Judge Rules in Favor of St. Tammany Parish Government in 22nd JDC Budget Case

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A judge has ruled in favor of St. Tammany Parish Government in the legal matter involving the 22nd Judicial District Court’s Budget, President Mike Cooper announced Thursday.

St. Tammany Parish Government sought out judicial opinions regarding its legal obligation to fund state mandated expenses that do not have a revenue source, including the budgets for the 22nd JDC, the District Attorney’s office, the Correctional Facility and the City Court of East St. Tammany.

In the first of several declaratory judgement trials, the court ruled in favor of the Parish’s trial position that funding obligations are limited and the Parish’s 2024 budget for the 22nd JDC is above and beyond its mandate. This judgement set the basis for minimum funding obligations and did not determine the ultimate need for the courts.

“Keeping our community safe is a tremendous benefit to living in St. Tammany Parish and it is a driving factor for our world class quality of life, so funding our criminal justice system will continue to be a priority,” said President Cooper. “The 22nd Judicial District Court may need additional funding beyond the Parish’s minimum legal funding obligation in order for the Court to maintain its status as the premier district court in all of Louisiana.  We look forward to having those budget discussions with the judges in the coming months as we begin preparation of the Parish’s budget for calendar year 2025 and beyond.”

Trials in the coming months related to the budget requests of the District Attorney’s office, the Sheriff’s office for Parish Correctional Facility operations and maintenance, and the City Court of East St. Tammany will establish the Parish’s legal obligation to fund those agencies which will bring clarity and certainty to the state mandated funding obligations of St. Tammany Parish Government.