Louisiana state court decisions are appealed to one of the following five circuit courts of appeal: First Circuit: Baton Rouge; Second Circuit: Shreveport; Third Circuit: Lake Charles; Fourth Circuit: New Orleans; and Fifth Circuit: Gretna. Louisiana federal court decisions are appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Fifth Circuit, which in addition to Louisiana also covers Texas and Mississippi federal courts. The Fifth Circuit, located in New Orleans, is one of twelve federal appellate courts in the country.
When a final judgment is entered by the trial court, an aggrieved party has the ability to appeal that judgment. The process differs slightly depending on whether the case is pending in federal or state court.
A litigant also has the ability to seek review of a trial court’s interim order. These appeals are called interlocutory appeals. In a Louisiana state court proceeding, an interlocutory appeal is made by filing an application for a writ of supervisory review. Not all writs will be granted, but filing a writ allows a party to seek review of a ruling before final disposition of the case. In federal court court, it is typically within the trial court and appellate court’s discretion to allow an interlocutory appeal.
In either court, certain adverse interim decisions automatically qualify for an interlocutory appeal as a matter of statutory right, e.g., the grant or denial of a preliminary injunction.
Administrative agencies also provide individuals and businesses with appeal rights. For example, if you are a classified employee working for a public entity, you have the ability to appeal an adverse employment action to the Civil Service Commission or similar agency. Other actions taken by federal and state agencies also can be appealed at the agency level.