James F. McKay, III
Example: First (Middle) Last
Jane A Doe
Justin Woods received his undergraduate and law degree from Loyola University of New Orleans in 1989 and 1996, respectively.
Prior to his appointment as Clerk of Court, Mr. Woods was a practicing attorney in New Orleans representing both public and
private clients in various litigation matters throughout his years of practice with The Woods Law Group, L.L.C., Gainsburgh,
Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. and The Murray Law Firm, L.L.C.
Mr. Woods is a member of the National, American, Louisiana and New Orleans bar associations.
He is a fellow of the American and Louisiana bar foundations. He currently serves as the Vice-President of the Greater
New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society. He is currently a board member of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action
Center and a board member and past President of CASA of New Orleans. He is a past board member of the New Orleans
Bar Association and past board member and Chair of the Pro Bono Project. Mr. Woods is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha
Fraternity, Incorporated. He has received numerous awards and honors, most notably including: the New Orleans Chapter of
the Alliance for Good Government 2011 Civic Involvement Award, the Pro Bono Project 2012 Friend of Pro Bono Award and the
Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Society 2014 President’s Award.
For more information regarding the Language Access Plan please review the following document: Language Access Plan
If you need interpretive services or want more information about our language access services, please contact the Clerk’s Office at (504)412-6001 or email us at email@example.com.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Office of Language Access, available here.
If you have a complaint regarding language access, please click here.
Language Access Forms and Manual:
State of Louisiana Courts
Location and Hours
Monday through Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (except holidays)
3rd Floor, 400 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
410 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130-2199
Telephone: (504) 412-6001
Facsimile: (504) 412-6019
For after hour emergency filings rules please click here
Telephone: (504) 412-6001
Facsimile: (504) 412-6019
$0.05 - Copy Fee for Inmates / per page
$1.00 - Copy of an Opinion / per page
$2.00 - Copy Fee / per page
$3.00 - Emergency Fax
$35.00 - Copy of Record - Electronic Media (Counsel of Record ONLY)
$50.00 - Civil Motion
$50.00 - Electronic Convenience Charge
$100.00 - Amicus
$100.00 - Appellee Late Brief Filing
$100.00 - Civil Motion W/O Record
$126.50 - Filing Answer to Appeal
$126.50 - Filing for Rehearing
$177.00 - Filing of Writ
$336.50 - Criminal Appeal (Civil)
$337.00 - Filing of Appeal
The Judicial System of Louisiana  began in 1712 with the creation of a Superior Council with executive and judicial powers from a French Charter.
In 1769 the Cabildo, who appointed judges of a general jurisdiction, following Spanish judicial custom, replaced the Superior Council.
From 1803 to 1804, Governor C. C. Claiborne was vested with the power of the Court of the last resort in both civil and criminal matters.
In 1804, the United States Congress created the Superior Court, of general jurisdiction.
Shortly thereafter the Legislative Council established courts with criminal jurisdiction and jury trials, replacing Governor Claiborne’s judicial authority.
In 1812, Louisiana became a state and adopted a Constitution, which created a Supreme Court, the only appellate court in the state, its jurisdiction being limited to civil appeals.
The Constitution of 1845 gave the Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction in criminal and civil cases.
Prior to 1879, there were no intermediate appellate courts in Louisiana.
Courts of appeal were created by the Constitution of 1879 in order to mitigate docket congestion and delay in the Louisiana Supreme Court.
The Constitution of 1879 created six courts of appeal, one of which was designated the Court of Appeal for the parish of Orleans, that presided over civil cases only.
The rest if the state was divided into five circuits, numbered from one to five, with a Court of Appeal created for each.
The Orleans Courts of Appeal’s jurisdiction was limited both geographical and by jurisdictional amount.
The court heard appeals from the lower courts in Orleans Parish, with a further limitation that civil and probate cases heard by the court were confined to those
involving matters in dispute valued at greater than $200 but equal to or less than exactly $1000. An additional clause provided that “Said appeals shall be upon questions
of law alone in all cases involving less than five hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, and upon the law and the facts in other cases.”
The right to review de novo factual issues was based on the civil law method from France and Spain.
Judges of the Orleans Court of Appeal were elected by the two houses of the General Assembly in joint session until 1898.
