, in an emergency matter, the district court shall hear the matter without delay.
ii. All initial pleadings filed pursuant to the Domestic Abuse Assistance Act, the Post-Separation Family Violence Relief Act, and motions for Uniform Abuse Prevention Orders shall be set at the time of filing on the docket of the domestic commissioner to be heard within the delays allowed by law.
iii. All initial actions to compel or enforce discovery shall be set for hearing on the docket of the domestic commissioner in not less than thirty (30) days nor more than thirty-five (35) days, unless an earlier, or later, date is required by law. Discovery motions may be heard on an earlier date if the domestic commissioner's docket can accommodate it.
c) A party who objects to a judgment or order of the domestic commissioner on matters set forth in these rules shall file a written objection as set forth in Rule 24.0 (A) (1).
3. The Domestic Hearing Officers
a) At the time a pleading is filed in which an issue exists which is within the authority and responsibility of both the district court or the domestic commissioner and the hearing officer and requiring a domestic hearing officer conference, the clerk of court shall endeavor to set a domestic hearing officer conference date before the hearing officer in not less than thirty (30) nor more than thirty-five (35) days of the date of filing, unless an earlier, or later, date is required by law.
b) The clerk of court shall endeavor to set a hearing or trial date before the court or domestic commissioner to whom the case was allotted in not less than forty (40) nor more than fifty-five (55) days following the filing of the pleading, unless an earlier, or later, date is required by law, as set forth in Rule 23.
c) The Notice of Hearing Officer Conference and Notice of Hearing Date of Suit, Appendix-1, Hearing Officer Conference Order, Appendix-2, Hearing Officer Conference Affidavit, Appendix-3, and Statement of Income and Expenses, Appendix-4 shall be served upon opposing counsel or defendant in rule if there is no counsel of record at the same time as service of the pleading.
i. The defendant in rule shall be served by the sheriff or in accordance with Louisiana law (La. C.C.P. Arts. 1313, 1314).
ii. The Notice of Hearing Officer Conference and Notice of Hearing Date of Suit, Hearing Officer Conference Order, Hearing Officer Conference Affidavit, and Statement of Income and Expenses will be mailed by the clerk of court to the plaintiff/mover unless plaintiff, counsel or counsel's representative received these documents from the clerk by hand on date of filing.
iii. The Hearing Officer Conference Affidavit and Statement of Income and Expenses shall be completed and delivered to the opposing party and to the hearing officer not later than five (5) days, exclusive of weekends and legal holidays prior to the domestic hearing officer conference.
d) Upon filing of all pleadings in any ongoing matter within the authority and responsibility of the domestic hearing officer, the clerk of court shall deliver to the plaintiff and the defendant a Notice of Hearing Officer Conference and Notice of Hearing Date of Suit, Hearing Officer Conference Order, Hearing Officer Conference Affidavit, and Statement of Income and Expenses by the means described above.
i. A new affidavit and statement of income and expenses must be completed in any cases in which there are changes in the answers to the questions asked in the affidavit or statement of income and expenses.
ii. The Hearing Officer Conference Affidavit and Statement of Income and Expenses shall be completed and delivered to the opposing party and to the hearing officer not later than five (5) days, exclusive of weekends and legal holidays prior to the domestic hearing officer conference.
e) A party shall have three (3) days from the receipt of the recommendation or order of the domestic hearing officer to file a written objection to said recommendation or order. Thereafter, the recommendation of the domestic hearing officer shall become the judgment of the court. The objecting party shall file a memorandum on the law and facts with the district court judge within five (5) working days of the date the objection is filed.
i. Presentation of the recommendation or order to the parties and/or counsel at the hearing officer conference constitutes notice to all parties present.
ii. If neither the party nor that party's attorney is present, the objection shall be filed within three (3) days of receipt of the recommendation or order. Notice of the signing of the recommendation or order shall be mailed in conformity with La. C.C.P. Art. 1313. Receipt is presumed five (5) days after mailing.
iii. The court or domestic commissioner shall hear the objection to the hearing officer recommendation or order on the date previously set pursuant to Rule 24.0 (3) (B), as set forth in Rule 23.
f) Any party who is aggrieved by a judgment entered by a district judge on appeal from an objection from a recommendation of the domestic hearing officer may appeal or apply for a writ from that judgment in the same manner as any other judgment entered by a district court.
4. Hearing matters timely Any matters within the powers and responsibilities of the domestic commissioner or the domestic hearing officer which cannot be heard in a timely manner or within the 9 delays prescribed by law or the rules of court shall be heard in a timely manner and within the delays prescribed by law or the rules of court by the judge of the division to whom the case was allotted. In case of emergency where the district judge to whom the case was allotted is truly unavailable, by the duty district judge.
5. Voices for Children At the time an original petition is filed in any domestic case in which children are involved, an order shall be issued requiring that both parents, and children between the ages of 5 and 16, attend Voices for Children and provide the court with certification of attendance. Failure to attend within sixty (60) days of filing may result in sanctions.

Rule 24.1 Order of Business

A. The Order of Business
Except in emergencies the court should give cases preference in the following order:

1. Any matters, whether criminal, domestic or civil, seeking injunctive or emergency relief such as expropriations, habeas corpus;
2. Interdiction;
3. Criminal cases;
4. Domestic cases;
5. Non-domestic civil cases.
B. Domestic Hearing Officer Conferences
1. Domestic hearing officer conferences will normally be scheduled on Monday through Friday from 8:00 o'clock a.m. to 4:30 o'clock p.m.
2. Domestic hearing officer conferences will normally be scheduled for one and one half (1½) hours, unless a party or counsel makes a written request for a conference period of up to two hours.
3. The hearing officer may, in his or her discretion, schedule additional conferences, hearings, rule dates as necessary.
a) If there are complicated or extraordinary issues that will require a longer hearing officer conference, the parties shall notify the hearing officer of this fact at the time the initial pleading is filed. Thereafter, the hearing officer will schedule a longer hearing officer conference to accommodate the issues in the case.
b) If the hearing officer determines that there exists a situation which demands immediate attention, the hearing officer may schedule the hearing officer conference at an earlier date at the request of the parties.
c) All attorneys shall bring their calendars to the hearing officer conference to facilitate in scheduling additional conferences or rule dates.
4. Attendance and participation at hearing officer conferences is mandatory for attorneys and litigants.
5. Motions to continue hearing officer conferences are discouraged. Where possible, no hearing officer conference should be continued except within the delays prior to the pre-set date before the district court or domestic commissioner.
6. When any matter set before the domestic hearing officer and the district court or domestic commissioner is completely resolved before the hearing date, the mover(s) or their counsel shall immediately notify the hearing officer and the district court or domestic commissioner, in writing, by fax or mail, that the matter has been resolved so that other matters may be set.
7. The written recommendation of the hearing officer shall contain all of the following:
a) A statement of the pleadings;
b) A statement of the findings of fact by the hearing officer;
c) A statement as to the findings of law based on the pleadings and the facts, including his or her opinion thereon;
d) A proposed judgment.
8. Consent Judgments
a. Every effort will be made to reduce all agreements reached between the parties at the hearing officer conference to a consent judgment prepared contemporaneously with the hearing officer conference while the parties and their attorneys are present before the hearing officer.

i. The hearing officers will make every attempt to prepare these consent judgments for the parties during the hearing officer conference.
ii. The court will provide computers and printers to permit counsel of record to prepare these consent judgments before leaving the courthouse at times when the hearing officer is unable to prepare the judgment. The court encourages counsel to prepare these judgments before leaving the courthouse.
iii. All consent judgments which have been reduced to writing during the hearing officer conference shall immediately be presented to the domestic commissioner for signature and filed into the record; in any instance in which no domestic commissioner is available, before the duty judge.
b. All consent judgments which have not been reduced to writing during the hearing officer conference may be read into the record before the domestic commissioner immediately following the hearing officer conference; in any instance in which the domestic commissioner is unavailable, before the duty judge. Such consent judgments shall be reduced to writing, distributed between counsel and/or unrepresented parties, signed by all counsel of record, and/or parties, and submitted to the domestic commissioner for signature within ten (10) working days of the domestic hearing officer conference. Conflicts between the parties as to the contents of consent judgments shall be addressed by the hearing officer in the manner specified in these rules.
c. The domestic commissioner shall establish regular times throughout the day which are convenient to the domestic hearing officers' schedules to address consent judgments, default judgments and stipulations.
9. The domestic commissioner shall sign an interim judgment implementing the hearing officer recommendations pending the filing of an objection and hearing before the district court.
10. A copy of any written recommendations, orders, rulings, or judgments resulting from the hearing officer conference shall be provided to the parties and their counsel at the time of the conference, if present. Any party who disagrees with a recommendation, order, ruling or judgment resulting from the hearing officer conference shall file a written objection.
a. If all parties or counsel are present before the hearing officer, the objection shall be filed within three (3) days of receipt of the recommendation, order, ruling or judgment.
b. If neither party nor counsel is present before the hearing officer, the notice of the signed recommendations, orders, rulings or judgment shall be reduced to writing, filed in the record and mailed in conformity with La. R.S.13:717. Any objection shall be filed within three (3) days of receipt of the notice in conformity with La. R.S. 13:717.
c. The objection shall be heard by the district judge or domestic commissioner to whom the case is allotted as provided by these rules. The matter shall be heard by the district judge or domestic commissioner as a contradictory hearing wherein the judge or commissioner shall accept, reject, or modify in whole or in part the findings and recommendations of the hearing officer. The district judge or domestic commissioner may receive evidence at the hearing or remand the proceeding to the hearing officer, as set forth in Rule 23.
11. If no written objection is filed with the clerk of court as prescribed in Section E above, the recommendation, order or judgment, shall become a final judgment of the court and shall be signed by a district judge and appealable as a final judgment. The judgment, after signature by a district judge, shall be served upon the parties in accordance with law. The judgment shall be submitted by the party ordered by the hearing officer to do so. The duty to present a final judgment to the district court is incumbent upon the parties.
C. Duty Officers Each week one district judge shall act as duty judge. The duty judge shall remain in the courthouse from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. except for one and one-half (1½) hour lunch break. The duty judge should handle all matters on the domestic docket which would regularly be handled by the district judge to whom a case is allotted, in instances in which the district judge to whom a case is allotted is truly unavailable. Truly unavailable means not in the courthouse.

