Lousiana v. NunezAnnotate this Case
The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on the allotment system of criminal cases in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court when the date of the offense is uncertain, specifically, whether La. Dist. Ct. Rule 14.0 or the defendants’ due process rights are violated by the case allotment system of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, which randomly assigns cases to different District Judges based on the first date of the first alleged offense. Defendants argued the procedure in place at the time of the allotment of their cases was unconstitutional as applied to multi-count, multi-defendant cases, or to cases in which the date of offense is uncertain and in which the prosecutor has discretion to allege the earliest date of a charged offense. Upon review, the Supreme Court found the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court’s allotment process was sufficiently random and did not vest the District Attorney with the power to choose the Judge to whom a particular case is assigned, instead tethering judicial assignment to the defendant’s conduct. As defendants presented no evidence of actual manipulation or prejudice, the Court reversed the Court of Appeal granting the motions to quash allotment and ordering re-allotment, reinstate the trial courts’ denials of the defendants’ motions to quash and/or for re-allotment, and remanded these cases to their respective trial courts for further proceedings.