I n c o r p o r e a l s C h e a p S i n c e 2 0 0 2
N A K E D O W N E R S H I P
All Things Legal in Louisiana
April 12, 2005
Boy Scouts Fear ACLU Lawsuits
The Daily Advertiser reports that the Boy Scouts are urging public entites to stop directly supporting local groups. The Scouts fear that the ACLU will sue public bodies such as schools and police departments because the Boy Scouts require an oath to God. The article quotes Jay Leger (my elementary school principal), whose school sponsors Cub Scout Pack 335, of which I have very fond memories, saying that his Scouts will probably have to be sponsered by a parent's group.
Posted by AJH at 08:43 AM
April 07, 2005
Editoral Says Nuisance Abatement Law a Positive Step
The Daily Advertiser published an editoral stating that expanding the nuisance abatement law could be a useful tool in fighting crime in Lafayette. The city-parish is using the law to board up properties where enough illegal activity has gone on for long enough that the property can be termed a nuisance. Some want to extend this power to things such as repeated noise violations and environmental violations.
Posted by Capital Clerks at 10:08 AM
Open Container Laws Vary
In a story brought on by recent controversy in New Iberia, The Lafayette Daily Advertiser reports that open container laws vary from city to city in Acadiana. Lafayette has the most lax rules concerning alcoholic drinks while smaller towns such as New Iberia and Crowley have more restrictive rules. Most of the municipalities surveyed waive their rules during local events and festivals.
Posted by Capital Clerks at 10:01 AM
March 18, 2005
Editorial Promotes Crime Lab
An editorial in the Daily Advertister discusses the postitive impact that the Acadiana Crime Lab has had in bringing criminals to justice and exonerating those who have been wrongly convicted. It also points out the Lab's budget problems and urges the Acadiana Criminalistics Laboratory District Commission to pass a tax to fund the Lab.
March 16, 2005
Judge Foret Passes
The Advocate reports that retired state appellate court Judge James Burton Foret Sr. died Tuesday. Judge Foret served on the Third Circuit Court of Appeal. In addition to profiling Judge Foret's career, the article notes that a memorial service that will be held on Thursday.
Posted by AJR at 08:07 AM
March 09, 2005
I-49 Challenge Continues
The Advocate reports that the Concerned Citizens Coalition, which is being represented by the Tulane Law Clinic, has filed the brief in its appeal of a federal district court decision upholding the route selection for a southern extension of the I-49 highway. The group argues that the Federal Highway Administration failed to comply with its own standards in approving the route selection.
Posted by AJR at 07:45 AM
Fiber Optic Judgment to be Appealed?
The Daily Advertiser reports that 15th JDC Judge Byron Hebert is expected to sign a judgment on his ruling that the Lafayette City-Parish followed an improper state law when deciding to issue $125 million in bonds to pay for a fiber-optic cable infrastructure project. It is not clear if the city plans to appeal the decision.
Posted by AJR at 07:26 AM
February 17, 2005
Louisiana's Cable TV Companies Ask to be Plaintiffs
The Louisiana Cable and Telecommunications Association filed Tuesday to be included as a plaintiff in the lawsuit seeking to block the Lafayette Utilities System's funding for its telecommunications project, according to a report in The Advocate. The LCTA is made up of the state's cable television companies. Other plaintiffs in the suit include BellSouth, Cox Communications and a group called Fiber411. The plaintiffs are asking 15th Judicial District Judge Byron Hebert to rule as invalid the process LUS is using to seek up to $125 million in bonds to begin providing fiber-optic based cable, phone and high-speed Internet services.
Posted by Capital Clerks at 08:44 AM
February 15, 2005
Suit Against ULL Alleges Cruelty to Monkeys
According to a story in the Daily Iberian suit has been filed against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette by a former employee of the university's New Iberia Research Center. The employee is alleging that she was fired because she reported violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act at the facility. The facility houses more than 6,000 primates.
Posted by Capital Clerks at 10:19 AM
February 14, 2005
Tabasco sues Tabasco's
The Advocate reports that McIlhenny Co. has filed a trademark infringement suit agasint a restaurant in Iowa. The restaurant, named Tabasco's, has indicated that it will fight the suit.