Rule 24.2 Rule Day

It is the goal of the 24th Judicial District Court that each district judge hold an aggregate of two domestic rule days per month and an aggregate of one domestic trial week per month.

Rule 24.3 Matters Resolved Prior to a Scheduled Hearing Date

When any matter set before the district court, the domestic commissioner, or the domestic hearing officer, is completely resolved before the hearing date, mover(s) or their counsel shall immediately notify the district court, domestic commissioner and/or the hearing officer that the matter has been resolved.

Chapter 25. ALLOTMENT, RE-ALLOTMENT AND TRANSFER OF CASES; FORM OF PLEADINGS

Rule 25.0 Allotment of Cases

A. Domestic cases shall be allotted to divisions of the court by the clerk of court in the same manner as civil cases and shall be designated as domestic.
B. No case shall be allotted which has not been regularly filed and docketed.
C. At the time of filing, each case shall be simultaneously assigned by random allotment to a district judge and a domestic commissioner.
D. Domestic hearing officers shall be assigned to district court divisions. Domestic hearing officer conferences for cases allotted to a division of district court will be conducted by the domestic hearing officer assigned to that division of court. If the assigned domestic hearing officer is truly unavailable any other domestic hearing officer may conduct the domestic hearing officer conference.
E. The proceeding first filed, unless abandoned or dismissed as a matter of law, shall be the proceeding for all subsequent litigation in the case. Upon filing, the clerk shall certify whether there are prior domestic pleadings filed between the same parties.
F. At the time an initial pleading in a domestic case is filed, the clerk of court shall provide the parties or their attorneys with the following forms: Notice of Hearing Officer Conference and Notice of Hearing Date of Suit, Hearing Officer Conference Order, Hearing Officer Conference Affidavit, and Statement of Income and Expenses in the manner set forth in Rule 24.0 (C) and (D).
G. Litigants represented by the Pro Bono Project, New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation, New Orleans Family Services, Tulane Law School Clinic, Loyola Law School Clinic and litigants who are receiving public assistance or who qualify under La. C.C.P. Art. 5183 shall enjoy the rebuttable presumption of pauper status.

Rule 25.1 Pleadings in Allotted Cases

A. All pleadings or motions between the same parties filed in domestic cases must be filed in the first suit filed by either party. The proceeding first filed, unless abandoned or dismissed as a matter of law, shall be the proceeding for all subsequent litigation in the case.
1. Upon filing, the clerk shall certify whether there are prior domestic pleadings filed between the same parties.
2. Where there is an earlier case between the same parties the clerk of court shall transmit the earlier record to the court along with the new filing and conform to the requirements of 24 J.D.C. Domestic Rule 25.
B. When pleadings are filed in any new or ongoing matter within the authority and responsibility of the domestic hearing officer, 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 (3) (D) shall be complied with.

Rule 25.2 Pleadings in Unallotted Cases

Rule 25.3 Court's Signature

A. Whenever possible judgments should be presented to the court or commissioner for signature immediately following the hearing.
B. Attorneys and litigants presenting judgments to the court for signature at a time after the judgment is rendered must comply with Uniform District Court Rule 9.5 and 24t' J.D.C. Domestic Rule 28.
C. Attorneys presenting judgments to the court for signature at a time after the judgment shall present the judgment to the court for signing within ten (10) days of the date the judgment was rendered or agreement reached. When a dispute exists which causes a judgment to remain unsigned for more than ten (10) days, the parties shall obtain a transcript of the court's oral judgment and set the matter for an immediate status conference/rule with the district judge, domestic commissioner or domestic hearing officer as appropriate.
D. When the district judge, domestic commissioner or other domestic hearing officer to whom a case is allotted is truly unavailable the duty judge, domestic commissioner or domestic hearing officer shall sign pleadings presented as necessary and as allowed by La. C. C. P. Art. 194. The duty judge, domestic commissioner, and hearing officer shall be available each day of scheduled duty from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Rule 25.4 Form of the Pleadings

A. All domestic pleadings filed shall be designated as such on the face of the pleading and docketed as such by the clerk of court.
1. Suit captions in all annulment, divorce and separation matters and all domestic cases shall include the parties' full names together with a woman's maiden name and her married name if applicable, and the judge's division, commissioner and hearing officer to which it is allotted.
2. Divorce petitions shall clearly state within the title of the suit whether the petitioner is seeking a divorce under La. C.C. Art. 102 or 103, or R.S. 9:307.
B. Any pleading, brief, memorandum and/or correspondence filed with the court shall be furnished contemporaneously and in the same manner to the opposing counsel or party, if unrepresented, and shall be accompanied by a certificate of compliance with this rule.
C. The delays for filing of pleadings, briefs or memoranda and response thereto prior to hearing shall, except where specifically addressed in these rules, conform to the Uniform District Court Rules 9.8, 9.9, 9.10.
D. When a pleading is filed in any domestic matter where child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, community property, use and occupancy of movables and immovables is or may become an issue, the parties shall complete a Hearing Officer Conference Affidavit, and Statement of Income and Expenses in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 A (3) (C) unless current forms have previously been filed.
1. The clerk of court shall cause to be served upon counsel for the opposing party, or the opposing party where unrepresented, a certified copy of the original pleading and the forms required by 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 (3) (C) and (D).
2. The forms shall be completed and exchanged by the parties and delivered to the hearing officer not less than five (5) working days prior to the hearing officer conference.
E. In any domestic matter in which pleadings and/or hearing officer packets are filed which do not substantially conform to the rules of this court, or judgments are not submitted in a timely manner, the district judge, the domestic commissioner or the domestic hearing officer may impose such sanctions as it may deem appropriate, and as provided by law, including but not limited to:
1. A denial of the right to oral argument;
2. A continuance of the hearing to permit opposing counsel to adequately prepare for the hearing;
3. An award of costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, to the opposing party, to compensate such party for the time and expense lost; The reasonable attorney’s fee sanction shall be up to $250.00 from the offending attorney or pro se litigant to the aggrieved attorney or pro se litigant. This sanction shall also be applicable to attorneys or litigants that unjustifiably fail to appear at scheduled hearing officer conferences or district court trial, without prior notice to the hearing officer or court.
4. A summary ruling against the party who failed to submit proper pleadings timely.
5. A finding of contempt and imposition of fines and penalties.

Rule 25.5 Signing Pleadings

Rule 25.6 Re-Allotment of Cases

Rule 25.7 Transfer of Cases

A. A domestic case which is allotted as a new case where a case already exists between the same parties which has neither been abandoned or dismissed shall be transferred to the division of court to which the original pleading was allotted and consolidated with the first filed case in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 25.1.
B. This rule shall be applied so that cases remain with the division, domestic commissioner and domestic hearing officer to which they were first allotted and the parties appear before the same division, domestic commissioner and domestic hearing officer in all matters.

Rule 25.8 Allotment of Cases Requiring a Protective Order

A. If a protective order is the initial proceeding filed, it shall be randomly allotted to a district judge, and domestic commissioner.
B. If at the time of filing of a petition for protective order, a proceeding between the same parties has been filed, the petition for protective order shall be filed in the original case.
C. The domestic commissioner shall conduct domestic abuse hearings including actions filed pursuant to the Domestic Abuse Assistance Act, the Post-Separation Family Violence Relief Act, and Uniform Abuse Prevention Orders within the delays allowed by law.
D. Appeals from judgments of the domestic commissioner shall be filed in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 (A) (1).

Chapter 26. DISCOVERY

Rule 26.0 General Provisions Governing Discovery

A. All discovery shall be conducted in conformity with Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Chapter 3, Art. 1420 et seq. which are incorporated herein by reference.
B. All discovery shall, until Uniform Louisiana Family and Domestic Relations Rules are codified, conform to Louisiana Uniform District Court Rules 10.00 et seq. which are incorporated herein by reference.

