April 22, 2021

Settlement of Lawsuits Against Judges of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court

LOUISIANA – The MacArthur Justice Center and its co-counsel in the Civil Rights Corps issue the following statement regarding the stipulated dismissal on April 2, 2021, of Moran v. Landrum-Johnson, 19-cv-13553-EEF-MBN, and Matthews v. Herman, 20-cv-1275.

On February 4, 2021, the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judges unanimously voted to approve the entry of an En Banc Order to memorialize for its Judges and Magistrate Commissioners, current and future, bail hearing procedures already in effect at the Court. The overarching goal of this En Banc Order is to provide consistency in protecting a criminal defendant’s pretrial rights as well as the protecting the community and ensuring that defendants do not flee from prosecution. The parties who filed this lawsuit sought to ensure that every individual appearing in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court would be afforded a constitutional bail hearing that included a consideration of a defendant’s ability to pay as well as consideration of non-financial conditions to pre-trial release and that no presumptively innocent individual would be detained prior to trial without the proper constitutional proceedings. Recognizing common goals to provide constitutional bail hearings and in light of the entry of the En Banc Order, both sides have agreed that the lawsuits against the Judges should be dismissed.