Liz Murrill became Attorney General on January 8, 2024.
Louisiana citizens will live in safe communities and a healthy environment where economic opportunities are available to pursue a better quality of life while natural resources are preserved for future generations.
To protect the people and resources of the State of Louisiana by providing superior legal representation, and interpretation, professional and effective law enforcement, and public education programs.
While enforcing the laws and protecting the interests of the state, the Department of Justice will respect the citizens of Louisiana, and foster a sense of pride in its employees, and ensure employee productivity through a system of performance based management.
What is the Louisiana Department of Justice (LADOJ)?
The Louisiana Department of Justice is a department within the executive branch of state government that advocates for the interests of Louisiana and its people. The LADOJ is headed by the Attorney General, who is Louisiana’s chief legal officer, and contains Administrative Services, Civil, Criminal, Federalism, Gaming, Investigation, Litigation, and Public Protection Divisions.
What is the Attorney General (AG)?
The Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the state and the agency head of the Louisiana Department of Justice, responsible for protecting the rights and interests of Louisiana and its people. The AG holds the highest legal authority in the state’s executive branch and advocates for the state in many ways, like representing the state and its agencies in legal proceedings, reviewing legal contracts, advocating for the state’s rights and interests before federal authorities, and giving legal advice to government agencies and bodies. The AG is elected by Louisiana’s voters.
What is an Assistant Attorney General (AAG)?
An Assistant Attorney General is an attorney appointed by the Attorney General to serve at her pleasure.
Can the Louisiana Department of Justice represent individuals in Court?
In their official capacities, the Attorney General and Assistant Attorneys General represent the state and may not represent private citizens in private legal matters.
Can the Louisiana Department of Justice give me legal advice?
Unfortunately, because the LADOJ represents the state, it does not give legal advice to private citizens. However, the Louisiana State Bar Association may be able to assist persons in need of legal advice. Their Lawyer Referral Number is 1-800-421-5722; they have local affiliates who may know of others willing to do pro bono work. More information for them can be found at www.lsba.org/public/lawyerreferral.aspx.
Why does the Attorney General “take” some cases and not others?
Each case presents a unique blend of facts and legal questions. When those questions are new or have significant implications for the state, the Attorney General will either become directly involved in the litigation or assign attorneys to keep a close watch on developments. However, the vast amount of litigation that moves through our courts daily makes it impossible to directly participate in every case. This is why the Constitution grants the AG discretion to determine when and how state resources should be spent in protecting the state’s interests. Fully dedicating the LADOJ to litigation would leave no time or funds to provide the wide range of services our office is required to provide under the law. Additionally, the Constitution does not give the AG original jurisdiction in criminal cases or authority to take a prosecution from a district attorney without cause of recusal by the district attorney.
What is the Solicitor General?
The Solicitor General is the director of the Louisiana Department of Justice’s Federalism Division who is responsible for the appellate work of the state relating to federal litigation, multistate litigation, amicus briefs, and other complex litigation as determined by the Attorney General.
What is an amicus brief?
During litigation, the parties to a lawsuit file documents known as briefs that make arguments in favor of their position or against the position of the opposing party. However, in some circumstances, the presiding judge will allow people and organizations other than those directly involved in the suit to file briefs as well. These outside parties are known as amicus curiae, translated to “friend of the court”, and the briefs they file are known as amicus briefs. Judges allow these filings when the amici can provide unique insight into the legal effect of a ruling beyond the directly involved parties. State Attorneys General routinely submit amicus briefs in litigation across the country, which ensure their states’ interests are adequately considered even when they are not directly involved in litigation.
What is an AG Opinion?
Upon request, the Attorney General provides written legal opinions which are the interpretation of the law as applied to particular facts related to them.
Who can request an AG Opinion?
The Attorney General may render written opinions to the governor and other elected and appointed state officers, as required by law on legal questions relating to state law; state departments, state boards, state commissions or state officers upon legal questions pertaining to state law as it relates to their respective public entity; district attorneys on matters of state law as it relates to the duties of their offices; the governing authority of a local political subdivision; and the officers of a local governmental subdivision such as a mayor, a president of a parish home rule form of government, sheriffs, clerks of court, assessors, coroners, or registrars of voters on matters relating to their official duties. The AG only provides legal opinions to private individuals or entities on questions related to dual office holding.
What is the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation (LBI)?