Rule 26.0 Interrogatories

A. Discovery requests propounded pursuant to La. C.C.P. Art. 1420, et seq. shall be served upon opposing counsel or parties, but shall not be filed with the court, unless a domestic hearing officer, domestic commissioner or district judge orders that such be filed, or said discovery pleadings become the subject of a motion or rule or an exhibit. The party responsible for service of the discovery material shall retain the original and become the custodian of any such non-filed materials.
B. During an entire proceeding, written interrogatories served in accordance La. C.C.P. Art. 1457 shall not exceed thirty-five (35) in number, including subparts, without leave of court.
C. If relief is sought pursuant to La. C.C.P. Art. 1469, concerning discovery which has been propounded, copies of the discovery requests in issue and responses, if any, shall be filed with the court contemporaneously with the filing of any such motion.

Rule 26.1 Discovery Motions

Before filing any discovery motion, the moving party must comply with Rule 10.1 of the Uniform Louisiana District Court Rules. Rule 26.2 The Manner In Which Discovery Motions Shall be Addressed by the Court

A. At the time a discovery motion is filed in which an issue exists which is within the authority and responsibility of both the district court and the domestic commissioner, the clerk of court shall endeavor to set the matter on the docket of the domestic commissioner in not less than thirty (30) nor more than thirty-five (35) days of filing where an earlier date is not required by law, or within the delays allowed by law, if shorter. Discovery motions may be heard on an earlier date if both parties and the domestic commissioner are available and notice and delays are waived.
B. At the time a discovery motion is filed, the clerk of court shall also endeavor to set a hearing date before the district division to whom the case was allotted in not less than forty (40) nor more than fifty-five (55) days following the filing of the original discovery motion, unless a shorter period is required by law, then within the delays required by law. The objection may be heard on an earlier date if both parties and the district judge are available and notice and delays are waived.
C. A party shall have three (3) days from the receipt of the order, ruling, or judgment of the domestic commissioner to file a written objection to said order, ruling or judgment in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 (A) (1).
D. Notice of the order, ruling, or judgment of the domestic commissioner shall be given to all parties as provided in 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 (A).
E. If no written objection is filed with the clerk of court as prescribed above, the order, ruling, or judgment of the domestic commissioner shall become a judgment of the court and shall be signed by a district judge. The judgment after signature by a district judge shall be served upon the parties in accordance with the law. The duty to present a final judgment to the district court is incumbent upon the parties.

Chapter 27. PRE-TRIAL, SCHEDULING AND STATUS CONFERENCES

Rule 27.0 Request

A. Pre-trial conferences, scheduling, and status conferences are not mandatory, but may be scheduled in individual cases by the judge, or the domestic commissioner as to matters within his or her areas of responsibility, either on the judge or commissioner's own motion or on request of a party in conformity with La. C.C.P. Art. 1551.
B. The following matters may be considered at the pre-trial, scheduling or status conference in conformity with La. C.C.P. Art. 1551.

1. The simplification of the issues, including the elimination of frivolous claims or defenses;
2. The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings;
3. What material facts and issues exist without substantial controversy, and what material facts and issues are actually in good faith controverted;
4. Proof, stipulations regarding the authenticity of documents, and advance rulings from the court on the admissibility of evidence;
5. Limitations or restrictions on or regulation of the use of expert testimony under La. Code of Evidence Art. 702;
6. The control and scheduling of discovery;
7. The identification of witnesses, documents, and exhibits;
8. Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.
C. During such conferences, the parties are expected to disclose their respective positions and to stipulate as to all matters not at issue. The court or commissioner shall cause such stipulations to be placed on the record to conserve time at trial or hearing. The parties at such conference may likewise be required to state objections or lack thereof to any exhibit, document, photograph, or other such evidence which another party to the suit proposes to offer in evidence.
D. At such conferences, the court or commissioner, in its discretion, may seek to advise and assist the parties to achieve a voluntary resolution of their differences.
E. The court or commissioner should not be expected, at any stage of the proceedings, to force any compromise upon reluctant counsel or parties. Counsel are expected to appear at conferences knowing what authority, if any, their respective client will grant with respect to resolving the differences between the parties. If there is any reasonable prospect of compromise, counsel are expected to exert reasonable efforts to that end prior to and during such conferences.
F. The court or commissioner, within the areas of his or her responsibility, may require counsel for the parties to confer in advance of the conference for the purpose of arriving at all possible stipulations, exchanging copies of all documents which may be offered in evidence at the trial or hearing, preparing a list of names and addresses of all witnesses (except those to be used for impeachment or rebuttal) who will or may testify at the trial, and for the further purpose of preparing for submission to the court or commissioner a pre-trial order.
G. If a party's attorney fails to obey a pre-trial order, or to appear at the pre-trial, scheduling or status conference, or is substantially unprepared to participate in the conference or fails to participate in good faith, the court, or commissioner, on its own motion or on the motion of a party, after hearing, may make such orders as are just, including orders provided in La. C.C.P. Art. 1471 (2), (3), and (4). In lieu of or in addition to any other sanction, the court may require the party or the attorney representing the party or both to pay the reasonable expenses incurred by noncompliance with this paragraph, including attorney fees.
H. The judge or commissioner, as to matters within his or her area of responsibility, shall render an order which recites the action taken at the conference. Such order controls the subsequent course of the action, unless modified at the trial to prevent manifest injustice.

Rule 27.1 Scheduling

A. A party requesting a pre-trial, scheduling or status conference must deliver the original and one copy of a motion to the clerk of court. The clerk of court shall file the original in the suit record, and route the copy to the judge or commissioner as to matters which are within the commissioner's area of responsibility.
B. The court or domestic commissioner, as to matters within his or her area of responsibility, shall set the conference at a time when the court or commissioner and both parties are available.
C. Notice of the date of the conference shall be mailed by the court or commissioner, where appropriate, to all counsel of record. The notice shall contain information about the pre-trial order if the court or commissioner requires that one be filed.
D. The conference may be held by any appropriate means, including in person, by telephone, or teleconference, at the direction of the court or commissioner where appropriate.

Rule 27.2 Pre-Trial Orders

A. Upon receipt of a request for a pre-trial, scheduling or status conference, the court or the commissioner, as to matters within his or her areas of responsibility, may order that a written pre-trial order be submitted.
B. If a pre-trial order is required, it shall conform to the pre-trial order form contained at Appendix-5 or to the form specified by the court or commissioner in his or her notification to the parties of the conference date.

Chapter 28. PROCEDURE

Rule 28.0 Agreements and Stipulations

A. All consent matters shall be set on the docket of, or heard by, the domestic commissioner to whom the case was allotted. If that commissioner is truly unavailable, the matter shall be set on the docket of the other domestic commissioner. If that commissioner is truly unavailable, the matter shall be set on the docket of the duty judge. If the duty judge is truly unavailable, the matter shall be set on the docket of any other district judge as specified in the rules of court.

1. Consent judgments prepared by the hearing officer at the conclusion of the conference shall be referred immediately to the domestic commissioner to be signed; if the domestic commissioners are truly unavailable, by the duty judge as described above.
2. The domestic commissioner shall be available to place consent judgments resulting from hearing officer conferences on the record and to sign them on completion of the hearing officer conference. If the domestic commissioners are truly unavailable, the domestic commissioners office shall inform the duty judge who shall make him or herself available for this purpose.
3. Consent matters, other than those resulting from a hearing officer conference, may be placed on the docket of the domestic commissioner and may be docketed Monday through Friday by tendering to the clerk of court, by hand or by facsimile, by 2:00 p.m. on the day preceding the hearing, the printed slip provided by the clerk for this purpose and set as described above at subparagraph 2. If the domestic commissioners are truly unavailable, these matters shall be set on the docket of the duty judge or as described above at paragraph A.
B. Consent judgments, when reduced to writing, shall be signed by all counsel of record and/or the parties and filed in the record and submitted to either the district judge or domestic commissioner for signature.
C. Consent judgments resulting from a hearing officer conference, but not prepared at the conclusion of the conference while both parties are present, shall be prepared and submitted to the court by the party ordered by the hearing officer to do so within ten (10) days of the hearing officer conference. If there is an objection, the objecting party shall immediately submit the objection to the hearing officer in writing with the hearing officer's recommendation sheet. In the event the judgment is not circulated to counsel for all parties and to unrepresented parties, within five (5) days after the hearing officer conference, the other party may prepare and present a judgment, in accordance with La. District Court Rule 9.5, to the domestic commissioner. If the judgment is submitted without the opposing counsel's signature or if the judgment is submitted in a matter where the opposing party is unrepresented, the judgment shall be presented to the domestic commissioner with the hearing officer's recommendation sheet.
D. The court will accept agreements and stipulations between counsel concerning the conduct, trial or continuance of a matter only if they are:
1. Written and filed in the record; or
2. Made in open court and entered on the minutes; or
3. Otherwise acknowledged in writing by the parties or their counsel.
E. Written stipulations of counsel shall be signed by all counsel of record and filed in the record. If such stipulations are reached at a hearing officer conference or a pre-trial conference while the domestic commissioner or the court is in session, the stipulations may be dictated into the record.
1. Any written stipulation regarding child support shall include a statement that the child support award is in accordance with the Louisiana Child Support Guidelines. If the stipulation is not in accordance with the guidelines, then the reasons for deviations shall be set forth in the stipulation.
2. Any written stipulation or judgment involving joint custody shall include a Joint Custody Implementation Plan. See the Family Law Handbook for a suggested plan.
3. Any written stipulation or judgment involving modification of child support shall comply with La. R.S. 9:311 and La. R.S. 9:313. Any judgment of child support shall also be accompanied by the State Case Registry Data Form and shall include an order requiring that the parents provide the state case registry with any change in the information required by La. R.S. 9:313 (B) (1).
F. Any judgment, stipulation or agreement may include a provision for payment of court costs.

