14th Judicial District

Last updated on: July 26, 2012

Parish: Calcasieu

District Defender/Supervisor:
Harry Fontenot
1032 Ryan Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601
(337) 436-1718

General District Information:
In the 14th Judicial District, there are nine sections of District Court and three divisions of City Court (two in Lake Charles and one in Sulphur). There is a drug court program and a mental health court program in this district. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Annie E. Casey Foundation reported an estimated total population of 192,768 in this district, 49,012 of whom are children.

District Staff:
The District Defender in this district is Jay T. Dixon, who has served in the position for two years and has been a public defender in Louisiana for nine years. The District Defender supervises all staff in two contiguous judicial districts, the 14th and 38th. The 14th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office is a mixed staff and contract Public Defenders’ Office. At the end of 2012 the district reported 15 full-time attorneys in addition to the District Defender and five part-time attorneys. Full-time staff attorneys are not permitted to represent clients in private cases. Contract attorneys are considered part-time and have their own private practices. In addition to the District Defender, there are two supervising attorneys. No caseload reduction is provided for supervising attorneys. The office also has three investigators and six administrative staff members.

Juvenile Defense:
Juvenile cases are heard by District Judges in the 14th Judicial District.

Indigency Determination and Availability of Clients:
In the 14th Judicial District, a judge makes the determination of indigence. Adult clients are held at the Calcasieu Correctional Center. Juveniles are held at the Calcasieu Parish Juvenile Detention Center.

Fees and Accounting:
The 14th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office collects the statutory $40 application fee from clients. In 2012, 2,037 applications were received for services. Fees were not waived or reduced for any applicants. A total of $22,026 was collected for application fees. Courts in this district assess the statutory special cost fee in every case resulting in a conviction to support local public defender services. In 2012, the district received $783,213 in special fees, which was collected by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Clerks for the Lake Charles and Sulphur City Courts. 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 Public Defenders’ Office. All accounting functions for the 14th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office are handled internally by staff.

Caseload:
The 14th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office reported handling 14,428 cases in 2012. Of those, 1,538 involved juvenile matters, including 659 Child in Need of Care representations.

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Calcasieu Information

Demographics:
Land Area (square miles): 1,063.66
Population Density (per square mile): 181.2
Population: 192,768
Black: 24.8%
Hispanic: 2.6%
White: 70.8%
Other: 1.6%
Non-English Spoken at Home: 7.4%
High School Completion: 81.2%
Children in Special Education: 6,303
Bachelors Degree or Higher: 19.3%
Median Household Income: $43,534
Living Below the Poverty Line: 16.4%
Children (persons under 18): 25.4%
Child Population in Poverty: 24%
Youth under the Supervision of OJJ: 53

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Link to Calcasieu Parish Census

Kids Count Report

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