The LBI is the investigatory arm of the Louisiana Department of Justice and contains several specialized law enforcement units, like the Cyber Crime Unit and the Fugitive Apprehension Unit. It is responsible for investigation of alleged violations of criminal laws of the state – including conducting of civil and special investigations, public corruption, institutional and insurance fraud – and executive security.
What is the Public Protection Division?
The Public Protection Division is responsible for consumer protection, antitrust, securities, family violence prevention, and insurance protection.
What is the Litigation Division?
The Litigation Division is responsible for providing legal representation to the state, state agencies, and state employees in all tort claims seeking damages. It defends claims managed by the Office of Risk Management and by any post-secondary education institution granted an exemption from the state’s risk management program.
What is the Criminal Division?
The Criminal Division is responsible for criminal appeals, amicus curiae briefs in criminal prosecutions, habeas corpus defense, assistance to district attorneys in criminal cases, criminal prosecution, public corruption, institutional and insurance fraud cases, extraditions, and Medicaid fraud – in accordance with the Louisiana Constitution.
What is the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU)?
The AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is part of the Criminal Division and investigates and prosecutes Medicaid provider fraud as well as abuse or neglect of residents in health care facilities and board and care facilities and of Medicaid beneficiaries in noninstitutional or other settings. The MFCU team of investigators, attorneys, and auditors also initiates recovery of identified overpayments.
What is the Gaming Division?
The Gaming Division is responsible for providing legal representations, services, and staffing to gaming regulatory entities and agencies of the state as provided by law and such other functions and duties, related to gaming, as are assigned by the Attorney General.
What is the Administrative Services Division?
The Administrative Services Division is responsible for accounting and budgeting control, procurement and contract management, management and program analysis, data processing, personnel management, grants management for the department, automated systems, and governmental relations.
What is the Civil Division?
The Civil Division is responsible for providing a full range of civil legal services. The functions of the civil division include the assertion of any right or interest of the state; legal representation of governmental officers, agencies, boards, or commissions; defense of state statutes; collection of money owed the state, claims on public works; and legal protection of state lands, water bottoms, and natural resources of the state.
What is the Attorney General’s Collections Section?
The AG’s Collections Section is part of the Civil Division and collects money owed to the state of Louisiana, and its agencies, boards or commissions. It represents a number of Louisiana’s public colleges, universities, technical and community colleges in the collection of unpaid educational related expenses, such as parking tickets, bookstore fees, outstanding semester fees, meal/housing plans, etc.
How do I make a payment to the Collections Section?
You may make a payment online at www.aglizmurrill.com/collections or by mail in the form of check, money order, and certified funds to the Louisiana Department of Justice, Post Office Box 94005, Baton Rouge, LA 70804.
How do I request a speaker or training?
You may ask the Louisiana Department of Justice for speakers and/or trainers on a variety of issues including Consumer Protection, Open Meetings, Public Records, Dual Officeholding, Ethics, Attorney General Opinions, Public Bid Law, Louisiana Justice Court, Sexual Predator Apprehension, Cyber Crime, Domestic Violence, Insurance Fraud, etc. at www.aglizmurrill.com/trainingsandconferences.
How can I help a loved one struggling with addiction?
You may contact the National Treatment Referral Hotline at 800-662-HELP.
Where can I safely dispose of my medications?
You may drop off unused or expired prescription medications at any of Louisiana’s Drug Take Back Boxes; to find the one nearest you, visit www.endtheepidemicla.org/get-support.
How can I help a loved one experiencing domestic violence?
If you or are in a dangerous situation and need resources or someone to talk to, call the Louisiana Coalition against Domestic Violence's 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-888-411-1333. If you need immediate help, dial 911.
What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. It is the exploitation of men, women, and children for forced labor or sex by a third-party for profit or gain.
What do I do if I suspect human trafficking?
If the situation is an emergency or you believe someone is in immediate danger, you should call 911 to alert your local law enforcement. In addition to contacting law enforcement, you may call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text "Help" or "Info" to 233733.
What is housing discrimination?
Housing discrimination is discrimination against home renters and buyers by landlords, sellers, and lenders on account of a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (families with children under the age of 18, or who are expecting a child), or disability.
How do I file a Fair Housing complaint?
You may file a housing discrimination complaint at www.aglizmurrill.com/FairHousing.
How can I get help for a gambling addiction?
You may call the free Louisiana Problem Gamblers Helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-877-770-STOP or chat at www.helpforgambling.org.