Rule 28.1 Payment of Costs Prior to Voluntary Dismissal

Any party filing a motion for voluntary dismissal shall obtain from the clerk of court a certification that all costs have been paid.

Rule 28.2 Continuances

A. Continuances are governed by La. C.C.P. Arts. 1601-1605, and La. District Court Rule 9.17 both with reference to discretionary grounds and peremptory grounds.
B. Unopposed motions for continuance shall be submitted in writing. The attorney or party filing such motion shall affirmatively represent within the body of the motion that the other party or counsel has been consulted and has no objection to granting the continuance. Deliberate failure of an attorney or party to comply with this rule may subject such attorney or party to appropriate sanctions. Each unopposed motion for continuance shall contain an order resetting the hearing date, unless the parties have agreed to an indefinite continuance of the matter.
C. Opposed motions for continuance shall be submitted for contradictory hearing before the court. No ex parte motions for continuance shall be granted over the objection of opposing counsel, or unrepresented parties, except for good cause shown.
D. Motions to continue hearing officer conferences shall be directed to the hearing officer to whom the case is allotted.

1. Hearing officer conferences shall be continued only for good cause shown. Every attempt shall be made to conduct hearing officer conferences on the date and time originally set.
2. Whenever possible, hearing officer conferences shall be reset only within the period prior to the date set before the district court.
3. Hearing officer conferences shall not be continued without date unless the case is being dismissed, except for good cause.
4. Upon granting a motion to continue a hearing officer conference to a date after the scheduled district court date, the hearing officer shall notify the district court of the continuance and shall reset the matter on the dockets of both the hearing officer and the district court.

Rule 28.3 Oral Arguments

Oral argument is a privilege, not a right, and is within the court's discretion. Whenever possible the court will afford any party an opportunity for oral argument.

Rule 28.4 Extension of Time to Plead

A. Any motion for extension of time shall state:

1. The date on which the defendant or responding party was served;
2. Whether a hearing officer conference, commissioner, or district court date is set and, if so, the date and time; and
3. Whether the motion is the first or a subsequent request.
B. Every attempt shall be made to hold hearing officer conferences and district court and commissioner hearings and trials on the dates originally set. In the event a motion for extension of time is granted, every attempt shall be made to grant the extension of time for a period which will preserve the hearing officer conference, commissioner and district court dates originally set.
C. Except by written consent of all parties, or for good cause shown, only one order will be signed ex parte extending the time for pleading and such extension will not be in excess of thirty (30) days beyond the time allowed by law.
D. Motions and rules for any other extensions or exceptions shall be tried contradictorily, with preference.

Rule 28.5 Hearing Before Judge to Whom Case Allotted

A. Matter Heard by Judge to Whom Allotted. Except matters reserved to the domestic commissioners and domestic hearing officers by these rules and except as allowed by La. C.C.P. Art. 253.3, all contested matters must be heard by the judge to whom the matter was allotted. If all parties and both judges consent, a judge other than the one allotted the action may hear the matter. The judge to whom the action has been allotted may designate any other judge to sign such orders and set such hearings, and in his or her absence, to hear such matters as necessary to comply with law, or when deemed to be an emergency, in accordance with La. C.C.P. Art. 253.3.
B. Allotment; Signing of Pleadings in Allotted. To the extent allowed by La. C.C.P. Art. 253.3, the 24th Judicial District Court may designate in accordance with the local rules and as set forth in Appendix 3 of the La. District Court Rules: (1) those matters that ordinarily will not be allotted to a particular division of the court and instead will be signed by the duty judge or commissioner or by any judge authorized to sign such pleadings; and (2) those pleadings that, although filed in actions that will be allotted, may be presented for signature to the duty judge or commissioner or to any judge authorized to sign such pleadings.

Chapter 29. FEES FOR ATTORNEYS APPOINTED TO REPRESENT ABSENTEE DEFENDANTS

Rule 29.0 Fees for Attorneys Appointed to Represent Absentee Defendants

A. The fee for appointment as attorney to represent an absentee defendant is fixed at the sum of $375.00. Additionally, reasonable costs, such as certified mail and/or advertisement, shall be paid with leave of court. Litigants desiring the appointment of an attorney to represent an absentee shall deposit the fee, at the time of filing the request for appointment, with the clerk of court, and shall certify to the court in the order seeking such appointment that the fee has been paid in full in advance. The court may order an additional fee for the appointed attorney should it be necessary for multiple court appearances or extraordinary efforts to discharge duties pursuant to the appointment.
B. Attorneys appointed after the filing of a petition for divorce required by La. C.C. Art. 102 and before the filing of the rule to show cause required by La. C.C. Art. 102 shall be re-appointed, if necessary, at the time of the filing of the rule to show cause, unless the court determines such re-appointment is not possible. Impediments to such re-appointments shall be brought to the court's attention at the time of filing of the rule to show cause. Attorneys accepting the initial appointment thereby consent to subsequent re-appointment.
C. It is the duty of an attorney appointed to represent a defendant who is a non-resident, or absentee, to act in accordance with La. C.C.P. Art. 5093, et. seq. The plaintiff, or counsel, shall furnish to the attorney appointed to represent the absent defendant all information which he or she may have concerning the whereabouts of the absent defendant. All correspondence by an attorney appointed to represent an absentee shall be directed to the absentee by registered or certified mail.
D. In all cases for separation and divorce where the defendant resides in a foreign country the government of which is recognized by the government of the United States, the attorney appointed by the court to represent the absent defendant shall, immediately upon his appointment, notify the consul or consular agent of such foreign country, in writing, of the number and title of the suit, the ground(s) of the complaint, the last known address of the absent defendant, and the name and address of the attorney for the plaintiff.

Rule 29.1 Requirements to Receive Appointments

In order to receive an appointment as an attorney for an absentee, an individual must be a member in good standing of the Louisiana State Bar Association.

Chapter 30. ENROLLMENT AND WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL

Rule 30.0 Enrollment and Withdrawal of Counsel

Enrolled attorneys have, apart from their own interests, continuing legal and ethical duties to their clients, all adverse parties, and the court. Accordingly, the following requirements govern any motion to withdraw as counsel of record.

A. The withdrawing attorney who does not have written consent from the client must make a good faith attempt to notify the client in writing of the withdrawal and of the status of the case on the court's docket. The attorney must deliver or mail this notice to the client before filing any motion to withdraw.
B. If the action or proceeding has been assigned to a particular division of the court, then the motion to withdraw must be submitted to the judge presiding over that division.
C. Any motion to withdraw must include the following information:

1. The motion must state the current or last-known street address and mailing address of the withdrawing attorney's client. The withdrawing attorney must also furnish this information to the clerk of court.
2. If a scheduling order is in effect, a copy of it must be attached to the motion.
3. The motion must state whether any conference, hearing, or trial is scheduled, and, if so, its date.
4. The motion must include a certificate that the withdrawing attorney has complied with paragraph (a) of Rule 1.16 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Louisiana State Bar Association, Articles of Incorporation, Article 16. A copy of the written communication required by paragraph (A) must be attached to the motion.
D. The court may allow an attorney to withdraw on ex parte motion if:
1. The attorney has been terminated by the client; or
2. The attorney has secured the written consent of the client and of all parties or their respective counsel; or,
3. No hearing or trial is scheduled, or the case has been concluded.
E. If paragraph (D) does not apply, then an attorney may withdraw as counsel of record for a litigant only after a contradictory hearing and for good cause. All parties and the withdrawing attorney's former client must be served with a copy of the motion and rule to show cause why it should not be granted.
F. If counsel's withdrawal would delay a scheduled hearing or trial, the court may deny the motion to withdraw, unless exceptional circumstances exist.
G. Paragraphs (A) through (F) do not apply to an ex parte motion to substitute counsel signed by both the withdrawing attorney and the enrolling attorney. The following rules govern such a motion:
1. The court may grant the motion without a hearing. Movers must furnish the court with a proposed order.
2. Substitution of counsel will not by itself be good cause to alter or delay any scheduled matters or deadlines.

Chapter 31. WAIVER OF SERVICE AND CITATION

Rule 31.0 Forms Required for Waiver of Service and Citation

A. In conformity with La. C.C.P. Art. 1701(B), when a defendant in an action for divorce under La. C.C. Art. 103 (1), by sworn affidavit, acknowledges receipt of a certified copy of the petition and waives formal citation, service of process, all legal delays, notice of trial, and appearance at trial, a judgment of default maybe entered against the defendant the day on which the affidavit is filed. The affidavit of the defendant may be prepared or notarized by any notary public. The judgment may be obtained by oral motion in open court or by written motion mailed to the court, either of which shall be entered in the minutes of the court, but the judgment shall consist merely of an entry in the minutes. Notice of the signing of the final judgment as provided in La. C.C.P. Art. 1913 is not required.
B. Waiver of service and notice of a La. C.C. Art. 102 divorce petition shall be accomplished by use of the waiver form in Appendix-6.
C. Waiver of service and notice of a La. C.C. Art. 102 rule for divorce, shall be accomplished by use of the form in Appendix-7.
D. Waiver of service and notice of a La. C.C. Art. 103 divorce petition shall be accomplished by the use of the waiver form in Appendix-8.

