Warrants deferred for court no-shows after St. Tammany 'snow day'

Some courts were open Friday in St. Tammany, despite the heavy northshore snow and several courts being closed, now, warrants have been issued for those who didn't show up for their cases.

ST. TAMMANY PARISH -- District Attorney Warren Montgomery is asking that all arrest warrants issued for people who failed to appear in court on Louisiana’s “snow day” be deferred.

The motion, signed by Montgomery and District Judge Scott Gardner, argues that media coverage of St. Tammany Parish closing government offices on Friday, Dec. 8, along with the rare snow event may have confused some people.

PREVIOUSLY: Warrants issued for court no-shows during snow emergency

“In the interest of justice, the State respectfully requests that the Court order the Clerk of Court to defer the transfer of any warrants based upon attachments for failure to appear in the Misdemeanor Courtroom on Dec. 8, 2017, for Misdemeanor and Traffic matters,” the motion reads.

The decision to keep certain courts open came from individual judges in collaboration with staff from the District Attorney's office and the Clerk of Court's office, according to Chief Judge Richard Swartz.

Court Administrator Rachel Edelman admits the only places the court published the information about certain court business continuing was on the state Supreme Court's website and their own website. The Clerk of Court's office also published it on their website and Facebook page.

While the total of cases on Friday's docket and the total number of warrants issued were unavailable, the Clerk of Court's office says there were 60 people expected to show on the misdemeanor and domestic violence dockets and 13 were issued warrants for not showing.  

A spokeswoman with District Attorney Warren Montgomery's office told Eyewitness News that the warrants were requested as part of "standard operating procedures if the court is open," but none of them were processed and forwarded to the sheriff’s office. 

© 2018 WWL-TV


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