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Louisiana - Appealing an Eviction - What Rights Do I Have?

Louisiana - Appealing an Eviction - What Rights Do I Have?

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Published by: ForeclosureGate.org Library on Apr 01, 2011
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LawHelp.Org/LA is Administered by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
LawHelp/LA Home Page>Housing>Evictions Print Close Larger Text
Appealing an Eviction - WhatRights Do I Have?
by: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (New Orleansoffice)
What If I Lose My Eviction Trial?
You have the right to appeal to a higher court.Make sure you read the instructions for appealing aneviction judgment from the kind of court that ruled inyour eviction case. The way you appeal can bedifferent, depending on whether you were in a justiceof the peace court, a city court or a parish court.
What Does An Appeal Do?
A "suspensive appeal" stops the eviction until theappeal is decided by the higher court. It can takeseveral weeks to a year for the appeal to be decided.During this kind of appeal, you get to stay in yourapartment.You are not allowed to take a suspensive appeal unlessyou filed a written notarized (verified) answer to theeviction before the eviction trial. Your answer musthave raised what is called an "affirmative defense."To take a suspensive appeal, you must post an appealbond within 24 hours of the court's eviction judgment.If you can't take a "suspensive" appeal, you can stillappeal. But this other kind of appeal won't stop thelandlord from evicting you.
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By: American Bar Association
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By: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (NewOrleans office)
Page 1 of 8LawHelp State Frequently Asked Questions3/31/2011http://www.lawhelp.org/LA/showdocument.cfm/County/%20/City/%20/demoMode/=%20...
How Do I Appeal An Eviction?
To appeal, you must file a written appeal and anappeal bond within 24 hours of the eviction judgment.Where you file and what you file depends on whichcourt first decided your case.If you were evicted by a justice of the peace, yourappeal is to the parish court or, if there is no parishcourt, to the district court. This is generally done byfiling a law suit for "trial
de novo
" in the parish ordistrict court. Sometimes this is called a "petition forsuspensive appeal by trial de novo." The parish ordistrict judge will hold a new trial, hear the evidenceand legal argument, and decide whether you should beevicted. You may make new arguments and bring newevidence for the new trial.If you were evicted by a city, parish, or district court,you must file a "Motion for Suspensive Appeal" withthat court. The appeal will be based on the transcriptof your trial and will be heard by a panel of three (3)judges of the court of appeal. You do not get a newtrial with the court of appeal. But you must show thatthe lower court made a mistake about the law or aclear mistake about the facts. To do this, you mustwrite a written brief explaining why the lower court'sdecision should be reversed.
How Much Does An Appeal Cost?
For any suspensive appeal, remember that you alsohave to post an appeal bond.The other costs depend on which kind of court hearsyour appeal.The cost to appeal a judgment from a justice of thepeace court will be the filing fee of the parish ordistrict court that hears the appeal. The fee can behundreds of dollars, so be sure to call the clerk of court ahead of time to find out. You may also have topay for subpoenas of witnesses.An appeal to a court of appeal will require payment of its filing fee and the cost of the transcript of the trial inthe lower court. Again, you should call the clerk of court for the court of appeal you are filing in to findout the amount of the fee you have to pay to file yourappeal. The cost of the transcript depends on how longyour trial was. The clerk of court will send you anestimate of the costs of the transcript. Expect thetranscript to cost more than $100.
Page 2 of 8LawHelp State Frequently Asked Questions3/31/2011http://www.lawhelp.org/LA/showdocument.cfm/County/%20/City/%20/demoMode/=%20...
What If I Can't Pay The Appeal Costs?
If you can't pay the appeal costs, you may ask thecourt (generally the parish, city or district court) foran order to let you appeal
in forma pauperis.
The courtshould grant your
in forma pauperis
application if yourincome is below 125% of federal poverty guidelines.You must complete the
in forma pauperis
affidavits and have a notary notarize your signatureand the signature of your witness. There is moreinformation about
in forma pauperis
requests on aseparate LawHelp question and answer page.An
in forma pauperis
order will excuse you fromprepaying court costs. But the order will not excuseyou from the requirement of posting a "suspensive"appeal bond. You still have to post the appeal bond ontime for your "suspensive" appeal.If you do not pay the costs of appeal or get an
informa pauperis
order, your appeal will be dismissed.
What Is An Appeal Bond?
An appeal bond is set by the court to protect thelandlord during your appeal. Generally, the amount of the appeal bond will depend on your monthly rentaland how long the appeal takes.An appeal bond generally may be a cash bond or maybe a "surety bond." A surety bond includes an affidavitsigned by you and a friend or relative that says youare indebted to the landlord for any damages hesuffers because of your appeal. There are strict rulesabout how a surety bond is done, so be sure to checkthe rules before trying to use this kind of bond. Theclerk of court may have a form for this kind of bond.Sometimes the court will allow another kind of bond, such as one to let you pay the monthly rent tothe court (to hold for the landlord). Courts sometimesuse this last kind of bond for low-income tenants.
How Do I Get An Appeal Bond?
If you want to use an affidavit, commonly called"surety bond" or "appeal bond", check with the courtclerk's office. They often have surety or appeal bondforms for the public's use.
Page 3 of 8LawHelp State Frequently Asked Questions3/31/2011http://www.lawhelp.org/LA/showdocument.cfm/County/%20/City/%20/demoMode/=%20...

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