Posted by AJR at 07:18 AM
February 04, 2005
Lafayette Firefighters File Suit
Firefighters in Lafayette have filed suit against the city reports the Daily Advertiser. The suit is over what the firefighters say is an illegal pay cut. The city responds that the cuts were triggered by the violation of a provision of the collective bargaining agreement between the city and the firefighters.
Posted by AJH at 09:10 AM
January 27, 2005
Editorial Says Drug Sniffing Dogs are a Good Thing
An editorial in the Daily Advertiser today refutes the director of ACLU-Louisiana's contention that the recent Supreme Court Decision to allow drug sniffing dogs to sniff any car at a traffic stop regardless of whether there is a reasonable suspicion will infringe on our civil liberties. The editorial discusses the ongoing problems that drugs are causing in Lafayette and states that a majority of citizens approve of aggressive measures to interdict drugs.
Posted by Capital Clerks at 10:34 AM
January 26, 2005
BellSouth Files Lawsuit Over Proposed Lafayette Fiber Project
The Daily Advertiser reports that BellSouth has filed suit in the 15th JDC against the City of Lafayette and its Utility Systems alleging that incorrect procedures are being used to issue bonds to pay for a fiber-optic cable project. The project, which will compete with BellSouth, has been a hot topic in the area for months and is being comprehensively covered by Mike Stagg at Lafayette Pro Fiber.
Posted by AJR at 07:50 AM
January 24, 2005
Cardiologist Subject of Multiple Lawsuits
The Daily Advertiser reports that lawsuits continue to mount against Dr. Mehmood Patel, a well-known cardiologist with the Acadiana Cardiology Clinic. The lawsuits allege that Patel performed and charged for angioplasties and stent placements when he knew they were medically unnecessary. Patel is currently under federal investigation (related to Medicare billings) and is also facing disciplinary action by the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners.
Posted by AJR at 08:16 AM
August 18, 2004
High Stakes Telecom battle in Lafayette
A battle is shaping up in the City of Lafayette over who should control the telecommunications infrastructure in that city. There are obviously existing telecommunications companies who have been doing business in Lafayette and some believe they are the natural choice to control telecommunications in Lafayette. But, as this BayouBuzz article explains, there is a movement afoot to make the telecommunications system as public as possible.
Posted by EES at 10:30 AM
August 11, 2004
Judge Reluctantly Approves I-49 Expansion Route
The Advertiser reports the US District Court Judge Tucker Melancon has issued a ruling finding that the Federal Highway Administration complied with applicable law when siting the 1-49 expansion through Lafayette. “The issue before the Court ... is not whether the undersigned judge would have placed the proposed Interstate 49 as it will traverse Lafayette where it was placed; he would not have,” Melancon wrote.
Karla Raettig, staff attorney for the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, which represents the citizens coalition, said Melancon’s conclusion is not ordinary.
The decision will be appealed by the Concerned Citizens Coalition.
Posted by AJR at 08:45 AM
August 10, 2004
Lafayette Sheriff Provides More via the Web
The Advertiser reports that the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office now provides information about two new services offered to parish citizens. First, the parish has joined the Louisiana Automated Victim Notification System (LAVNS), which provides free and anonymous information to victims of crimes about the incarceration status of criminal offenders. Second, the Sheriff's Office is now providing web access to area crime maps. This is neat stuff.
Posted by AJR at 10:40 PM
August 09, 2004
Attorney General Foti to Present Another Check
The Advertiser reports that Attorney General Charles Foti, Jr. will present a check from the state's settlement with the manufacturer of the George Foreman grill in Lafayette on Wednesday night.
Posted by AJR at 08:26 AM
August 03, 2004
16th JD DA Concerned about New Iberia Police Shift
The Advocate reports that 16th Judicial District District Attorney Phil Haney has written letters to New Iberia Mayor Ruth Fontenot expressing concerns over her recent decision to disband the New Iberia police department and the effect it has had on pending investigations and prosecutions.
Posted by AJR at 12:28 PM
Crawfish Farmers to Begin Making Pesticide Claims
The Advertiser reports that crawfish farmers are set to begin the process of staking their claims to the $24 million won in a legal settlement with Aventis Crop Sciences, a manufacturer of a pesticide linked to crawfish crop losses. Although the farmers actually won $45 million, about $21 million was "eaten up in court costs, administrative and lawyer fees." A claims office opened yesterday in Opelousas where farmers will be bringing production records, sales records, tax returns and expense accounts to prove their damages.
