Case: Walker v. State

04-481701 | Louisiana state trial court

Filed Date: 2004

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 2004, Henry C. Walker, a Shreveport attorney and former member of the local Indigent Defender Board (IDB), filed a lawsuit against the State of Louisiana, through its legislature and judges of its First Judicial District, in the First Judicial District Court for the District of Caddo, LA. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief from what he claimed was an unconstitutional appointing process used to staff IDB boards across the state. Specificall…

In 2004, Henry C. Walker, a Shreveport attorney and former member of the local Indigent Defender Board (IDB), filed a lawsuit against the State of Louisiana, through its legislature and judges of its First Judicial District, in the First Judicial District Court for the District of Caddo, LA. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief from what he claimed was an unconstitutional appointing process used to staff IDB boards across the state. Specifically, Walker asserted that by not appointing him to the IDB and by imposing one year, non-staggering terms of service, the judges had exerted undue influence and control over the indigent defender system and violated the separation of powers clause in Article II, Section 2 of the Louisiana Constitution.

At the trial court, the defendants argued that since Walker had no contract to serve on the IDB and had no right to be appointed, he had no interest in the appointment process, and therefore no standing to bring the lawsuit. Walker countered that, as a former IDB member and a Bar Association nominee who had been denied appointment two years in a row, he must have standing to question the constitutionality of the process. The Trial Court (Judge John R. Harrison) agreed, and denied the defendants' motion.

The defendants appealed to the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit. On December 21, 2005, Chief Justice Brown (joined by judges Sterwart and Moore) affirmed the trial court's judgment that state statues set a minimal threshold for standing for declaratory relief, and that Walker met this threshold. Walker v. State, 917 So.2d 1229 (La.App. 2 Cir. 2005).

The defendants appealed once again, and the Supreme Court of Louisiana denied certiorari on April 28, 2006. Walker v. State, 927 So.2d 296 (La. 2006).

Notably, the Plaintiff's language, as quoted in the Second Circuit opinion, states that this case and another case in the Clearinghouse, Anderson v. State (PD-LA-0001), were brought to address the two biggest problems with the Louisiana state indigent defense system. While Anderson dealt with the issue of underfunding, Walker dealt with the risk of undue political influence on the state's indigent defender boards. Walker v. State, 917 So.2d 1229 (La.App. 2 Cir. 2005).

Because we do not have a docket or further court documents for this case, we cannot say whether the plaintiffs were ultimately successful or if this case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Nick Niles (7/11/2007)

Related Cases

Anderson v. State, Louisiana state trial court (2004)

People


Judge(s)

Brown, Henry N. Jr. (Louisiana)

Moore, D. Milton (Louisiana)

Stewart, James Edward Sr. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Jones, Pamela R. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Creighton, Michael Robert (Louisiana)

Foti, Charles C. Jr. (Louisiana)

Guidry, Burton (Louisiana)

Hessick, Terry F. (Louisiana)

Hunley, Mark (Louisiana)

Salley, Charles W. (Louisiana)

Judge(s)

Brown, Henry N. Jr. (Louisiana)

Moore, D. Milton (Louisiana)

Stewart, James Edward Sr. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Jones, Pamela R. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Creighton, Michael Robert (Louisiana)

Foti, Charles C. Jr. (Louisiana)

Guidry, Burton (Louisiana)

Hessick, Terry F. (Louisiana)

Hunley, Mark (Louisiana)

Salley, Charles W. (Louisiana)

Sanders, David Glen (Louisiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

04-481701

40,402-CW

Appellate Decision [Louisiana State Court of Appeal - Second Circuit]

Louisiana state appellate court

Dec. 21, 2005

Dec. 21, 2005

Order/Opinion

06-CC-438

[Opinion Denying Certiorari]

Walker v. State of Louisiana

Louisiana state supreme court

April 28, 2006

April 28, 2006

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 24, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

Indigent Defense

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2004

Case Ongoing: Unknown

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Henry Walker is a Shreveport attorney who has served on the Indigent Defender Board in Caddo Parish who was not reappointed to the board, although he was recommended by the Shreveport Bar Association.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of Louisiana, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown