What Is The Difference Between Filing A Lawsuit In Louisiana State Versus Federal Court?

Not all car insurance claims become lawsuits.  In fact, only a small percentage of insurance claims require the filing of a lawsuit.  When a lawsuit has to be filed, however, sometimes a choice may be made between filing it in a Louisiana State Court or in a Louisiana Federal Court. 

When a lawsuit has to be filed in Louisiana, a lawyer must decide upon the Court in which it may be filed.  In a personal injury context, the decision is based on a number of factors including, but not limited it where the car wreck or incident occurred and the domicile of the parties, including the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s).

Louisiana has over 30 judicial districts around the State.  Some of those districts may have 2 or more Courthouses.  For instance, the 22nd Judicial District Court includes the St. Tammany Parish Courthouse and the Washington Parish Courthouse.  In comparison, there are 3 Federal District Courts in Louisiana, namely the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts. 

Most of the time, car wreck cases that happen in Louisiana and involve Louisiana residents will be filed in the Louisiana District Court where the accident occurred.  However, accidents involving residents of different states (ie. if one driver is from Louisiana and one is from Mississippi), then the accident victim may have the option of filing suit in State or Federal Court.  So, what’s the difference?

There Are Many Differences In How Cases In Louisiana District Courts and Louisiana Federal Courts Are Handled. 

One of the main differences is that Federal Court cases are usually automatically assigned a trial date and case deadlines soon after being filed.  In comparison, cases filed in State Court usually require one of the parties to file a Motion with the Court, requesting that the Court set a date for trial and pre-trial deadlines.  In State Court, many judges require that the parties have completed the discovery process prior to requesting a trial date. 

Another big difference is the way Motions are handled.  In State Court, if a party files a Motion during a lawsuit, the Court sets a hearing date, and the parties submit written briefs and then argue before the Court.  The Court then decides on the Motion.  In Federal Court, Motions are typically submitted on the briefs alone, without the need for oral argument (unless one party requests it). 

The process of deciding upon the proper Court in which to file a lawsuit can be complicated and typically requires legal strategy by a skilled trial attorney. 

Have You Been Injuried In A Covington Area Car Wreck And Need A Skilled Trial Attorney?

At Flattmann Law, we handle cases in both Louisiana State and Federal Court. If you've been injuried and need a skilled trial attorney contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.


Grady Flattmann
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Local Covington, Louisiana attorney focusing 100% on personal injury matters.