A court-appointed official will evaluate the claims and propose a compensation schedule. The schedule will then be given to State District Judge James Genovese, who presided over the five-year court case. He must approve the schedule before payments can go out.
Posted by AJR at 12:01 PM
July 16, 2004
Bankruptcy Judge Shakes up Business
The Advertiser reports that federal bankruptcy Judge Gerald Schiff has ordered an outside manager to take control of Southern Structures. The company, which is in Youngsville, manufactures pre-fabricated metal buildings and was once the city's largest employer. The outside management was ordered because the company has allegedly given large donations to a religious group, Traveling Light Ministries, and replaced experienced employees in favor of members of the same religious organization. Traveling Light Ministries is apparently organized by Terri Kamm, who was the chairman of Southern Structure's Board of Directors until the firm declared bankruptcy.
Posted by AJR at 09:48 AM
New Iberia Police Union Appeals
The Advocate reports that the New Iberia police union has appealed a district court ruling that approved the City of New Iberia's decision to contract its law enforcement to the parish sheriff. Charles Dirks, the union's attorney, says that 16th JDC Judge William Hunter's ruling could be the "beginning of the undoing of civil service protections for police and firefighters around the state."
This is post number 1,000 to Naked Ownership.
Posted by AJR at 09:22 AM
June 18, 2004
Lafayette Police and Firefighter Dispute Heading to Trial
The Advertiser reports that Lafayette police and firefighters have rejected a settlement offer from the Consolidated Government of more than $10 million. The dispute concerns Lafayette's practice of reducing police and firefighter pay after the employees begin receiving state supplemental pay.
Posted by AJR at 07:18 AM
June 13, 2004
Decision on I-49 Suit Expected by end of Summer
The Advertiser reports that Judge Tucker Melancon is expected to hand down a decision by the end of summer that will impact a proposed Interstate 49 extension that is slated to run through Lafayette. "The lawsuit alleges that the highway administration violated federal law by planning the roadway too close to a historic district and park, and that alternative routes were not considered." Meanwhile, the state and federal government are both moving forward with the project.
Posted by AJR at 12:53 PM
October 13, 2003
Lee to be Arraigned in Lafayette
The Advertiser reports that Derrick Lee is scheduled to be arraigned for the killing of Trineisha Dene Colomb in Lafayatte today. The article notes that special security precautions have been taken at the courthouse because of the national attention that the case has attracted.
Posted by AJR at 08:58 AM
July 30, 2003
Mosquito Tax Challenge Going to LA Supreme Court?
The Times-Picayune reports that the town of Church Point has appealed a decision of the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal that refused to strike down a mosquito control tax approved earlier this month. The town argues that the mosquito control district didn't have the authority to call the election, but both the district and appeal courts refused to address the constitutional issues, finding that the town had filed its complaint too late.
Posted by AJR at 12:26 AM
July 15, 2003
St. Martin Officials Not Liable Rules Louisiana Supreme Court
The Advocate reports on a decision of the Louisiana Supreme Court that holds the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office not liable in an accident that left the parents of ten children dead. The couple died when they ran into a truck loaded with creosote poles that was backing onto La. 94 at night. The suit alleged that the Sheriff's Office was negligent for failing to respond to the driver's calls for assistance.
Posted by AJR at 07:10 AM
June 27, 2003
15 Constitutional Amendments on the October Ballot
The Advertiser provides a brief overview of the 15 proposed constitutional amendments that will be on the fall primary ballot.
Posted by AJR at 07:09 AM
June 10, 2003
Lafayette Airport Embroiled in Lease Controversy
The Advertiser reports that the Chris Crusta Memorial Airport in Lafayette is involved in a lawsuit regarding conflicting leases on the property. Former Mayor Brady Broussard signed a lease last year granting a Lafayette businessman the right to sell fuel and expand operations at the airport. The expansions now appear to be on hold, but he would still like to sell fuel.
Posted by AJR at 07:42 AM
May 29, 2003
Serial Killer Punditry Begins
The Advertiser provides the first bit of legal punditry related to the defense of Derrick Todd Lee. The Advertiser interviewed several Lafayette defense attorneys who speculate the Lee's defense will be to attack the DNA and perhaps plea bargain information regarding unsolved crimes in an effort to avoid the death penalty.
