Frequently Asked Questions
How do I request expungement of my case?
Expungements are handled on a case-by-case basis by the presiding judge. Any request for expungment must be made in writing and filed with the Clerk of Court. PLEASE NOTE: This office DOES NOT have a form for expungement.
How do I request clemency?
How do I obtain a pardon from my conviction?
Pardons are a function of the President of the United States of America, and may include pardon, commutation of a sentence, remission of fine or restitution, and reprieve. This process is handled through the Office of the Pardon Attorney. Please visit www.justice.gov/pardon for more information.
When making a payment, if I do not have the exact amount required, is your office able to make change?
No. Our office is unable to make change for over payments. Exact change is required.
How much are copies printed from your public terminal?
All of the district court fees are maintained in a schedule. Click HERE to view.
Can I access your records online?
Yes. Our non-sealed or restricted cases which contain documents scanned from 1999 to present can be accessed online by using the PACER service. Click HERE for more information on PACER.
Do you take credit card payments over the phone?
No. Credit card payments must be made in-person at any of our five divisional offices located in Alexandria, Lake Charles, Monroe, Shreveport, and Lafayette.
What payment methods will your office accept?
Our office accepts cash, checks, money orders, and payments by credit card. If paying a fine or restitution by credit card, the card must be issued to the defendant paying the criminal debt.
Can I get a copy of my birth/death certificate from your office?
No. For births or deaths which occurred in Louisiana, you will need to contact the Department of Health and Hospitals for the State of Louisiana.
Does the court issue passports?
The Western District of Louisiana no longer issues passports. Visit the U.S. State Department's website: http://travel.state.gov for information on obtaining a passport.
Can the court replace my certificate of naturalization?
No. Replacement certificates are provided by the U. S. Customs and Immigration Service Office that issued the original certificate.
How will I know when my naturalization ceremony is to occur?
The U. S. Customs and Immigration Service will send a written notice when you are to be naturalized, usually 2-3 weeks prior to the ceremony.
Where are naturalization records kept?
Naturalization petition stubs (sorted by name of the petitioner) from 1907-1996 are on file at the National Archives in Ft. Worth, TX. Thereafter, petitions are maintained by the U. S. Customs and Immigration Service. The court in Shreveport maintains an order listing petitioners from 1996 to present. An approximate date of naturalization must be known to conduct a search.
Where can I get forms and information about becoming a United States citizen?
The Western District of Louisiana holds naturalization ceremonies for new citizens. Applicants for citizenship must file a Petition for Naturalization with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Forms and further information may be obtained from the USCIS website (http://uscis.gov) or from the regional office at:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Metairie Centre Suite 300 (Third Floor)
2424 Edenborn Avenue
Metaire, LA 7001
What is the current post judgment interest rate?
Visit the Administrative Office (A.O.) of the U.S. Courts at http://www.uscourts.gov/FormsAndFees/Fees/PostJudgementInterestRates.aspx, or call the A.O. at 1-202-502-4369.
To whom do we make checks payable?
Make checks payable to: Clerk, U. S. District Court.
Do I have to pay a fee every time I file a pleading?
No. In federal court, a litigant only pays a fee for filing a new suit. Subsequent pleadings can be filed without cost to the filer. The only other filing fees that may be due are the fees for filing an appeal or a motion to appear pro hac vice. See the Schedule of Fees for details.
How do I get a transcript of court proceedings?
Transcripts are ordered directly from the court reporter transcribing the proceeding. Click here for a list of official court reporters.
What discovery material should be filed with the Clerk's Office?
Under the Local Rules for the Western District of Louisiana, neither discovery nor notices of deposition are filed. Exceptions include excerpts of discovery materials used to support a motion and when the court orders filing of particular discovery materials. See LR 26.5.
How are judges assigned to cases?
Generally, cases are assigned on a geographic basis to the judges in the division to which the case is allotted. The cases, both civil and criminal, are randomly assigned upon filing to the judges in that division. Please note that some judges may share caseloads in divisions other than the division to which the judge resides. For example, Judge Foote, a Shreveport Division judge, may be randomly assigned to a Monroe Division case pursuant to the case assignment standing order. See SO 1.61 on the District-Wide Orders page.
Where are case and party indices located?
On-line information (i.e., PACER) for all divisions is available for non-sealed civil cases filed 1/1/1990 and after and non-sealed criminal cases filed 1/1/1993 and after. This information is also available at public terminals at each division. Microfilm indices are maintained in each division from 1/1/1978 to approximately 6/14/1994. Prior to 1978, part name index cards for the entire district are available in the Shreveport Clerk's Office.
May I file after-hours?
Yes. You may e-file anytime using CM/ECF. If you are not authorized to e-file, you may utilize our physical drop boxes located at each office of the Clerk (i.e., in Alexandria, Lake Charles, Monroe, Shreveport, and Lafayette) for after-hours filing. Navigate to the home page, click on the Courts tab and then on Court Locations for directions to the divisional offices.
Do I have to file my pleadings in the division to which the case is assigned?
No. Venue only applies to the district. 28 U.S.C. 98(c) Divisions were created for the convenience of the court in administration of cases. LR 77.3 As a reminder, the Western District of Louisiana is a mandatory e-filing court. If you have a login and password to CM/ECF, your pleadings should be filed electronically. If your filing requires manual submission, it may be mailed or hand delivered to any our five divisions. For location information, navigate to the home page and click the Courts tab and then Court Locations.
How do I contact the court?
Please click here for the Court Locations page which includes the street and mailing address of each Clerk's Office, as well as phone numbers. NOTE: Judges cannot be reached directly. If you have a question or comment for one of the judges, please contact a member of the staff or write to them at the appropriate address.