Political lawsuits under consideration - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Political lawsuits under consideration

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Courtesy MGN Online Courtesy MGN Online

A judge is considering the future of four lawsuits filed earlier this year in the continuing political disputes in Welsh. 

This summer the mayor, the police chief and two others filed lawsuits against Alderman Jacob Colby Perry. At that time, recall petitions targeting Mayor Carolyn Louvierre and Perry both had been filed. Since then, the petition against Perry failed. The one against the mayor is still underway. 

The lawsuits accuse Perry of lying about each of the plaintiffs, publicly accusing them of crimes and misconduct even though he knew his accusations were untrue. At the time, their attorney, Ron Richard of Lake Charles, said that comment on the actions of public officials or elected officials is protected, but Perry's comments have gone too far. 

A hearing in the case was held today. 

Perry sent out a press release stating that the judge had "struck" all of the lawsuits, and that he was very happy with the results. However, his release also stated that the lawsuits are still pending. 

"This matter is still technically pending as the judge will take arguments which will be submitted within two weeks as to the decision as to dismiss the lawsuits with or without prejudice," Perry wrote.

We asked for clarification, but he did not respond. When a lawsuit is dismissed "with prejudice" that means the person who filed it can't fix any issues the judge found and file another lawsuit related to the same claim. If it is dismissed "without prejudice" that means the plaintiff can file another lawsuit, with any issues fixed, again on the same claim. 

We called the Jeff Davis Parish Clerk of Court, and a clerk told us that no order of dismissal had been filed. During the hearing, she said, the court asked the attorneys on both sides to submit briefs on several issues. They have two weeks to file those, she said. No order is expected until after that deadline. 

When we called Richard confirmed that briefs were due in two weeks, and added that he doesn't comment on pending litigation. 

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