Posted by AJR at 07:40 AM
May 21, 2003
Lafayette Attorney Will Turn Himself In
The Advertiser reports that William Aubrey, the Lafayette attorney accused of stealing $130,000 of client money, has agreed to turn himself in. “Bill (Aubrey) is not hiding from anybody,” Aubrey's attorney David Balfour said. “This news of the charges was a surprise to him.”
May 15, 2003
Abbeville Prosecutor Resigns after DWI
The Advertiser reports that Abbeville's City Court prosecutor resigned Wednesday after he was arrested Saturday for driving while intoxicated. James Sandoz, Jr., who has served as prosecutor for the last 13 years, submitted his resignation letter through City Attorney Chad Edwards.
Posted by AJR at 07:35 AM
May 14, 2003
Judge Bans Alligator Hide Program
The Advertiser reports that a federal judge recently banned Louisiana from using license fees and export tax money to promote Louisiana's alligator hide industry at trade shows and boutiques. The ruling indicated that the forced participation required by the program was unconstitutional because it amounted to forced commercial speech.
Posted by AJR at 07:37 AM
April 30, 2003
Search Begins for Attorney Accused of Theft
The Advertiser reports that Lafayette police are searching for an attorney accused of stealing approximately $130,000 of his clients personal injury settlements. "William Aubrey, 55, 100 block of Horseshoe Drive, was charged with two counts of theft and is under investigation in connection with a third case, according to prosecutors." The police believe Aubrey, whose license was suspended last year in connection with misconduct allegations, has left town.
Posted by AJR at 11:59 AM
April 24, 2003
Groups Sponsor Mock Trial of Louisiana Purchase
The Advertiser reports that the Francophone Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana and the Judge Allen M. Bandeaux International Civil Law Symposium will be sponsoring a mock trial, to be conducted in French, beginning this Friday.
Posted by AJR at 10:45 AM
April 22, 2003
LA Supreme Court Overturns Contempt Citations
The Advertiser reports that the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned contempt citations given to Lafayette School Superintendent James Easton and Carencro High School Principal Don Aguillard for defying a court order that required them to allow a student who had not completed the state-required curriculum to participate in graduation ceremonies. The 17-page opinion questioned whether Judge Edward Rubin had heard enough evidence to support his order and also noted that: "The court order was not stamped by the clerk of court, the judge’s signature was illegible and nothing on the order indicated the identity of the issuing judge."
Posted by AJR at 10:37 PM
April 21, 2003
Lawsuit Claims Judge had Conflict of Interest
The Advertiser reports that J. Browne Larose, attorney for Henry Casey, has filed a lawsuit claiming that 7th JDC Judge Leo Boothe (Catahoula Parish) improperly remained in a case "in which his distant cousin sought rulings pertaining to his two stepchildren." “It was a kangaroo court and a nightmare for my client,” said Larose, whose client is the real father of the two children concerned in Boothe’s rulings."
The Times-Picayune also covers the story in greater detail. Its story ends with the following:
Posted by AJR at 07:25 AM
April 16, 2003
First Sentence Given in Music Piracy Case
The Advertiser reports that a music store owner charged in a multi-state pirated music ring that has been traced back to Lafayette was sentenced to one year of probation on Tuesday. The Alabama store owner, who pleaded guilty to dealing in copies of illegal sound recordings (bootlegs), was also ordered to pay $3,624 in restitution to the RIAA. Prosecutors allege that a ULL student, who has not been named or charged, made thousands of copies of illegal concert recordings and sold them himself and through other dealers.
Posted by AJR at 11:26 PM
April 08, 2003
South Louisiana Men to Be Sentenced in Cross-Burning
The Advertiser reports that five men, all members of the Ku Klux Klan, are set to be sentenced Thursday on federal charges related to a Beauregard parish cross-burning on September 1, 2002. The men all pleaded guilty and face sentencing by United States District Judge Tucker Melancon.
In a closely related story, The Times-Picayune reports that the United States Supreme Court upheld a Virginia law that banned cross burning, "ruling [that] the history of racial intimidation attached to it outweighs the free speech protection of Ku Klux Klansmen or others who might use it."
