Shreveport forum teaches legal rights - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport forum teaches legal rights

Posted: Updated:


Do you know your legal rights? That was the subject of a forum put on by Judge Sheva Sims and other members of the Shreveport legal system.

One topic up for discussion is very personal to at least one in three women: domestic violence. It's an issue that sometimes leads to the worse case scenarios of murders or murder suicides, of which 1,500 people die from each year in the United States. 

"Knowing your legal rights is very important. We try to answer types of questions relative to what we handle in our court and what they can expect when they come to court," said Shreveport Judge Pammela Lattier, who was one of the four panelists at the forum.  She said there are legal ways to protect yourself if you are a victim of domestic violence. Victims can get temporary restraining orders and protective orders through the courts. Still, Lattier says those legal pieces of paper are only as good as the person it's issued to. "If they are going to violate the law, that paper may be meaningless, if they are not going to violate the law, that paper tells them what they can or cannot do," said Lattier.

Even so, the judge says if the abuser violates the protective order, it's easier to put them in jail and away from the victim, at least until a hearing can happen. Ultimately Lattier recommends one thing to keep abuse victims safe. "My best advice is to get out of that situation all together, go to a neighbors house go to the Providence house, there are local places that allow women who are abused to seek out shelter," she said.

Domestic abuse is a criminal violation in Louisiana.  It can carry a maximum fine of 5-hundred dollars and six months in jail.  



Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow