Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal
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The Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal are the intermediate appellate courts in Louisiana. There are five courts in this appellate system. The courts were established in 1879. They primarily handle appeals in criminal court cases.
A court of appeal takes appeals from the district courts. The Circuit Courts of Appeal have jurisdiction in civil cases, cases appealed from family and juvenile courts, and most criminal cases. The courts may also review and supervise district court cases, and may defer questions of law to the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Each of the five circuits is divided into at least three districts. The legislature may change, by a two-thirds vote of each house, the number of circuits, districts, and judges.
There are 53 judges on the Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal. Judges sit in panels of at least three; a majority of a panel must concur to decide on a case.
Judges of the Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal are elected in partisan elections. Once elected, judges serve 10-year terms. Vacancies are filled via special elections; interim judges complete the remainder of the unexpired term. On each of the five courts, the judge who has served the longest is named the chief judge.
To be considered for office, a candidate must:
- have practiced law for at least 10 years in Louisiana;
- have been a resident of the district and/or the circuit for at least one year;
- be no more than 70 years old, the mandatory retirement age.
The annual salary for judges of the Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal has been $152,091 since 2014.
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