Orleans Civil Court Expands Into First Floor,
Will Get New Elevators!
Chief Judge Paulette Irons speaks at a news conference announcing the expansion of Orleans Parish Civil District Court and First City
Court into renovated space on the first floor of the Civil Courts Building. Pictured from left to right are New Orleans City Councilman
Jared Brossett, Orleans Civil Court Judge Nakisha Ervin-Knott, Chief Judge Irons and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
Orleans Parish Civil District Court and First City Court will expand into renovated first floor courtrooms and offices
recently vacated by Orleans Parish Juvenile Court. Speaking at a recent news conference Orleans Civil Court Chief Judge Paulette
Irons says both Civil and First City Court will have access to 4 more courtrooms that will provide relief from overcrowding in
courtrooms on the upper floors of the courthouse. Judge Irons says, "These extra courtrooms will be most useful on those occasions
when the building's old elevators break down, something that is happening more and more lately. Judges can move trials or hearings
to the first floor courtrooms keeping those involved from having to climb the stairs. Many of those who use the courthouse rely on
the elevators because they cannot physically use the stairs."
Chief Judge Irons adds that having courtrooms on the first floor will hopefully put an end to the need to close the
courthouse when the elevators fail. The new additions will also come in handy while new elevators are being installed this
summer and fall disrupting already limited elevator service even more.
Another big change thanks to the expansion is that the Civil Court Jury Pool Lounge will permanently move from the
third floor to the newly renovated space on the first floor. This will make it easier for those called to jury duty to report.
Some Civil Court Judges will be able to use the new first floor courtrooms for "Voire Dire," the sometimes lengthy process of
picking a jury for a trial. Having the jury pool on the first floor right next to several courtrooms will significantly cut
down on moving large numbers of potential jurors around a courthouse with severely limited elevator service.
Civil Court Expands (cont'd)
One of 4 new courtrooms!
Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined Chief Judge Irons in applauding the expansion. "Our Judges of Civil District Court,
residents and employees have advocated for far too long for a clean, just and safe environment. I listened, and approved
these upgrades because it was the right thing to do," said Mayor Cantrell. "With four renovated courtrooms and a new jury
pool lounge all on the first floor-- I'm confident these improvements will help ensure better access to justice for all of
Additionally, the new space on the first floor will allow First City Court's Section D, which convenes every Wednesday,
to permanently move into one of the new courtrooms. Currently this section of First City Court has to find an unused
Civil Court courtroom to hold hearings on that day. Also the heavily used Civil Court Self Help Desk and Domestic Violence
Coordinator will move to the first floor along with a section of the Civil Court Clerk's Office. And finally the expansion
will provide more space for juries to hold deliberations as well as private rooms for attorney-client conferences.
New Judges Take The Oath
D. Nicole Sheppard is sworn in as the new Judge of Division "J" by
Louisiana State Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson.
Former First City Court Clerk Ellen Hazeur takes the oath as the
new Judge presiding over Division "A".
Doing the honors is former CDC Judge and recent
New Orleans District "C" Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey.
Summer Workers At CDC
Several Divisions at CDC have welcomed student summer workers including Division "A".
Posing (left to right) are Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Robison, Court Crier Ilijana Todorovic,
Summer Worker Lenai Hubbard, Division "A" Judge Ellen Hazeur, Minute Clerk Lisa Robinson Hubbard,
Law Clerk Ashley Demouy and Court Reporter Meg Gammage
Family Court at CDC also welcomed summer help. Pictured (left to right) are Court Crier Jessica McClain,
Summer Worker Anna Lee, Division 'K" Judge Bernadette D'Souza, Minute Clerk Rita Mendoza
and Law Clerk Patrick McLellan.
First City Court has a student summer worker too! Seen (left to right) are Law Clerk Carmilla Rose,
Minute Clerk Dormella Carraby, Court Crier Joe Jones,
FCC Senior Judge Angelique Reed, Summer Intern Nicholas Ramsey
and Court Reporter Alcerdes Coignet.