Rapides attorney files writ with Third Circuit after judges switch cases

RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - UPDATE (12/4/18 at 4:15 p.m.): The Third Circuit has granted a stay until Dec. 6 to allow the 9th JDC to provide proof that it followed the rules to transfer cases, attorney Chad Guillot tells News Channel 5.

(Source: KALB)

ORIGINAL STORY (12/4/18): A local attorney is filing an emergency writ with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal after Rapides Parish Judge Greg Beard denied his objection on Monday related to Judge Beard and newly sworn in Judge Chris Hazel transferring divisions.

Chad Guillot is currently representing Anthony Strong, who is charged with armed robbery. That case has been assigned to division B, which now belongs to Judge Hazel. His trial was supposed to begin this week.

But, when Judge Hazel was sworn in on Monday, the decision was made to swap cases with Judge Beard, who is assigned to division G, essentially moving workloads between judges.

In an objection filed by Guillot and heard before Judge Beard on Monday, Guillot argued that the "only the division B judge can hear any matters unless the case is transferred or consolidated according to the Local Rules of Court." Guillot also argued that in order to properly transfer a case to another division, "a show cause hearing" must be held before an ad hoc judge.

This argument circles around what is called "random allotment," which essentially prevents a judge from cherry picking a case or allowing in bias to ensure a fair outcome.

Judge Beard denied Guillot's objection. So, Guillot will now take it to the higher court for a second opinion.

We have attached Guillot's original objection in this article.

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