U.S. District Court Judge Lance Africk has denied a request from the City of New Orleans to transfer Jones v. Gusman — the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office consent decree case — to another federal judge.
The city, which has balked at the prospect of providing additional funding to bring Orleans Parish Prison into compliance under a proposed federal consent decree, on Thursday filed a motion requesting a transfer to Judge Jay Zainey's court. The city's reasoning was that Zainey is assigned to a related case, Hamilton v. Morial (originally filed as Hamilton v. Schiro in 1969). A settlement in Hamilton v. Morial set the current per-diem rate the city pays the sheriff's office for housing prisoners.
That case was reopened last month in the midst of negotiations on the new consent decree. Sheriff Marlin Gusman has requested that the current rate, $22.39 per prisoner per day, be adjusted. Zainey has scheduled a hearing on the proposed rate modification for Jan. 16, 2013.
The trial on the proposed consent decree is scheduled to begin in February, with a separate trial on funding set for April.
The city's request to transfer: CityMotion.pdf
Africk's order to deny: AfrickOrder.pdf
Gusman's motion to modify the Hamilton settlement: HamiltonMotion.pdf
Zainey's order reopening Hamilton: ZaineyOrder.pdf