Legal Memorandum: Limits on a Marshall Spending Funds

Issue: Are there any limits on how the marshal may spend the funds retained by him or her in Shreveport, Louisiana?

Area of Law: Municipal, County and Local Law
Keywords: Funds retained by the Marshall; Limits on spending
Jurisdiction: Louisiana
Cited Cases: 309 So. 2d 379
Cited Statutes: La. Rev. Stat. § 13:1881(B); La. Rev. Stat. § 13:1899(C); La. Rev. Stat. § 13:1889
Date: 09/01/2010

Some Louisiana statutes limit how a marshal may spend the funds he or she retains.  He or she may use retained funds that are available for office expenses “to pay an amount in excess of the fixed salary [of his deputy marshals],” as long as a deputy marshal’s salary does not exceed that of the marshal.  La. Rev. Stat. § 13:1881(B).  The same provision prohibits the marshal from fixing or supplementing his own salary.  Id.

Section 13:1899 provides for collection of a special assessment in criminal matters to be collected by the marshal and retained by him in a “special account.”  La. Rev. Stat. § 13:1899(C).  The special account is expressly “to defray operational expenses of the office of marshal … as may be useful and necessary for the proper conduct of the marshal’s … office, or for purchase of law enforcement equipment, and all as may be proved by the marshal.”  Id.  Thus, as long as the expense is “useful and necessary,” the expense is appropriate.  See, e.g., La. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 97-175 (June 12, 1997) (opining that the marshal may be authorized to retain counsel and pay for the expense out of the special fund if it was useful and necessary).  Conversely, by implication, any expense that could not be proved to be useful and necessary would not be appropriate to come out of that special fund.  See McElveen v. Callahan, 309 So. 2d 379 (La. Ct. App. 1975) (holding that funds received by the marshal pursuant to § 13:1899(C) […]

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