Landrieu sued by clerk of Criminal Courts over funding

Tia Benton Oct. 16, 2012, 4:57am

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Clerk of the Criminal Court of Orleans Parish Arthur Morrell

NEW ORLEANS – The Clerk of the Criminal Court of Orleans Parish is suing the City of New Orleans through Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Plaintiff Arthur Morrell sued Oct. 5, asking the court to issue a writ of mandamus ordering Landrieu to correct and cease its "arbitrary abuse of discretion in refusing to fund" the operations of the Clerk of the Criminal Court of Orleans Parish. The plaintiff claims that the Landrieu administration's reduction of funding to the Criminal Clerk of Courts caused harm to the operations of the office and violated state law.

The defendant is accused of breaching its ministerial duty of funding the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, reducing the plaintiff's authorized spending budget in the amount $141,600.50, refusing to provide copying paper, and denying the plaintiff the right to fill four previously approved vacancies in his office.

The plaintiff is seeking immediate restoration of $141,600.50 to his budget, the defendant provide him with copy paper, the permission to fill the previously authorized four vacancies, and requesting that the defendant abide by state law in its requirement to fund the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.

Morrell is represented by Madro Bandaries of New Orleans-based Madro Bandaries PLC.

The case has been assigned to District C Judge Sidney H. Cates IV.

Case no. 2012-09435.

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