37th Judicial District
Last updated on: February 6, 2013
301 Wall Street
Columbia, LA 71418
General District Information:
In the 37th Judicial District, there is one section in District Court and no City Courts. There is a drug court and a mental health court program in this district. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Annie E. Casey Foundation reported a total population of 10,132 in this district, 2,374 of whom are children.
The District Defender in this district is Louis Champagne, who has served in the position for 11 years and has been a public defender in Louisiana for 15 years. The 37th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office is a contract public defenders’ office. At the end of 2012 the district reported one part-time contract attorney in addition to the District Defender. There are no restrictions on private attorney practice outside of the Public Defenders’ Office. The District Defender supervises all staff and there is no caseload reduction provided to him. The office also has one investigator and one administrative staff member.
Juvenile cases are heard by the District Judge in the 37th Judicial District. One attorney handles juvenile cases in this district.
Indigency Determination and Availability of Clients:
In the 37th Judicial District, the Public Defenders’ Office makes the determination of indigence. Adult male clients are held at Caldwell Correctional Center, while adult female clients are held in facilities in Richland or Franklin Parish. Juvenile clients are held in Green Oaks Detention Center (Monroe).
Fees and Accounting:
The 37th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office collects the statutory $40 application fee from clients. In 2012, 149 applications were received for services. No fees were waived or reduced for applicants. A total of $3,840 in application fees was collected. Courts in this district assess the statutory special cost fee to support local public defender services in every case resulting in a conviction. In 2012, the district received $31,048 in special cost fees which are collected by the Caldwell Parish Sheriff’s Office. Courts in this district may also assess partial indigence payments for services based on a client’s ability to pay. All accounting functions for the 37th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office are handled internally by staff.
The 37th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office reported handling 809 cases in 2012. Of those, two involved juvenile matters, including one Child in Need of Care representations.
Land Area (square miles): 529.43
Population Density (per square mile): 19.1
Non-English Spoken at Home: 1.7%
High School Completion: 78%
Children in Special Education: 263 (Non-public: 0)
Bachelors Degree or Higher: 12.5%
Median Household Income: $35,345
Living Below the Poverty Line: 21.2%
Children (persons under 18): 23.4%
Child Population in Poverty: 31%
Youth under the Supervision of OJJ: 6
Link to Caldwell Parish Census
Kids Count Report