The District Attorney’s role in the 18th Judicial District Court
The 18th Judicial District is comprised of three parishes; Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and Iberville. Each parish has its 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 Districtand 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, the judges from the 18th Judicial District along with their division designation and the parish to which they have been assigned criminal matters are:
- Honorable J. Kevin Kimball; Division A, assigned to all criminal matters in Pointe Coupee Parish.
- Honorable Tonya S. Lurry ; 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 Elizabeth A. Engolio, 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.