The small jurisdictional amount requirement proved limited in practice. Therefore, the Louisiana legislature in 1884 amended the jurisdictional amount to allow
appeals in cases involving matters in dispute valued at at least $100, but equal to or less that $2000.
Judicial staffing and procedures of the original court were unusual. Initially, the Court of Appeal for the Parish of Orleans was comprised of two judges.
When both judges agreed their decision was a final judgment. However, when the judges disagreed, the judgment of the lower court was affirmed.
Because this procedure was obviously unsatisfactory, an amendment to the 1884 Constitution was passed, providing that when two judges disagreed,
they were required to select and appoint a lawyer, who possessed the qualifications for a judge of the Court of Appeal to act as the third judgment and resolve the conflict.
Subsequently, approval by two judges became a final judgment.
Eventually, it became apparent that the territorial and jurisdictional limitations in the Court of Appeal were inefficient and expensive to operate.
The Constitution of 1898 enlarged the Court of Appeal for the Parish of Orleans to three judges, who would be elected by voters within the circuit,
and increased the geographical jurisdiction to include civil appeals from the Parishes of Jefferson, St. Charles, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard, in addition to those
from the Parish of Orleans. The Constitution also provided for civil appellate jurisdiction over the City Court of New Orleans
and that all such appeals “Shall be tried de novo, and the judges of the Court of Appeal may provide rules that one or more of the judges shall try such cases,
which they shall be authorized to decide immediately after trial, and without written opinion.” The procedure of a de novo,
single judge trial, for small claims, was quintessentially European.
In 1906, the Court’s territorial jurisdiction was further expanded to include the Parishes of St. James and St. John the Baptist,
a total of 7 parishes.
The Constitution of 1921 implemented significant changes to expand the jurisdiction of the Courts of Appeal. The judges were elected to twelve-year terms of office.
Jurisdiction was extended to all civil appeals for damages for injuries or death, regardless of the amount in dispute, as well as all suits for worker’s
compensation under any State of Federal Compensation Act.
Prior to this time most of these appeals were direct to the Louisiana Supreme Court because of jurisdictional amount.
In 1958, it became apparent that the Louisiana Supreme Court could no longer manage its docket without significant delay. Therefore, a number of radical changes to the
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal were enacted by Constitutional amendments, to take effect in 1960. Those changes provided for a major
reallocation of appellate authority between the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. A fourth Court of Appeal was added to the existing three.
With few exceptions, all civil appeals without limitation were allowed to proceed directly to the Courts of Appeal, and that by Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeal for the Parish of Orleans eliminated the single judge de novo appeal from the City Court of Orleans; instead, those appeals would be treated like
any civil appeal. However, the Supreme Court would continue to have general exclusive criminal jurisdiction over all criminal appeals in every other conviction in
which a fine of $500 or a sentence of more than six months was imposed.
In 1960, the name of the Court was changed from the Court of Appeal for the Parish of Orleans to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal for the State of Louisiana.
Its domicile was and is the City of New Orleans.
Eventually, the new system proved unworkable because of the explosion of criminal appeals to the Supreme Court. The Louisiana Constitution was amended in 1980,
effective July 1, 1982, transferring all criminal appellate jurisdiction from the Supreme Court to the Courts of Appeal, except in cases where the death penalty
has actually been imposed. The Supreme Court retained jurisdiction to review judgments by writ application of the Courts of Appeal in both civil and criminal cases.
The 1980 legislation divided the Fourth Circuit into two parts. The parishes of Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines remained in the Fourth Circuit,
while the Parishes of Jefferson, St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist were transferred to the newly created Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal,
located in Gretna, Louisiana. The 1982 legislation also increased the number of Fourth Circuit judges from six to twelve. The Court is currently composed of
two judges elected from the large population of the three parishes, one each from St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parish, and eight from Orleans Parish.
To date 62 judges have served on either the Court of Appeal for the Parish of Orleans or the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal.
By Retired Judge Steven R. PLotkin
Retired Judge, Louisiana Court of Appeal
New Orleans, Louisiana
For more information on the Louisiana Judicial Courts, feel free to download the Louisiana Judicial Branch Overview.
Louisiana Judicial Branch Overview
Meet the Judges