Legal Memorandum: Reduction of a Marshal's Budget in LA

Issue: Whether any law or cases exist that limit a the city’s right to reduce a marshal’s budget below the prior year’s budget in Shreveport, Louisiana?

Area of Law: Municipal, County and Local Law
Keywords: Reduction of a marshal's budget; Salary
Jurisdiction: Louisiana
Cited Cases: 813 So. 2d 1110; 211 So. 2d 311; 252 La. 413; 265 F.3d 1058; 21 So. 2d 96
Cited Statutes: La. Rev. Stat. § 13:1883(A)(14); La. Rev. Stat. § 13:1883(A),(E)
Date: 09/01/2010

No statute, ordinance, judicial decision, or attorney general opinion was located addressing whether the City of Shreveport has the right to reduce a marshal’s budget below what it was previously. 

As a general matter, the City of Shreveport may “expend revenues, monies and credits for any municipal or public purpose and as may be necessary, requisite or proper for the management of its affairs.”  Shreveport Ord. § 2.02.

Although it is not precisely a budget matter but a salary matter, the City of Shreveport is responsible for paying the marshal’s salary in the minimum amount of $12,500.  La. Rev. Stat. § 13:1883(A)(14).   The City of Shreveport may increase the amount, but may not decrease it.  Id.. § 13:1883(A), (E).  See Dix v. Mancuso, 265 F.3d 1058, (5th Cir. 2001) (observing that La. Rev. Stat. § 13:1883, which addresses marshals’ salaries, also authorized the city to approve the marshal’s budget).  See also See also Rogers v. Town of Acadia, 813 So. 2d 1110 (La. Ct. App. 2002) (holding that the municipality was not authorized to reduce the police chief’s salary once he began serving his term); Ratliff v. Village of Roseland, 21 So. 2d 96 (La. Ct. App. 1945) (holding that the mayor’s and board of aldermen’s reduction of the marshal’s salary from $50 per month as it was fixed and had been paid over a long period of time to $15 per month was arbitrary and subject to correction, and was not justifiable for lack of […]

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