Monroe City Court Judge Candidates Discuss Platforms - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Monroe City Court Judge Candidates Discuss Platforms

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)--Saturday's primary election is fast approaching, and we continue our series of candidate profiles to get you ready before you head to the polls. One of the most heated races on the ballot in the City of Monroe is for Monroe city court.  The judgeship opened up with the election of Fred Amman to district court. Our Meg Smith sat down with the three candidates, and has more on their platforms.

Laurie Burkett has been an attorney in Ouachita Parish for 15 years, which she says is longer than either of her opponents. If elected, she hopes to make improvements to Monroe city court.

"I would like to see us implement a night court and try that" Burkett said. "That can be implemented to take up pleas for people that want to come in court and plead guilty to whatever crime they've committed or been accused of, and that will remove that from the morning docket to where you have more time to try the cases."

Attorney Jeff Joyce was born and raised in Monroe. Joyce points to his diverse experience in Monroe city court as the key that makes him the man for the job.

"My practice brings me to Monroe city court on a very routine basis" Joyce said. "My opponents in this race have specialized in areas that don't bring them to Monroe city court, and my specialty - well I don't have a specialty - my general practice keeps me in Monroe city court on a regular basis."

Attorney Charlie Heck also is a lifelong resident of Monroe. Heck feels some big changes need to be made to the court, and he wants to sit down with citizens and court staff to try to turn things around.

"We want to have a roundtable discussion and say: 'what can you do to make things better?'" Heck said.  "You can use things like scheduling orders in the civil side of things to speed things up. You can make sure you're there on time and you can conduct your court and require that everyone that comes to court is on time, and be prepared to rule and read all the briefs that come before you."

With voter turnout projected to be only about 20% on Saturday, the key to winning this race is for candidates to get their supporters to the polls.

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