Chapter 32. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTIVE ORDERS

Rule 32.0 Forms, Notices and Orders Required

A. Any petition, motion, rule to show cause or application for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction or permanent injunction filed pursuant to La. R. S. 9:361, 9:372 (unless filed incidental to divorce where there is no allegation of domestic abuse, fear for safety or imminent danger), La. C.C.P. Art. 3601 et seq., La. R.S. 46:2131, et seq., or La. R.S. 13:4248, or any motion to modify or dissolve an existing Louisiana Uniform Abuse Prevention Order, shall:

1. Include a legible and fully completed Louisiana Uniform Abuse Prevention Order in a form approved by the Louisiana Protective Order Registry and prepared for the signature of the presiding judge.
2. Be heard by the domestic commissioner within the delays allowed by law.
3. Be signed by the domestic commissioner or the district judge on Louisiana Protective Order Registry form orders.
4. Be forwarded by the clerk of court to the Louisiana Protective Order Registry no later than the end of the next business day after the order is signed.
B. Objections to a judgment or order of the domestic commissioner shall be filed in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24 A.1. If the district judge to whom the case is allotted is unavailable during the delays allowed by law, the matter shall be heard by the district judge, on duty at the time the hearing occurs, within the delays allowed by law.
1. If all parties are present before the domestic commissioner, the objection shall be filed within three (3) days of receipt of the judgment or order.
2. If a party is not present before the domestic commissioner, the judgment or order shall be reduced to writing and filed in the record, and the objection shall be filed within three (3) days of notice of the judgment or order as issued by the clerk of court.

Chapter 33. CONFIRMATION OF DEFAULTS AND UNCONTESTED MATTERS UNDER LA. C.C. Art. 103 ACCORDING TO LA. C.C.P. Art. 1702 E

Rule 33.0 Preliminary defaults

The domestic commissioner may enter all preliminary defaults under C.C. Art. 103 filed in accordance with La. C.C.P. Art. 1702 E. Rule 33.1 Confirmation of defaults

A. The domestic commissioner may confirm all preliminary defaults under La. C.C. Art. 103 in accordance with La. C.C.P. Art. 1702 E.

1. To confirm a preliminary default under La. C.C. Art. 103(1) and La. C.C.P. Art. 1702 (E), petitioner shall submit to the commissioner in chambers or in open court:
a. The complete record;
b. Affidavit of non-military service and non-covenant marriage;
c. An affidavit executed by the petitioner within thirty (30) days of rendering the judgment attesting to facts sufficient to obtain a divorce. One affidavit containing all required facts may be submitted in lieu of multiple affidavits.
d. The original and one or more copies of the proposed judgment;
e. Notation from the clerk of court that no answer has been filed and that all costs have been paid.
2. Nothing herein shall preclude the petitioner from proving his/her case by live testimony.

Rule 33.2 Judgments of Divorce in Chambers Pursuant to La. C.C.P. Art. 1702 E

Confirmation of default judgments maybe rendered in chambers on petitions for divorce in accordance with the requirements of Rule 33.1.

Rule 33.3 Summary Judgment of Divorce in Chambers Pursuant to La. C.C. Art. 103(1) and La. C.C.P. Art. 969

If all parties are represented by counsel, and an answer has been filed, the petitioner or defendant in an uncontested case, shall submit to the court:
A. A written joint stipulation of facts, request for judgment, and a sworn verification by each party;
B. A proposed judgment containing a certification that counsel and each party agree to the terms thereof;
C. The complete record.

Rule 33.4 Forms Required for Waiver of Service and Citation

See Appendices 6, 7, and 8.

Rule 33.5 Time When Waiver May be Signed and Filed

Waiver of service may not be signed or filed until the affiant receives a certified copy of the filed petition. (See C.C.P. Art. 1701 (B))

Rule 33.6 Consent Judgments and Stipulations of Fact on Incidental Matters and Community Property

The domestic commissioner may address all consent judgments and stipulations of fact on incidental matters and community property.
A. The parties must submit to the court:

1. An original and one or more copies of the consent judgment or stipulation signed by both parties and all counsel of record; and
2. The complete record.

Rule 33.7 Time When Domestic Commissioner Will Address Default Judgments, Consent Judgments and Stipulations.

The domestic commissioner will take up default judgments, consent judgments and stipulations at times throughout the day.

Chapter 34. DIVORCES PURSUANT TO LA. C.C. ART. 102.

Rule 34.0 Rules to Show Cause

A. Hearings of La. C.C. Art. 102 rules to show cause why a divorce should not be granted may be heard by the domestic commissioner.
B. Verified rule to show cause why a divorce should not be granted pursuant to La. C.C. Art. 102 shall contain the following: (See La. C.C.P. Art. 3952)

1. The date the parties physically separated;
2. The date the petition for divorce was filed;
3. The date the petition for divorce was served; and
4. Statement of non-reconciliation.
C. At the hearing of the La. C.C. Art. 102 rule to show cause why a divorce should not be granted a checklist for divorce under La. C.C. Art. 102 and a statement that the rule is contested or uncontested shall be filed in the record. See Appendix-9.
D. The domestic commissioner may appoint an attorney to represent the absent defendant.
E. At the hearing, the mover's attorney should offer and introduce for filing the entire record and the C.C. Art. 102 divorce checklist contained at Appendix-9. The attorney appointed to represent an absent party shall offer a note of evidence at the hearing.
F. If the rule for divorce is uncontested, the commissioner shall grant the divorce if appropriate.

Rule 34.1 Required Affidavits

A. At the hearing on the rule to show cause, the mover must submit the following affidavits:

1. An affidavit executed after the filing of the rule to show cause, that the parties have lived separate and apart continuously, for at least 180 days prior to the filing of the rule to show cause, that they are still living separate and apart and that mover desires to be divorced; and
2. An affidavit of non-military service and an affidavit that the parties did not contract a covenant marriage. One affidavit containing all required facts may be submitted in lieu of multiple affidavits.

Rule 34.2 Attorney Certifications

Before a rule for divorce pursuant to La. C.C. Art. 102 may be heard, the moving party must file into the record a certification of the truthfulness of the statements contained in the La. C.C. Art. 102 divorce checklist. This certification may be satisfied by signing the checklist.

Rule 34.3 Dismissal of Divorce

All motions to dismiss petitions for divorce shall state that the petition was filed pursuant to La. C.C. Art. 102. In compliance with La. C.C.P. Art. 3958, a petition for divorce filed pursuant to La. C.C. Art. 102 shall be dismissed only upon joint motion of the parties and payment of all court costs, or upon contradictory motion of the plaintiff, to be heard by the district judge. A judgment of dismissal rendered pursuant to La. C.C.P. Art. 3958 shall be without prejudice to any separation of property decree rendered under La. C.C. Arts. 2374 and 2375.

Chapter 35. SPOUSAL AND CHILD SUPPORT MATTERS ANCILLARY TO CIVIL DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS

Rule 35.0 Use of Hearing Officers

The Domestic Hearing Officer
The domestic hearing officers shall perform hearing officer conferences on all matters set forth in Rule 23 (E) (5) of these rules including but not limited to all spousal and child support matters, except in cases where there is an unresolved allegation or finding of domestic abuse as defined in Rule 23 (E) (5) (b) (i) (c) and 23 (E) (5) (b) (iv) of these rules.
Forms Required

1. At the time a petition, motion, or rule to show cause is filed in which an issue exists which is within the authority and responsibility of the domestic hearing officer both the petitioner and the opponent will receive, from the clerk of court, the forms set forth in 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 (A) (3) which must be addressed/and or completed in accordance with the instructions contained in 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 (A) (3).
2. The domestic hearing officer may at any time order the submission of additional relevant information and may order the submission of a pre-trial order, or a memorandum of fact or law.
Scheduling Hearings and Trials; The Order of Business
1. At the time a petition, motion, or rule to show cause is filed in which an issue exists which is within the authority and responsibility of the domestic hearing officer, the clerk of court shall schedule these matters in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 (A) of these rules.
2. Notice of the domestic hearing officer conference, and ensuing hearing or trial date shall be served with the pleading to the defendant, counsel for the opponent, or unrepresented parties at the same time as service of the petition, motion, or rule to show cause.
3. The domestic hearing officer conferences shall be scheduled in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.1 (B) of these rules.

Rule 35.1 Notice and Exchange of Information

A. Notice of any hearing, rule or trial will be given in conformity with the Louisiana Rules of Civil Procedure and these rules.
B. The initial exchange of information will occur as set forth above at Rule 35.0 of these rules.
C. Subsequent discovery will be governed by the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure and as ordered by the hearing officer, domestic commissioner or the district court as permitted by the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure and these rules.

Rule 35.2 Child Support Worksheet

A. See Rule 35 and Appendix 3 and 4 for hearing officer conference affidavit and statement of income and expenses.
B. The parties may conduct discovery on the child support and spousal support issues as permitted by the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure and jurisprudence.
C. Child Support shall be calculated and established pursuant to La. R.S. Art. 9:315, et seq.

