20th Judicial District
Last updated on: February 6, 2013
Rhonda B. Covington
12213 Jackson Street
Clinton, LA 70722
General District Information:
In the 20th Judicial District, there are two sections of District Court. There are no City Courts and no specialty courts. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Annie E. Casey Foundation reported an estimated total population of 35,892 in this district, 6,910 of whom are children.
The District Defender in this district is Rhonda B. Covington, who has served in the position for more than 2 years and has been a public defender in Louisiana for 11 years. The 20th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office is a contract public defenders’ office. At the end of 2012 the district reported a full-time District Defender and three part-time contract attorneys. There are no restrictions on private practice outside of the Public Defenders’ Office. The District Defender supervises all staff. There is no caseload reduction provided for her. The office also has two administrative staff members.
Juvenile cases are heard by District Judges in the 20th Judicial District. All defenders handle juvenile cases.
Indigency Determination and Availability of Clients:
In the 20th Judicial District, the Court makes the initial determination of indigence, with further determinations of eligibility for services performed by the Public Defenders’ Office. Adult clients are held in the East Feliciana Parish Detention Center or the West Feliciana Parish Detention Center or, if held outside of the district, in the Avoyelles Parish Correctional Center (Cottonport), the Avoyelles Marksville Detention Center or facilities in Richland, Livingston, or St. Helena Parishes. Juvenile clients are held outside of the district in the St. James Youth Center or Office of Juvenile Justice.
Fees and Accounting:
The 20th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office collects the statutory $40 application fee from clients. In 2012, 513 applications were received for services. Fees were not waived for any applicants, as clients chose not to pay and fees were not reduced for any applicants. A total of $4,280 was collected in application fees. Courts in this district assess the statutory special cost fee to support local public defender services; however, individuals who are sentenced to prison without any probation time or suspension in sentence are not assessed court costs or any other fees. In 2012, the district received $118,523 in special cost fees, collected by the East and West Feliciana Parish Sheriffs’ Offices. Courts in this district also may assess partial indigence payments for services based on clients’ ability to pay. Any resulting payments are collected by the East and West Feliciana Parish Sheriffs’ Offices.
The 20th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office reported handling 843 cases in 2012. Of those, 73 involved juvenile matters, including 20 Child in Need of Care representations.
East Feliciana Information
Land Area (square miles): 453.41
Population Density (per square mile): 44.7
Non-English Spoken at Home: 2.2%
High School Completion: 77.6%
Children in Special Education: 306
Bachelors Degree or Higher: 11.9%
Median Household Income: $38,856
Living Below the Poverty Line: 19.7%
Children (persons under 18): 20.7%
Child Population in Poverty: 26%
Youth under the Supervision of OJJ: 9
Link to East Feliciana Parish Census
Kids Count Report