Other Officials

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In addition to Police Jurors, there are several other elected officials in the parishes. These officials and their duties are described below.

The State of Louisiana is divided into 40 judicial districts, each composed of at least one parish and served by at least one District Judge. The number of District Judges in a judicial district is set by the State Legislature. The District Court has jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters and felony cases, as well as other instances requiring a decision of the Court.

A District Judge must have been admitted to the practice of law in Louisiana for at least five years prior to election and have been domiciled in the respective district the two years before the election. He is not permitted to practice law after taking office. The term of a District Judge is six years.

Each judicial district elects a District Attorney who shall have charge of criminal prosecutions in the district and serve as the representative of the State before the Grand Jury. He employs assistants as the law provides and other necessary personnel.

The District Attorney must have been admitted to the practice of law in Louisiana for at least five years prior to election and have been domiciled in the respective district for the two years before the election. The term of the District Attorney is six years.

Sheriff is elected in each parish and is the chief law enforcement officer. Along with others, he is responsible for enforcing state laws and parish ordinances. The Sheriff supervises the operation of the parish jail and the keeping of prisoners. He transports persons committed to state institutions and is empowered to carry out other court orders. The Sheriff employs deputies and other personnel necessary to perform the duties and responsibilities of his office.

The Sheriff also serves in most parishes as ex-officio tax collector for ad valorem (property) taxes. As tax collector, he conducts the sale of property for nonpayment of taxes. The Sheriff must be a qualified elector of the Parish, and his term of office is four years.

A clerk of the district court (Clerk of Court) is elected in each parish. The Clerk keeps the records of the Court and serves as recorder of conveyances, mortgages, and other official documents. In addition, many orders involved in the judicial process are issued through the Clerk of Court's office. The Clerk of Court must be a qualified elector of the Parish and his term of office is four years.

Calcasieu Assessor is elected in each parish and is responsible for determining the fair market value of all taxable property within the parish, except public services (such as public utilities) which is handled by the Louisiana Tax Commission. Criteria for determining the values are established by law and must be uniformly applied throughout the State. These values, known as tax assessments, are used in arriving at the amount of taxes to be paid on a piece of property. The Calcasieu Assessor must be a qualified elector of the Parish and their term of office is four years.

A Coroner is elected in each parish and is responsible for investigating all cases of alleged sex-related crimes and deaths that occur under specified circumstances. Generally, these circumstances are cases of suspicious, unexpected, or violent deaths, and deaths without a physician in recent attendance.

The Coroner orders and/or performs autopsies when he considers them necessary. Under procedures established by law, a coroner may order the commitment of persons for mental examinations and treatment. The Coroner must be a qualified elector of the Parish and a licensed physician, except in parishes where no licensed physician will accept the post. He serves a term of four years.

The Registrar of Voters is appointed by the parish governing authority and is responsible for the registration of voters in the Parish and for the administration and enforcement of the laws and the rules and regulations of the State Commissioner of Elections relating to the registration of such voters. She also conducts absentee voting. The Registrar of Voters must be a qualified elector and a resident of the Parish.

Some parishes have justices of the peace, and if so, the Justice of the Peace is elected for terms of six years, except in Rapides Parish which has four-year terms. The Justice of the Peace may perform marriage ceremonies and has concurrent jurisdiction with the District Court in cases that do not exceed $5,000, except when real estate, political subdivisions, or probate matters are involved. He must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and be a qualified elector, be of good moral character, and be able to read and write English correctly.

In parishes with justices of the peace, a constable is also elected to serve Justice of the Peace Court and to assist in enforcement of the law. The Constable must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and be a qualified elector, be of good moral character, and be able to read and write the English language. His term is the same as the Justice of the Peace.

Each parish has a Parish School Board which is the governing body of the Parish School System. Each School Board determines the number of schools to be opened, their location, and the number of teachers employed. School Boards have their own financing through taxation, state assistance, etc., and have the responsibility to insure that all provisions of the state school laws are complied with.

A member of a School Board must be a qualified elector at least 18 years old, a resident of the State for the preceding two years and actually domiciled in his respective district for one year prior to seeking election. He must be able to read and write the English language. The term of a school board member is four years.