Louisiana Supreme Court on Perkins: Reversed & Rendered
The Louisiana State Supreme Court has issued their ruling on Mayor Adrian Perkins’ eligibility in the upcoming Shreveport Mayoral election. Mayor Perkins has been officially cleared to run for mayor in the upcoming election. In a 4-3 decision, the Louisiana State Supreme Court reversed the 2nd Circuit Court’s decision to disqualify Perkins.
This all originated from a lawsuit by Francis Deal, asserting Perkins filled out his filing paperwork incorrectly. Perkins listed his voter registration address as a family home on Stratmore in south Shreveport, but he filed his homestead exemption as his Marshall Street condo in downtown Shreveport.
The first decision was issued by Caddo District Court Judge Brady O’Callaghan, ruling Perkins incorrectly filled out his filing paperwork, thus making him ineligible to run for mayor. The appeal was then sent to a 3 judge panel in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Chief Judge Milton Moore III of Monroe, Judge Shonda Stone from Shreveport, and Judge Jeff Thompson upheld Judge O’Calaghan original decision to disqualify Perkins from running for mayor. Perkins lawyers filed another appeal, then presented their case to the Louisiana State Supreme Court.
From the Court's ruling:
In summary, the court of appeal here went beyond the statutory language in La. R.S. 18:492(A) to find Perkins is disqualified for “a failure to qualify in the manner prescribed by law.” Following its precedent in Sellar, the court held that the manner of qualifying in La. R.S. 18:461 requires an accurate notice of candidacy under oath. The court further held that “any information on the notice of candidacy required to be given by oath issubstantive and/or material information and that ‘anyinaccuracies, mistakes, or false statements’ made under oath regarding this information” is disqualifying. Deal, 54,892 at 10, __So.3d at __. The courts in Percle and Panepinto held the same. By following an overly expansive interpretation of La.
Judge Scott Chrichton wrote:
CRICHTON, J., dissents and assigns reasons: In my view, a majority of this Court has made an enormous mistake in failing to uphold the sanctity and integrity of our electoral process.1 In this case, under the clear language of La. R.S. 18:492(A)(1) and (3), I find that Mr. Perkins has “failed to qualify for the primary election in the manner prescribed by law” and does “not meet the qualifications for the office he seeks in the primary election” and therefore should be disqualified as a candidate for the office of Mayor of the City of Shreveport.