HONORABLE RICHARD J. WARD, JR.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR THE PARISHES OF
IBERVILLE, WEST BATON ROUGE & POINTE COUPEE
The 18th Judicial District is comprised of three parishes; Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and Iberville. Each parish has it’s own courthouse wherein the Judges of the “18th Judicial District” hear civil as well as criminal cases. When a judge in this district makes a ruling it is referred to as a ruling of the 18th Judicial District Court.
The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s office prosecutes all felonies in all three of the parishes that make up the 18th Judicial District. Additionally, the District Attorney’s office prosecutes most misdemeanors in the three parishes that are investigated by the Sheriff’s offices and the State Police, including traffic citations.
There are four Judges that serve in the 18th Judicial District. Until 1997 or 98 the Judges of the 18th Judicial District were elected by the voters of all three parishes that make the 18th Judicial District; however, since 1997 or 98 each of the four judges are elected in what is now known as “sub-districts”. Each sub-district is comprised of approximately 25% of the voters of the 18th Judicial District and is given a designation such as “Division A through D”. Each of the four Judges hear civil matters in all three parishes but have limited themselves to hearing criminal matters in only one parish. As a point of information I will list the judges from the 18th Judicial District along with their division designation and the parish to which they have been assigned criminal matters.
- Honorable James J. Best; Division A, assigned to all criminal matters in Pointe Coupee Parish.
- Honorable Robin Free; Division B, assigned to all criminal matters in West Baton Rouge Parish.
- Honorable Alvin Batiste, Division C, assigned to approximately half of all criminal matters in Iberville Parish.
- Honorable William Dupont, Division D, assigned to approximately half of all criminal matters in Iberville Parish.
As mentioned earlier, each of these judges must travel from parish to parish to hear civil matters in addition to their obligation to hear all criminal matters in the parish that has been assigned to them. These civil matters include, but are not limited to domestic cases such as divorce, child support and custody as well as personal injury lawsuits such as automobile accidents.
Please let me know if you have a question about this article or any other question you might have about a criminal matter.