Rule 35.3 Pre-Trial Conferences

A. See Rule 35 of these rules for domestic hearing officer conferences.
B. See Rule 27.0 of these rules for pre-trial conferences. Pre-trial conferences, scheduling, and status conferences are not mandatory, but may be scheduled in individual cases by the judge, or the domestic commissioner as to matters within his or her areas of responsibility, either on the judge or commissioner's own motion or on request of a party in conformity with La. C.C.P. Art. 1551.
C. The domestic hearing officer, domestic commissioner or district judge may, at his or her discretion, order that a pre-trial order or a memorandum of fact or law be prepared for submission prior to any motion, rule, hearing, trial or conference.

Rule 35.4 Income Assignment Orders

A. An income assignment order such as the order contained in Appendix-10 shall be issued in each case where child support and/or spousal support is awarded, pursuant to La. R.S. 46:236.3 and La. R.S. 9:303.
B. Pursuant to La. R.S. 46:236.5 (B), the court hereby assesses a fee of thirty-five dollars ($35.00) on every petition, motion or rule filed wherein support or enforcement of support is demanded after October 31, 1987 in order to fund the administrative cost of the expedited process. The court also has the discretion to assess and collect fees not to exceed five (5%) percent of the total support obligation pursuant to said statute.
C. The court hereby assesses a fee of five (5%) percent on all obligations of support which are assessed through a contempt proceeding.
D. Support obligations shall be paid to the court only by money order, certified check or cashiers check.

Rule 35.5 Interim Orders

A. Interim orders for custody, child support, spousal support and other incidental relief shall be addressed in the manner described in Rules 24(A)(3)(e) and 35.0 of these rules and pursuant to La. R.S. 9:315.1 (C) (5) and 46:236.5.
B. If one party does not provide the necessary financial information for the hearing officer to make a determination as to the amount of child or spousal support, the hearing officer shall have the authority, within his or her discretion, to set an interim child support amount based upon the financial information provided by the other party. This interim order shall be without prejudice and shall not affect the retroactivity of the claims of either party, except as precluded by law.
C. Objections from the hearing officer recommendations shall be addressed to the district court in the manner and at the time set forth in Rules 23(E) of these rules.
D. An interim order shall be without prejudice to either party in subsequent proceedings.
E. Prior to a consent between the parties or a judicial determination of the merits of the support demand, the recommendation of the hearing officer shall be signed by the domestic commissioner and shall be deemed an interim order for support, without prejudice to either party.
F. Prior to a hearing with the district court, if there is a material change in circumstances and either party or counsel believes such change would justify a modification of the interim order, a new meeting with the hearing officer may be scheduled on the motion of any party provided there is sufficient time in which to do so. The motion shall specifically set forth the alleged change in circumstances.
G. Unless ordered by the district judge, in cases of demands for final spousal support, the hearing officer will not consider or make recommendations with respect to final spousal support until a determination of fault is made by the district judge.

Rule 35.6 Arrearages

A. Arrearages of child or spousal support shall be addressed in the manner described in Rules 23 (E), and 24.0 (A) (1) and (3) of these rules, and pursuant to La. R.S. 46:236.5.
B. All pleadings to establish executory child or spousal support arrearages or in which contempt is sought for failure to pay spousal support or child support, shall be accompanied by a sworn affidavit executed by the party filing said pleadings, an attested copy of which shall be served upon the defendant, setting forth the following:

1. An itemized list of all past due payments, including date due and amount.
2. An itemized list of all payments received, including the dates of receipt.
3. The total amount of arrearages.
C. Five (5) days before the hearing office conference, the defendant shall file a sworn affidavit, with accompanying proof of payment, setting forth a response to the information required in paragraph 2 and deliver a copy of same to the plaintiff and the domestic hearing officer.
D. In any case in which an immediate income assignment has not been issued, the case shall be subject to immediate income assignment upon a delinquency of an amount equal to one month's support. (La. R.S. 46:236.3)

Chapter 36. CHILD SUPPORT PURSUANT TO HEARING OFFICER PROCEEDING?

Rule 36.0 Notice and Exchange of Information

A. Notice shall be given and information exchanged in conformity with Rule 24.0, Rule 25, Rule 35.0 and Rule 35.6 of these rules.
B. Discovery shall be conducted in accordance with the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure and Rule 26 of these rules.
C. The court shall assess fees in conformity with La. R.S. 46:236.5 (B).

Rule 36.1 Fixing Child Support

A. Title IV-D AFDC and non-AFDC (Social Security Act) cases are generally handled by the Jefferson Parish District Attorney by contract or the Regional Office of the La. Dept. of Social Services through the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court.
B. In all child support cases pending in the 24th J.D.C. child support shall be set in accordance with La. R.S. 9:315 et seq.
C. Any written stipulation or judgment involving child support shall conform with La. R.S. 9:313. Any judgment of child support shall also be accompanied by the State Registry Data Form.

Rule 36.2 Appeal

A. Objections to hearing officers recommendations shall be made in conformity with Rules 24(A)(3)(e) and 35.5(C) of these rules.
B. Objections to intrastate registration of support orders for modification and enforcement pursuant to La. C.C.P. Art. 2785 et seq. shall be set on the docket of the domestic commissioner pursuant to Rule 23(D) of these rules. Objections to the domestic commissioner's ruling shall be made in conformity with Rule 24(A) of these rules.

Rule 36.3 Income Assignment Orders

In all child support orders that are not being enforced by the Department of Social Services, the court shall comply with La. R. S. 9:303 and La. R.S. 46:236.3.

A. The original order shall include an immediate income assignment order unless there is a written agreement between the parties or the court finds good cause not to require an immediate income assignment. (La. R.S. 9:303)
B. In any case in which an immediate income assignment has not been issued, the case shall be subject to immediate income assignment upon a delinquency of an amount equal to one month's support. (La. R.S. 46:236.3)
C. In any matter wherein a party hereinafter referred to as "payor" is found to owe past due child support and/or spousal support, the payor shall pay all future current support and/or arrearage through the 24th Judicial District Court Collection System. The payments shall be made by means of an income assignment order or direct payment to the court.

Rule 36.4 AFDC Paternity Suits

Title IV-D AFDC paternity suits are generally handled by the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office by contract or the Regional Office of the Department of Social Services in the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court.

Rule 36.5 Criminal Non-Support

Criminal non-support matters are generally handled through the Jefferson Parish District Attorneys office in Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court.

Rule 36.6 Arrearages

All petitions, motions and rules to show cause which allege support arrearages shall be set and heard pursuant to Rule 23 (E), Rule 24.0 (A) (1) and (3), and Rule 35.6 of these rules, and pursuant to La. R.S. 46:236.5.

Rule 36.7 Procedure for Posting/Recording Payments

A. The following procedures will be followed by the computer collection system in posting payments received when the payment is not in the exact amount ordered by the court (the payment is either more or less than that ordered by the court):

1. First, the payment will be posted to current support due, (spousal and/or child support) beginning with the first payment date ordered in the judgment;
2. Second, the remainder of the payment, if any, will be posted to any amounts due on a prior judgment (arrearage);
3. Third, the remainder of the payment, if any, will be posted to any overdue current support payment or any overdue arrearage payment.
B. Prior to the posting of any payments, a court collection fee (in the percentage ordered by the court) will be deducted from the payment.
C. The computer print-out, which displays the payments that are received and disbursed by the 24th Judicial District Court, is generated specifically for state audit purposes. All computer print-outs are stamped with the following caveat: "Unaudited, Not an Official Record of the Court, Reference Copy Only".
D. Any party requesting a copy of the computer print-out sheet, which displays the payments that are received and disbursed by the 24th Judicial District Court collection system, shall pay to the 24th Judicial District Court a fee of five ($5.00) dollars per copy.

Chapter 37. PARTITION OF COMMUNITY PROPERTY

Rule 37.0 Commencement of Proceedings

A. All partition actions shall be commenced by petition, supplemental petition or reconventional demand and shall include a description of the claims the party seeks to have decided by the court, and shall comply in all other respects with La. R.S. 9:2801. All partitions shall be filed in the same suit number of the divorce and/or separation of property action between the same parties and allotted to a district judge, domestic commissioner and domestic hearing officer in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 23.0 (A).
B. Community property issues shall be discussed at the time of the initial hearing officer conference.
C. At the request of either party, or at the time of filing a motion to set the partition for trial, or on order of the court, the partition matter shall be set for a hearing officer conference within thirty (30) days.
D. During the hearing officer conference, the hearing officer may recommend the appointment of experts and prepare a suggested scheduling order in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 23 (E)(5)(C)(v) and (ix).
E. The written recommendation of the hearing officer concerning partition of property shall contain all of the following:

1. A statement of the findings of fact of the hearing officer;
2. Recommendations regarding experts;
3. A proposed scheduling order setting a date for a follow-up conference with the hearing officer to exchange and review the sworn descriptive lists and expert reports. The scheduling order shall contain a date for a follow-up hearing date before the district judge and/or a trial date, and any and all pertinent cut-off dates; and
4. The proposed scheduling order shall be signed by the domestic commissioner. Objections to the proposed scheduling order shall be filed in accordance with Rule 24 (A) (1) of these rules.

