Mayors Court Held Not To be Impartial….Will Supreme Court Precedent be ignored

Mayor’s Court Part 2: US Supreme Court Precedent Ignored

Three Acadiana towns get a substantial part of their revenue from fines imposed by mayor’s court, a controversial system where the mayor serves as both the town’s judge and administrator, a KATC Investigation has found.

In those towns and nearly 200 others across Louisiana, the mayor serves as the judge in courts that mostly see traffic violations. They also assess fines that sometimes make up a large part of the town’s budget, which is also overseen by the mayor.

This is done even with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Ward v. Monroeville, that found a mayor cannot be an impartial judge if mayor’s court fines make up a “major part” of the town’s revenue. Over five years, fines made up 41.7 percent of Monoreville’s revnue.

Using that ruling and looking at the most recent audits available, statewide KATC found 20 towns that get 42 percent or more of their revenue from fines imposed by mayor’s courts.

In Acadiana, Fenton, in Jeff Davis Parish, brought in 89.4 percent of its revenue from fines imposed by mayor’s court; Washington in St. Landry Parish, 70.5 percent; and Henderson in St. Martin Parish, 49 percent.

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