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December 25, 2008

A law that will never be used... [lawsuit]

The Baton Rouge Advocate reports:
The wife of Louisiana Speaker of the House Jim Tucker dropped her effort to change the judge presiding over a child custody dispute with her ex-husband.
The Times-Picayune reported on this story last December.

Here's the background: in 2007, the legislature passed the following law:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if after August 26, 2005, and before August 15, 2007, a party has changed his domicile within the state and the other party resided in another state prior to the hurricanes, the custody or support proceeding shall be transferred to the parish of the domicile, upon motion made prior to December 31, 2007.
La. Acts 2007, No. 99, codified at La. Code Civ. Proc. art. 74.2(F).

Kind of narrow, eh? It is a law that is effective for all of three-and-a-half months. That is, it went into effect on August 15, 2007 (see La. Const. art. 3, 19) and, by its terms, may only be used "prior to December 31, 2007."

The Advocate described the facts of the case as follows:
Marisol Tucker attempted to move the child custody and support lawsuit from state district court in Plaquemines Parish to one in Orleans Parish. She relied on a state law her lawmaker husband pushed [which] was signed into law by then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco in June 2007. The Tuckers married in July 2006 and moved into a house in Orleans Parish. In September 2007, Marisol Tucker asked to have the lawsuit with her former husband transferred to Orleans Civil District Court.
The ex-husband argued that the law was unconstitutional. I don't know the specifics, but I'm assuming it was based on La. Const. art. 3, 12(A)(3), which prohibits the legislature from passing "a local or special law concerning any civil or criminal actions, including changing the venue."

Anyway, the end result is that Ms. Tucker has apparently resigned herself to litigating in Plaquemines. And a pointless law if I ever saw one. Posted by MBC at December 25, 2008 06:24 PM
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