2018 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:1405 - Premises used by criminal street gang; nuisances; actions for injunction, abatement, and damages; other remedies for unlawful use; exceptions
§1405. Premises used by criminal street gang; nuisances; actions for injunction, abatement, and damages; other remedies for unlawful use; exceptions
A. Every private building or place used by members of a criminal street gang for the commission of a pattern of criminal gang activity is a nuisance and may be the subject of an injunction or cause of action for damages or for abatement of the nuisance as provided for in this Chapter.
B. Any person may file a petition for injunctive relief with the appropriate court seeking eviction from or closure of any premises used for commission of a pattern of criminal gang activity by a criminal street gang. Upon proof by the plaintiff that the premises are being used by members of a criminal street gang for the commission of a pattern of criminal gang activity, the court may order the owner of record or the lessee of the premises to remove or evict the persons from the premises and order the premises sealed, prohibit further use of the premises, or enter such order as may be necessary to prohibit the premises from being used for the commission of a pattern of criminal gang activity and to abate the nuisance.
C. Any action for injunction, damages, abatement, or other relief filed pursuant to this Section shall proceed according to the provisions of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure.
D. The court shall not issue an injunction or assess a civil penalty against any owner of record or the lessee of the private building or place, unless that person knew or should have known or had been notified of the use of the premises for a pattern of criminal gang activity. Any injunctive relief other than that specifically authorized in Subsection F of this Section shall be limited to that which is necessary to protect the health and safety of the residents or the public or that which is necessary to prevent further criminal activity. In addition to any other damages or injunction awarded, the court may assess a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars against any or all of the defendants, as provided in Paragraph F(4) of this Section.
E. A petition for injunction shall not be filed until thirty days after notice of the unlawful use or criminal conduct has been provided to the owner of record or the lessee, by mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, to the last known address, or by personal service. If the premises are abandoned or closed, or if the whereabouts of the owner of record or lessee is unknown, all notices, process, pleadings, and orders required to be delivered or served under this Section may be attached to a door of the premises, and this shall have the same effect as personal service on the owner of record or lessee. No injunctive relief authorized by Subsection F of this Section shall be issued in the form of a temporary restraining order.
F. If the court has previously issued injunctive relief ordering the owner of record or the lessee of the premises to close the premises or otherwise to keep the premises from being used for the commission of a pattern of criminal gang activity, the court, upon proof of failure to comply with the terms of the injunction and that the premises continue to be used for the commission of a pattern of criminal gang activity, may do one or more of the following:
(1) Order the premises demolished and cleared at the cost of the owner.
(2) Order the premises sold at public auction and the proceeds from the sale, minus the costs of the sale and the expenses of bringing the action, delivered to the owner.
(3) Order the defendant to pay damages to persons or local governing authorities who have been damaged or injured or have incurred expense as a result of the defendant's failure to take reasonable steps or precautions to comply with the terms of any injunction issued pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.
(4) Assess a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars against the defendant based upon the severity of the nuisance and its duration. In establishing the amount of any civil penalty, the court shall consider all of the following factors:
(a) The actions taken by the defendant to mitigate or correct the problem at the private building or place or the reasons why no such action was taken.
(b) The failure of the plaintiff to provide notice as required by Subsection E.
(c) Any other factor deemed by the court to be relevant.
G. No nonprofit or charitable organization, which is conducting its affairs with ordinary care or skill, and no governmental entity shall be enjoined pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.
H. Nothing in this Chapter shall preclude any aggrieved person from seeking any other remedy provided by law.
Acts 1990, No. 230, §1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 97, §1.