Rule 37.1 Sworn Detailed Descriptive List

A. Sworn detailed descriptive lists shall be filed, traversed or concurred with in accordance with La. R.S. 9:2801 and 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 37.0.
B. A rule to show cause why any time period should not be extended shall be heard by the domestic commissioner.

Rule 37.2 Pre-Trial Procedures

A. At the discretion of the district judge, a pre-trial conference may be scheduled before the district judge not less than thirty (30) days prior to trial.
B. Except for good cause shown, at least fourteen (14) days prior to the pre-trial conference with the district judge, counsel and/or the parties shall meet jointly, in person, to prepare a joint pre-trial order. At the joint meeting, counsel and/or the parties in attendance shall make a good faith effort to narrow the issues, reach joint stipulations to dispose of uncontested matters, discuss and attempt to resolve any matters concerning the authenticity or admissibility of exhibits produced in response to discovery, and attempt a settlement of the matter.

1. All attorneys of record are responsible for arranging the joint meeting at a mutually agreeable time and location and are responsible for personally attending the meeting.
2. At the joint meeting, counsel and/or the parties are to prepare a joint pre-trial order substantially in compliance with the hearing officer scheduling order contained in Rule 37.0 (E) (3).
3. The parties shall deliver the completed pre-trial order to the district judge at least three (3) working days before the pre-trial conference.
4. No attorney shall be compelled to meet with an unrepresented party.
C. It shall be the responsibility of counsel representing any party, and/or parties, if unrepresented, who is an employee participant in a benefit plan in which the community possesses an interest to obtain all available forms and other necessary information from the plan administrator before the joint meeting of counsel and/or parties which shall be submitted to the court and to opposing counsel, or the opposing party if unrepresented, so that a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) can be prepared as directed by the court.
D. The court may, on its own motion, or on motion of either party, require a separate hearing, prior to a trial on the merits, on:
1. contested issues of law or fact;
2. issues of the separate or community nature of assets or obligations;
3. valuation of assets, liabilities or reimbursements. Decisions on questions of law or fact shall be considered preliminary findings for appeal purposes. No appeal may be taken until the final judgment is signed covering all community property issues heard pursuant to La. R.S. 9:2801 et seq. See La. C.C.P. Art. 1915.

Rule 37.3 Extensions and Continuances

Except for emergencies, any ex parte motion, including, but not limited to, a motion for a continuance, shall be in writing and shall set out in detail the effort of the applicant to inform opposing counsel, or in the case of an unrepresented individual, the opposing litigant, of the content of the motion and the date and time the motion will be presented to the court. Except for unusual circumstances, the court shall hear from opposing counsel or litigant before acting on an ex parte motion.

Rule 37.4 Sanctions

Failure by an attorney or unrepresented litigant to comply with Chapter 37, La. R. S. 9:2801 or any other rules of the Code of Civil Procedure relating to partitions may result in sanctions.

Rule 37.5 Summary Proceedings

A. The trial of the traverses of the sworn descriptive list may be by summary procedure. The court, in its discretion, may by ordinary procedure try and determine at one hearing all issues, including those raised in the traverses. La. R.S. 9:2801.
B. Special Masters.

1. The court shall have the power to appoint a special master, with the consent of all parties, in those cases involving extraordinary, unique, or complex issues of fact and/or law. The costs shall be divided between the parties as ordered by the court.
2. The special master shall act as the court's (a) advisor on facts, (b) expert on the law, and (c) organizer of any evidence or experts.
3. The special master may take testimony and evidence, if necessary, to complete the report to the judge. The testimony shall be taken in the same manner as a deposition. Evidence/documents may be requested by letter. The special master is not to conduct a full trial, but is to advise the court through written memorandum of the facts the experts have found and submit expert legal opinions on the specific issues needed to be addressed, including how the partition should be decided.
4. The special master shall complete his investigation within ninety (90) days. In a written memorandum, the special master may request additional time, which may be granted upon good cause shown. A copy of the memorandum shall be provided to the parties by certified mail. Each party shall report to the court within ten (10) days of the receipt of the memorandum, whether its content is accepted in its entirety, or specifically list those items still in dispute, or items to which the party will stipulate.
5. The court may then indicate whether or not it will follow the memorandum. Either party shall retain the right to a full trial on the merits, should they disagree with the memorandum; however, the court retains the right to cast one party for all of the special master's costs and fees, if that party makes a frivolous motion for a full trial on the merits. La. C.C.P. Arts. 863 and 864 and the Disciplinary Code shall be used to determine if the motion for trial is frivolous. See La. R.S. 13:4165.
C. The court shall have the right to appoint any experts needed to perform valuation and/or classification of any property in the community or between the co-owners. The court, in its discretion, shall apportion the cost of the expert(s) between the parties.

Rule 37.6 Alternatives for Resolution of Disposition of Assets

The parties may choose, or the court on its own motion, may order:
A. An auction to be conducted using the bid list form.
B. Alternative Selection: The compiled lists shall be divided by placing each item on a separate slip of paper with each grouped according to category. The first party shall draw blind, a slip containing the name/description of an item from the first category. That party shall then set a price for the item drawn. Said category and price shall be within the parameters of the two values contained on the sworn detailed descriptive list given to the other party who has the option to buy or refuse the item at that price. If the party refuses, then the party who drew the item and set the price, must purchase the property at that price. The parties then alternate drawing from the category until the disposition of all items in that category. The parties shall continue in this process for all categories.
C. Appraisal Preliminary to Partition: Within thirty (30) days of submission of a joint written motion signed by both parties or their counsel, the court shall appoint such appraiser(s) as, in its discretion, are required to determine the fair market value of both movables and/or immovables. Fees and costs associated with the work of the appraiser(s) shall be taxed as costs of court and shall be considered in the final accounting. As ordered by the court, the parties shall pay the fee and costs of appraisal. When there are liquid assets of the community, the court may order the fees and costs of the appraisal(s) to be paid from those liquid assets prior to a final accounting. At the time of the appointment of the appraiser(s), the court may order the parties, to deposit, into the registry of the court, in advance, estimated fees and costs.
D. Dispute Resolution: The judge may appoint an expert pursuant to La. R.S. 9:2801 (3), La. C.C.P. Art. 192 and La. C.E. Art. 706.
E. By agreement of the parties, the court may appoint a mediator to address community property issues.
F. The parties may also choose to address the community property issues through the collaborative process. See Rule 39.0 of these rules.

Rule 37.7 Form of Judgment

A. All judgments submitted for signature shall contain the name of the judge, the name, current mailing address, telephone number, and bar number of all counsel of record, or the name, current mailing address, and telephone number of the parties if not represented by counsel, whether the judgment is partial, final or interlocutory, and whether by default or after a trial or contested hearing.
B. In property partition cases:

1. It shall be the responsibility of counsel, and/or parties, if unrepresented, to prepare and submit a QDRO and/or other plans for employees' benefits, along with the judgment to be signed by the trial judge if necessary for the release of retirement funds.
2. All property partition judgments shall contain appropriate conveyance language.

Chapter 38. CUSTODY AND VISITATION ORDERS

Rule 38.0 Provisional/Temporary Custody

A. Provisional/temporary custody is defined as custody on a temporary basis for a defined period or pending completion of a condition precedent or subsequent.
B. The injunctive relief afforded either party to an action for divorce or other proceeding which includes a provision for the provisional/temporary custody of a minor child shall be governed by the additional provisions of La. C.C.P. Art. 3945.
C. All pleadings seeking an order for provisional/temporary custody shall be assigned to a domestic commissioner and a district judge and shall be set and heard in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 23.0 (D) and Rule 24.0 (A) (1) and (2).

Rule 38.1 Ex Parte Custody Orders

A. An ex parte order of provisional/temporary custody of a minor child shall not be granted unless it complies with all provisions of La. C.C.P. Art. 3945.
B. All ex parte applications for immediate provisional/temporary custody and visitation rights shall be pled under one of the following statutes:

1. La. R.S. 46:2131 et seq., Domestic Abuse Assistance Act;
2. La. R.S. 9:361, 363, 364, Post Separation Family Violence Relief Act;
3. La. R.S. 9:372;
4. La. C.C.P. Art. 3601, et seq.;
5. La. C.C.P. Art. 3945.
C. All pleadings seeking an ex parte order for temporary/provisional custody shall be assigned to a domestic commissioner and a district judge and shall be set and heard in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 23.0 (D) and Rule 24.0 (A) (1) and (2).

Rule 38.2 Interim Orders

A. Interim custody is defined as non-emergency custody, without prejudice, pending a final determination of the issue.
B. The court may grant interim custody and/or visitation orders if a full hearing on the issues cannot be held and there is demonstrated a need for present access of the applicant to the child(ren). In such event, at a subsequent hearing, custody and/or visitation may be modified without the necessity of showing any change in circumstances.
C. A custody hearing may be closed to the public pursuant to La. C.C. Art. 135.
D. In any custody proceeding upon the motion of any party, the recommendation of the hearing officer, or on its own motion, for good cause shown, the court may order an evaluation by a mental health professional pursuant to La. R.S. 9:331.
E. The court for good cause shown may, after a contradictory hearing, order a party in a custody or visitation proceeding to submit to specified drug tests and the collection of hair, urine, tissue and blood samples pursuant to La. R.S. 9:331.1.
F. The court may order the parties to mediate their differences in a custody or visitation proceeding pursuant to La. R.S. 9:332 et seq.
G. All petitions seeking interim or final custody shall be assigned to a domestic hearing officer and a district judge and shall be set and heard in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 23.0 (E) and Rule 24.0 (A) (1) and (3).

