Ascension Justice of the Peace accused of violating the law
ST. AMANT- An Ascension Parish Justice of the Peace has ignored multiple attempts to explain why he's handling cases outside of his jurisdiction.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit obtained evictions signed by JP John Hebert from 2018 until 2019. A handful of them were all done outside of his jurisdiction and are invalid. Hebert is the JP over the Third Justice Court in Ascension Parish.
State law reads,"the premises must be situated within the territorial jurisdiction of the justice of the peace court."
"It's improper," said Judge Christie Mayeux of the 2nd Justice Court. "I believe the law is being broken. We are elected as justice of the peace. We take an oath to uphold the law as best we can, and he's clearly violating it."
Mayeaux said address verifications should be done first before an eviction should be signed to make sure the JP is handling the case in the right area. However, a series of evictions we obtained show Hebert has done many outside his area.
"I've talked to him after I was elected about this," Mayeux said. "I don't think he has any intention of stopping it. He thinks he has the right to do it, and that the defendant has to object to an eviction being held in the wrong court. He's going to continue to do it until he's stopped."
Mayeaux said what's even more troubling is the Attorney General's Office has sent all JP's emails advising that those practices were inappropriate. She called Hebert handling cases outside of his jurisdiction a money grab.
"The more filings in your court, the more money you make," Mayeux said.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit went to Hebert's office Thursday. It comes seven days after we submitted a public records request which was ignored. A sign on the door stated they were on vacation for two weeks.
We showed up at Hebert's home. The lights were on, there were vehicles in the driveway and pets were inside, but no one answered the door.
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