“There is an ethical duty for any justice of the peace to make sure all cases are heard in the correct jurisdiction. The duty begins when someone walks into the office, knowing the district limits and directing every litigant to the appropriate court,” asserted Lynelle Johnson, candidate for 3rd Justice Court-Justice of the Peace.
She stressed that point on more than one occasion in a sit-down interview recently, “because appropriate jurisdiction is the foundation of all court decisions, without it any judgment is invalid.” Johnson would not get into specifics, unwilling to expose innocent litigants to adverse consequences.
Pelican Post did unearth multiple cases illustrative of the point, the most egregious being an Eviction of the occupants at 502 Claiborne Ave, Donaldsonville LA dated July 6, 2018. The city, along with the rest of Ascension’s west bank, comprises the 1st Justice Court jurisdictional limits. Two weeks later, the same litigants appeared on a second Eviction Petition for the same street address (502 Claiborne Ave) but listing Prairieville in place of Donaldsonville.
We could find no Claiborne Ave in Prairieville. A search of land records established that the property owner listed on the Eviction Petition did, in fact, own the tract located at 502 Claiborne Street, Donaldsonville.
“All any litigant has a right to expect of the 3rd Justice Court is a fair hearing and accurate application of Louisiana law,” Lynelle Johnson said. “Judgments which are null and void can cost the people who depend on this court lots of money with little or no recourse. It is unfair to the landowner and a wrongfully evicted family with nowhere to go.”
Justice Court’s also have jurisdictional limits on the amount involved in any matter, the cap is $5,000. There is a certain Bill of Sale, purporting to transfer ownership of a mobile home, in excess of the limit but executed before “Judge-John C. Hebert.” The question of said mobile home’s ownership became an issue in Parish Court, two separate bills of sale being presented during the proceedings, with Hebert family members in the mix.
Ascension Parish Court rectified the egregious error, declaring the evictee to be owner of the mobile home in question by Judgment dated November 3, 2017 (Suit No. 2017-432).
It is this type of error that Lynelle Johnson promises “to clean up,” going on to note “all cases filed are time sensitive.”
“All those with business before 3rd Justice deserve a Justice of the Peace who treats the office with respect; an officer of the court who treats them with courtesy, proficiency and professionalism…and impartiality,” Johnson responded. “No litigant should expect anything less.”
Lynelle Johnson had one more thing to add. She has not accepted a single contribution because “I never want anyone to think I owe any favors. There are no good ole’ boy politics here.”
Election Day is November 3. Early Voting begins Friday (October 16) and runs through October 27.