Rule 38.3 Submission and Implementation of Joint Custody Plans

A. In a proceeding in which joint custody is decreed or consented to, the court shall render a joint custody implementation order except for good cause shown. This order shall comply with La. R.S. 9:335. See the Family Law Handbook for a suggested plan.
B. The joint custody implementation plan may include provisions for:

1. Living arrangements for the child(ren) (based on a time allocation schedule), including transportation;
2. Financial support;
3. Visitation;
4. Holidays, birthdays and vacation visitation;
5. Relocation costs, if applicable;
6. Travel arrangements and expenses, if applicable;
7. Education;
8. Religious training;
9. Access to the child(ren)'s records;
10. Medical and dental care including consent for medical care and surgery, and qualified medical orders;
11. Financial responsibility for medical and dental care and/or insurance;
12. Right to access and communication between the child(ren) and parents;
13. Conflict resolution; and
14. Any other provisions which will assist in developing a plan of joint custody.
C. When any party seeks joint custody, each party shall, not later than five (5) days prior to the trial of the issue, file with the court and submit a copy of a proposed joint custody implementation plan to the judge and the other party.
1. In any case in which joint custody is agreed to between the parties at or before a hearing officer conference, a joint custody implementation plan shall be submitted to the domestic commissioner for signature within the delays and in the manner prescribed by 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rules 25.3 and 28.
2. Attorneys presenting joint custody implementation plans to the court following a trial must first submit the plan to the opponent for signature within the delays and in the manner prescribed by Uniform District Court Rule 9.5.

Rule 38.4 Modification of a Custody or Visitation Order

A. All motions seeking modification of a custody or visitation order shall be assigned to a domestic hearing officer and a district judge and shall be set and heard in conformity with 24th J.D.C. Domestic Rule 24.0 (A).
B. Bergeron v Bergeron, 492 So.2d 1193 (1986) and its progeny shall apply in all cases in which a modification of custody is requested.
C. Proposed modifications of custody or visitation orders in which relocation of a child(ren) residence is involved shall comply with La. R. S. 9:355.1 et seq.

Rule 38.5 Alternative Procedures (Mediation, Parenting Classes)

A. The court, or the commissioner, as to matters within his or her area of responsibility, may

1. order an evaluation of a party(ies) or the child(ren) in a custody or visitation proceeding for good cause shown pursuant to La. R. S. 9:331;
2. order a party to submit to specified drug tests and the collection of hair, urine, tissue, and blood samples for good cause shown, after a contradictory hearing pursuant to La. R. S. 9:331.1; and
3. order the parties to mediate their differences pursuant to La. R.S. 9:332 et seq.
B. At the time an original petition is filed in any domestic case in which a child(ren) is involved, the court shall issue an order requiring that both parents, and children between the ages of 5 and 16, attend Voices for Children pursuant to Rule 24 (A) (5) of these rules.
C. For good cause shown, after a contradictory hearing, the court, or the commissioner, as to matters within his or her area of responsibility, may appoint an attorney to represent the child. The fees for such representation shall be set by the court and paid by the parties as ordered by the court. See La. R.S. 9:376.
D. For good cause shown, after a contradictory hearing, the court, or the commissioner, as to matters within his or her area of responsibility, may order, and the hearing officer may recommend, either parent to participate in mental health treatment, drug or alcohol treatment, parenting or anger management classes, alcoholics or narcotics anonymous as a condition of custody or visitation. The fees for such treatment shall be paid by the parties as ordered by the court.

Chapter 39. OTHER RULES

Rule 39.0 Other Rules

A. Collaborative Divorce Procedures

1. Pursuant to a written agreement of the parties and their attorneys, a domestic proceeding may be conducted under collaborative procedures.
2. Collaborative procedure requires the parties and their collaborative professionals to agree in writing to use their best efforts in good faith to resolve a domestic dispute without resorting to judicial intervention except to file the case, file the collaborative representation agreement, stipulations, settlement agreement, have the court approve the settlement agreement, make the legal pronouncements, and sign the orders required by law to effectuate the agreement of the parties as the court determines appropriate. The parties' counsel may not serve as litigation counsel except to file the case, file the collaborative representation agreement, file stipulations, file the collaborative settlement agreement and to ask the court to approve the collaborative settlement agreement. A multidisciplinary collaborative team model includes provisions for the following mandatory collaboratively trained professionals: an attorney for each party, a mental health professional "coach" for each party, a financial expert and a child's mental health professional. A non-multidisciplinary collaborative team model includes provisions for a collaboratively trained attorney for each party, and other professionals as can be agreed upon by the parties and their counsel.
3. Upon filing an approved agreement to use collaborative procedures, all local rules of case management are suspended for the duration of the collaborative process.
4. An agreement to use collaborative procedures must include provisions:
a) for a binding non-participation agreement excluding the participating collaborative professionals from any further non-collaborative domestic representation upon termination of the collaborative proceeding; and
b) for an agreement for full and candid exchange of information between the parties, their attorneys, and all other collaborative professionals as necessary to reach a proper evaluation and settlement of the case; and
c) for an agreement to suspend court intervention in the dispute and the application of otherwise applicable court rules while the parties are using collaborative procedures; and
d) for hiring experts, as jointly agreed, to be used for the benefit of the parties; and
e) for withdrawal of all counsel involved in the case if the parties are unable to settle the dispute through the collaborative process; and
f) for withdrawal of all collaborative professionals involved in the case and an agreement that they and their work product shall be exempt from subpoena if the parties are unable to settle the dispute through the collaborative process; and
g) that anything said or any admission made for the purpose of, in the course of, or pursuant to the collaborative process is not admissible nor subject to discovery, and disclosure of the statement or admission must not be compelled in any non-criminal proceeding; and
h) that no writing prepared for the purpose of, in the course of, or pursuant to, the collaborative process is admissible to discovery, and disclosure of the writing must not be compelled in any non-criminal proceeding, except in cases where both of the parties agree to stipulate to final reports being introduced; and
i) that all collaborative professionals have received a minimum of two days of multidisciplinary collaborative training prior to participating in the collaborative procedure; and
j) for any other provisions as agreed to by the parties consistent with a good faith effort to collaboratively settle the matter.
5. If the parties have agreed to utilize a multidisciplinary collaborative team model, the agreement must include provisions for a multidisciplinary team-based approach which includes an attorney for each party, a mental health professional "coach" for each party, a financial expert and a child's mental health professional.
6. Notwithstanding any domestic rule or law, a party is entitled to judgment on a collaborative settlement agreement if the agreement meets all statutory requirements of notice, due process and time delays, and is accompanied by a joint stipulation of fact signed by both parties and a consent judgment approved as to form and content by both parties and their counsel.
7. Upon filing of an approved agreement to use collaborative procedures and during the pendency of the collaborative process, the court agrees not to:
a) set a hearing or trial in the case;
b) impose discovery deadlines;
c) require compliance with scheduling orders; or
d) dismiss the case.
8. The parties shall notify the court at such time as the collaborative procedures result in a settlement or withdraws from the collaborative process. If settlement is reached, the court will execute all proper orders and judgments presented. If the case withdraws from the collaborative process, the case will be placed on the regular docket subject to all local rules and management.

NOTICE OF HEARING OFFICER CONFERENCE AND NOTICE OF HEARING DATE OF SUIT TO:
24th Judicial District Court
Case Number:
Versus
Division:
Parish of Jefferson, Louisiana
RULE SET BEFORE: HEARING OFFICER:
DOMESTIC COMMISSIONER:
JUDGE:

In the above numbered and entitled case in which you are a party or attorney for plaintiff or defendant, the following rule(s) have been filed: A Hearing Officer Conference has been set before the above named Hearing Officer at the Thomas F. Donelon Building, 200 Derbigny Street, Gretna, Louisiana on the day of , 20 at a.m./ p.m. on all issues in the above captioned matter.

In the event that an objection is made to the Hearing Officer's recommendation, the said case has been set for a hearing before the District Judge or Domestic Commissioner (circle one) on these objections together with the nonsupport related issues on the day of , 20 at a.m./p.m.

Deputy Clerk of Court
Parish of Jefferson
**NOTICE** FAILURE TO APPEAR AND/OR COMPLY WITH THE HEARING OFFICER CONFERENCE ORDER MAY RESULT IN AN ORDER ADVERSE TO YOUR INTEREST AND/OR SUCH OTHER ACTION AS THE COURT MAY DEEM APPROPRIATE. IN THE EVENT OF A SETTLEMENT OR DISMISSAL OF THESE ISSUES, YOU MUST NOTIFY THE OFFICE OF THE HEARING OFFICER IMMEDIATELY AT 364-3869 AND THE OFFICE OF THE JUDGE ASSIGNED TO THE CASE. COMPLIANCE WITH ATTACHED ORDER IS MANDATORY