RS 56:9     

§9.  Report of violations; criminal prosecution; schedule of fines; citations; ex officio notaries public

A.  The director shall report all violations of the criminal laws with the enforcement of which he is charged to the district attorney within whose jurisdiction the infractions occurred.  It is the mandatory duty of the district attorney to prosecute all such actions and make a report of such prosecutions to the director.  

B.  Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection A of this Section, the judges of any judicial district, or, in the parish of Orleans, the judges of the criminal district court, with the consent of the district attorney, may adopt a schedule of fines, penalties and costs for violations of wildlife and fisheries laws as may be found in Title 56 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 and regulations adopted pursuant to those laws, within the limits of such penalties as are set by law, except that the schedule shall not include violations which by law are punishable by mandatory imprisonment.  The schedules shall be applicable as provided hereafter.  

C.  Any person apprehended for or charged with the violation of a law or regulation contained in any such schedule may enter a written plea of guilty to the same by signing a declaration to that effect, which declaration shall specify the issue charged and the time and place thereof, and deposit with the sheriff of the parish a sum of money corresponding to the schedule of fines and costs for the violation of the particular offense charged.  The said declaration shall authorize the sheriff to pay the amount of such fine, penalty and cost from money deposited in escrow for that purpose with the sheriff.  Such declarations and the deposit of money in escrow shall be executed and transferred only in the court house, parish jail or such other place as is designated by the judges, and within such time limits as are set by the judges.  

D.  The judge or district attorney may refuse to accept such written pleas of guilty in any case and in the event of refusal, the written plea of guilty shall not be admissible in evidence for any reason whatsoever.  

E.(1)  The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shall provide, in appropriate form, citations containing notices to appear, which shall be issued in books with citations in quadruplicate and meeting the requirements of this Part.  

(2)  The secretary shall issue these books, maintain a record of each book and each citation contained therein issued to all individual members of the enforcement agency, and require and retain a receipt for each book issued.  

(3)  In the event the citation form, provided for in this Part, is sworn to and includes the necessary information required under the general laws of this state with respect to a complaint, which charges the commission of the offense alleged in said citation to have been committed, then such citation, when filed with a court of proper jurisdiction, shall be deemed to be a lawful complaint for the purpose of prosecution under this Part.  

(4)  Each enforcement officer, upon issuing a citation to an alleged violator of any provision of law under their jurisdiction, shall deposit the original citation or a copy of such citation along with a disposition copy with a court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense.  

(5)  The secretary shall also maintain or cause to be maintained, in connection with every citation issued by an officer, a record of the disposition of the charge by the court in which the original or a copy of the citation was deposited.  

F.(1)  Notwithstanding any provisions in the law relative to qualifications for and limitations on the number of notaries public, the governor is authorized to appoint, upon recommendation by the secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the executive officer of each enforcement region and district and any investigator of the internal affairs unit of the enforcement division of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, as an ex officio notary public, who shall perform the duties provided hereunder without charge or other compensation.  

(2)  Any ex officio notary public appointed under the provisions of this Section shall possess those notarial powers as provided by law to administer oaths and take acknowledgements, but only in connection with his official duties.  

(3)  Specially designated commissioned Louisiana wildlife enforcement agents assigned to internal affairs shall have the power to administer oaths and receive sworn statements in connection with their official duties.  

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 717, §1; Acts 1980, No. 117, §1; Acts 1982, No. 621, §2.  Acts 1983, No. 174, §1.