Posted by AJR at 10:48 AM
April 04, 2003
Deadline Set for Negotiations in Lafayette Police/Fire Suit
The Advertiser reports that Daniel Landry, who represents approximately 600 Lafayette police and firefighters, said that he has sent a letter to the City of Lafayette indicating that it has until the end of the month to complete settlement negotiations regarding a recent $12 million court judgment over supplemental pay. Although the judgment has not yet been filed, city officials have indicated that they still might appeal. At issue in the lawsuit was the pay plan used for police and firefighters from 1978 to 2001, specifically the payment of state supplemental funds.
Posted by AJR at 06:54 AM
March 28, 2003
Lafayette Parish School Board Ready to Prove Deseg Case
The Advertiser reports that the Lafayette Parish Schoolboard wants to be free of court oversight in its 37-year old desegregation lawsuit and will file for unitary status next week. "The report will be presented to U.S. District Judge Richard Haik to review, and he will rule on whether the school district can be released from federal oversight."
Posted by AJR at 07:35 AM
March 25, 2003
Louisiana Online Business Directory?
The Advertiser reports that UL Lafayette and the state Department of Economic Development unveiled "what they hope will be a key tool for economic development in Louisiana." The Louisiana Commerce Exchange System (LACES) is the first online directory of state-wide business and lists more than 80,000 manufacturing companies. The article does not mention a URL for the site, but this appears to be it.
Posted by AJR at 09:01 AM
March 06, 2003
Lawsuit Challenges Illegal Voting Practices
A candidate who lost in the St. Martinville City Council election in May and a group of voters filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against government officials and 12 people accused of illegally voting, reports The Advertiser. "The lawsuit seeks stricter elections guidelines aimed at preventing illegal voting."
Posted by AJR at 08:57 AM
February 26, 2003
Judge Rules in Favor of 'Artistic' Neighbor
The Advertiser reports that State Judge Donald Hebert ruled that Frank Rogers, Jr. can maintain his front yard "art" (such as vibrantly painted shrubbery and trees from which empty bleach bottles and plastic caution ribbons dangle above scarecrows, animal skulls and political signs), but he sympathized with the twenty neighbors who claimed the yard was a nuisance. Rogers' home is in a secluded gated community around a scenic 5-acre lake in rural St. Landry Parish - seems like subdivision restrictions might be appropriate. Picture included.
Posted by AJR at 08:20 AM
February 24, 2003
DA Needs More Time to Investigate Wreck Theft
The Advertiser reports that DA Michael Cassidy said he needs more time to interview people involved with the alleged theft of private property from an overturned tractor-trailer by police and firefighters. Cassidy said he will not drop the charges entirely, citing pretrial intervention as an option.
Posted by AJR at 08:19 AM
February 21, 2003
Hurricane Damaged Trees Might Finally be Removed
Fifteenth JDC Judge Glennon Everett denied an injunction to Regency Construction, Inc., who had sued Lafayette after it refused to accept any of the bids from companies seeking to remove hurricane-damaged trees from more than 900 locations throughout the parish, reports The Advertiser. The confusion that led to the litigation arose when the Louisiana contractor's board allowed some contractors to bid without a contractor's license, provided that they would seek a license after being awarded a contract. Apparently, the contingency was not communicated or understood by one of the contractors. Accordingly, an effort to speed the clean-up effort has backfired and resulted in many trees that were slated for removal falling onto homes.
Posted by AJR at 08:01 AM
February 17, 2003
Hypes Hearings to Continue
The Advertiser reports that hearings on motions to suppress evidence in the case against Amanda Gutwiler Hypes will resume Tuesday morning and continue all week. Hypes is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, for intentionally setting her house on fire with her three children inside, and faces the death penalty if convicted.
Posted by AJR at 07:48 AM
February 05, 2003
Police and Firefighters Prevail in Court
The Advertiser reports on a ruling, made Monday by State Judge Edward Rubin, that requires the Lafayette Consolidated Government to pay a group of about 600 former and current police officers and firefighters back pay. The payments, which are estimated to be around 10 to 12 million dollars, are the result of the Lafayette government's mishandling of state supplemental pay. The council will have to decide whether or not to appeal.
Posted by AJR at 07:44 AM
January 27, 2003
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