19th Judicial District

Last updated on: February 6, 2013

Parish: East Baton Rouge

District Defender/Supervisor:
Michael A. Mitchell
300 Louisiana Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
(225) 389-3150

General District Information:
In the 19th Judicial District, there are eight sections of District Court, five sections in Baton Rouge City court, and one section each in Baker and Zachary City Courts. There is a drug court program and a non-support court program in this district. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Annie E. Casey Foundation reported an estimated total population of 440,171 in this district, 103,665 of whom are children.

District Staff:
The District Defender in this district is Michael A. Mitchell, who has served in the position for 18 years and has been a public defender in Louisiana for 27 years. The 19th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office is a mixed staff and contract office. At the end of 2012 the district reported 41 staff attorneys in addition to the District Defender and 15 part-time contract attorneys. Attorneys are permitted to have a very limited private practice (non-criminal cases within the District). In addition to the District Defender, there are a number of supervising. A caseload reduction may be provided for supervising attorneys depending on the needs of their sections. The office also has 14 investigators and 17 administrative staff members.

Juvenile Defense:
The 19th Judicial District has one of the four juvenile courts in Louisiana, and this court has two sections. Three full-time staff attorneys, in addition to a supervising juvenile attorney and two part-time contract attorneys handle all juvenile cases in this district.

Indigency Determination and Availability of Clients:
In the 19th Judicial District, the Public Defenders’ Office makes the determination of indigence. Adult clients are held at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison or, if held outside the district, at the Catahoula Correctional Center (Harrisonburg), C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center (DeQuincy), Riverbend Detention Center (Lake Providence), West Baton Rouge Parish Jail, or facilities in East Carroll Parish. Juvenile clients are held at the East Baton Rouge Juvenile Detention Center or the Jetson Center for Youth.

Fees and Accounting:
The 19th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office collects the statutory $40 application fee from clients. In 2012, 7,975 applications were received for services. Fees were waived for 25 applicants and were not reduced for any applicants. A total of $151,610 was collected in 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 $2,686,542 in special fees, which was collected by the Public Defenders’ Office and by each of the 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, unless courts order that clients pay through the designated collector for that court (such as the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office or the Clerk of Court).

Caseload:
The 19th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office reported handling 31,496 cases in 2012. Of those, 7,160 involved juvenile matters, including 5,079 Child in Need of Care representations.

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East Baton Rouge Information

Demographics:
Land Area (square miles): 43,203.90
Population Density (per square mile): 104.9
Population: 440,171
Black: 45.3%
Hispanic: 3.7%
White: 48.8%
Other: 3%
Non-English Spoken at Home: 7.1%
High School Completion: 87.1%
Children in Special Education: 6,148
Bachelors Degree or Higher: 32.2%
Median Household Income: $44,720
Living Below the Poverty Line: 17.5%
Children (persons under 18): 23.6%
Child Population in Poverty: 26%
Youth under the Supervision of OJJ: 133

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Link to East Baton Rouge Parish Census

Kids Count Report

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