Jefferson Parish has several different types of courts. The main types of courts are district courts, juvenile courts, parish courts, city courts and Justice of the Peace courts. Some of these courts handle both civil and criminal cases, some only civil and some only criminal.
The district courts of the 24th Judicial District have both civil and criminal dockets and there are 16 district courts in Jefferson Parish. Criminal matters heard include both felonies and misdemeanors. These courts are the only ones where felony criminal cases can be heard. On the civil side these courts preside over lawsuits of any amount, as well as domestic matters. Additionally, these courts are the only courts that can hear lawsuits involving property. If you get a summons for jury duty you will be going to the 24th Judicial District Courthouse. No other courts in the Parish have jury trials. The 24th Judicial District Courthouse is located at 200 Derbigny Street in Gretna.
Criminal charges brought against minors are generally heard in one of the three Juvenile courts of Jefferson Parish. The Juvenile courts also preside over matters of child support, adoption, juvenile delinquency, criminal neglect of family, and juvenile traffic violations. Other proceedings heard in Juvenile courts are child in need of care, families in need of services, and termination of parental rights proceedings. The Juvenile Justice Center is located on Gretna Boulevard in Harvey.
There are two parish courts in Jefferson Parish, First Parish Court and Second Parish Court. These courts handle both civil and criminal cases with certain limitations. The civil lawsuits are limited to those having damages of $20,000 or less. The criminal cases handled are misdemeanor offenses like DWI (1st and 2nd Offense), Hit and Run, Simple Battery and Disturbing the Peace. Additionally these courts handle traffic tickets. Offenses occurring on the Westbank are heard in Second Parish Court located on Huey P. Long Ave. in Gretna, while those on the Eastbank are heard in First Parish Court on David Drive in Metairie.
In Jefferson Parish there are several city courts which are called Mayor’s Courts. The City of Gretna, City of Westwego, City of Kenner, City of Harahan, Town of Grand Isle and Town of Jean Lafitte each have their own courts. These courts do not hear any civil cases. The criminal cases for offenses which occur within the city limits are either misdemeanor violations of local city ordinances or traffic violations.
Justice of Peace Courts
There are eight Justice of the Peace courts in Jefferson Parish. These courts are also referred to as “small claims” courts. Civil lawsuits are limited to those having damages of less than $5,000. No criminal matters are heard at Justice of the Peace courts.