2017 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 13 - Courts and Judicial Procedure
RS 13:5208 - Judge's role; judgment; new trial; stay; installment payments; enforcement
§5208. Judge's role; judgment; new trial; stay; installment payments; enforcement
A. At trial, and after ascertaining that the case is properly lodged in the small claims division, it is the duty of the judge to conduct an informal hearing, and to develop all of the facts necessary and relevant to an impartial determination of the case. The judge may take testimony, raise defenses or claims of which the parties may be unaware, summon any party to appear as a witness in the suit upon his own motion, and do other acts which in his discretion appear necessary to effect a correct judgment and speedy disposition of the case. He may attempt to conciliate disputes and encourage fair settlements among the parties. The court may by local rule limit the role of attorneys in small claims division proceedings.
B. A judgment rendered in a small claims division becomes final and executory three days after it is signed, or notice of that judgment, if necessary, is mailed, unless within that period a motion for new trial is filed or the judge stays execution of that judgment in accordance with Subsection D of this Section.
C. Notice of judgment shall be mailed or served by the marshal, constable, or sheriff to a defendant against whom judgment is rendered if the citation was not served on or received by him personally and he failed to appear or answer. For purposes of this Part, the date of mailing such notice shall be considered the date the judgment is signed.
D. When judgment is to be rendered in an action pursuant to this Part, and the party against whom it is to be entered requests an inquiry, or on the judge's own motion, the judge may inquire fully into the party's financial status and may stay execution and order partial payments in such amounts, over such periods, and upon such terms, which may include payment to the clerk of court, as deemed just under the circumstances. Upon a showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the party has failed to meet an installment payment without just excuse, the stay of execution shall be vacated. When a stay of execution has not been ordered or when a stay of execution has been vacated as provided in this Subsection, the party in whose favor the judgment has been entered may avail himself of all remedies available for the enforcement of the judgment provided by the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure.
Added by Acts 1977, No. 710, §1; Acts 1987, No. 256, §1.