Judge Grace Bennett Gasaway seeks re-election
City Court Judge Grace Bennett Gasaway, a native and lifelong resident of Hammond, announces her candidacy for re-election.
“I have been honored to serve the citizens of the Seventh Ward as City Court Judge,” said Gasaway. “I am respectful of the rights of all people to have their day in court, and I will continue to be an impartial judge and seek justice in every case.”
Gasaway continued, “I am grateful to be able to work with state agencies, local organizations, school officials, and others in the community to address important problems facing our area. Working with Guy Recotta, Jr, Clerk of Court, and our professional and experienced staff we will continue to meet the needs of our population and work to serve all citizens in an effective and efficient manner.”
The City Court of Hammond has progressed in document and docket management over the last decade. Using technology for a paperless system in the Criminal and Civil Divisions has been efficient, saves time, and the need for space for records. The Court is in the process of converting the Juvenile Division to a paperless system and will introduce limited electronic filing in the Civil Division very soon. A program is already being utilized by litigants to electronically check for service of process.
Cybersecurity and security within the facility are priorities that were addressed by Judge Gasaway. Under the direction of the Supreme Court’s security officer, many changes were implemented to provide safety to the public and staff. Additionally, an online payment system was implemented for the payment of certain traffic violations.
The Juvenile Services Division continues to work through the Families In Need of Services Division (FINS) with the Tangipahoa Parish School System’s Truancy Program addressing the needs of families and children throughout the Seventh Ward. In partnership with the City of Hammond, the Juvenile Services Division sponsors a Back to School Bash to assure all children have essential supplies and are prepared for school.
Judge Gasaway has served as an officer in many state judicial organizations and is currently a member of the 21st Judicial District Bar Association, Louisiana State Bar Association, Louisiana City Court Judges Association, Louisiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, First Circuit Judges Association, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She has been appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to the Judicial Council of the State of Louisiana, the Judicial Compensation Commission, and the Louisiana State Law Institute.
Judge Gasaway has been the recipient of the “Annie Award” for the Outstanding Woman of the Year in Government, sponsored by Southeastern Louisiana University and the Hammond Chamber of Commerce. She received the Crystal Gavel Award from the Louisiana State Bar Association and was named Woman of the Year by the Junior Auxiliary of Hammond. Also, she was presented with the Woman of Excellence award by the Tangipahoa Parish Library.
The City Court of Hammond serves the Seventh Ward of Tangipahoa Parish and hears cases involving adult misdemeanor and traffic matters, juvenile cases, and civil cases where the amount in dispute, or the value of the property involved, does not exceed thirty thousand dollars. 17,923 filings were processed last year by the Court.
An honor graduate of Hammond High School, Gasaway attended Southeastern Louisiana University and received an undergraduate degree in political science from Louisiana State University. Her law degree is from the LSU School of Law. She is a member of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church.
The election will be held on November 3, 2020.