How do I file a consumer complaint?
If you suspect an unfair trade practice or are having a consumer-related dispute with a company, you may report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-351-4889 or fill out our Online Consumer Dispute Form at www.aglizmurrill.com/Form/Consumer/Dispute.
What is Justice of the Peace Court?
In general, justice of the peace courts are small claims courts in rural areas and in municipalities where there is no city court. Justice of the peace courts resolve minor civil disputes and hear claims that do not exceed $5,000. A claim, generally speaking, asserts a legal right you may have. The ordinary rules of evidence do not apply in justice of the peace court and all relevant and reliable evidence is admissible.
Why would I go to a Justice of the Peace Court?
A litigant may choose to utilize the justice of the peace court because it is less costly, less formal, and quicker to resolve civil disputes than going through district court.
Can a Justice of the Peace give me legal advice?
Justices of the Peace are not permitted to give legal advice to any party and do not draft legal documents for litigants. Anyone requiring such services should consult an attorney licensed to practice law in Louisiana.
Where can I get more information on Justice of the Peace Courts?
You may find more information on Justice of the Peace Courts in the LDOJ’s “A Guide to Louisiana Justice of the Peace Courts” found at www.aglizmurrill.com/Files/Shared/Documents/GuidetoLAJPCourts2ndEdition9.28.2021forweb.pdf.
What role does the Louisiana Department of Justice have in Justice Court?
The LADOJ provides education and training to all justices of the peace and constables in Louisiana. This is accomplished through various methods, including providing training to newly elected justices of the peace and constables, hosting training classes throughout the year, and providing training and educational support to justices of the peace. The LADOJ also has legal liaisons to assist justice of the peace and constables with general legal questions and other special inquiries. The justice of the peace and constable legal liaisons do not give specific advice on how to rule on a particular case or matter pending before a justice of the peace court. These matters are for the justices of the peace or constables to decide.
Does the Louisiana Department of Justice handle complaints against a Justices of the Peace or a Constable?
No, the LADOJ does not have jurisdiction over complaints against justices of the peace or constables. Justices of the peace are considered judges and are subject to the rules of judicial ethics contained in the Code of Judicial Conduct and the Louisiana Constitution. As such, complaints against justices of the peace should be directed to the Judiciary Commission. You can find more information related to filing a complaint against a judge on the Judiciary Commission’s website: www.judiciarycommissionla.org. Complaints against constables may be directed to the local District Attorney’s Office.
Can the Louisiana Department of Justice intervene in a case in a Justice of the Peace Court?
No, justices of the peace are elected officials and have the sole decision-making authority within their court.
How can I make an Open Meetings Law complaint?
You may submit an Open Meetings Law complaint to the LADOJ by fax to 225-326-6098 or by mail to Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, ATTN: Civil Division, P.O. Box 94005, Baton Rouge, LA 70804. Complaints must be in the form of a signed, written complaint and must include the date of the meeting(s), the name of public body that held the meeting(s), and a detailed description of what occurred at the meeting(s) in question. If possible, provide the agenda, minutes, and/or any recording of the meeting at issue.
What can I do if I think a public entity violated the public bid law?
A bidder may always file suit to force a public body to comply with the Public Bid Law. Notice to the Attorney General is not necessary in these instances. Additionally, any person, association, corporation, or other business entity with direct knowledge of an alleged violation may institute civil actions against a public entity to deter the construction of public works or the purchase of materials and supplies in violation of Louisiana Public Bid Law (La. R.S. 38:2211, et seq.). Such legal action must be initiated promptly when knowledge of the alleged violation is available and after giving notice to the Attorney General. Finally, the District Attorney and the Attorney General are given surveillance authority and may investigate alleged violations when a public bid law complaint is filed with the LADOJ.
Who can file a public bid law complaint with the Louisiana Department of Justice?
Any person, association, corporation, or other business entity (usually a bidder) can file a public bid law complaint with the LADOJ, which then investigates the complaint to determine if there was a violation of the law. In these instances, private citizens and other entities are referred to as complainants. The Attorney General maintains the confidentiality of all information provided to his office by the complainant. The complainant shall not be subject to dismissal, suspension, or any other form of disciplinary action by an employer solely for providing information to the Attorney General, unless the civil action is found by a court to be frivolous.
How do I send a public bid law complaint to the Louisiana Department of Justice?
You must send the complaint containing all direct information possessed via certified mail, return receipt requested, within fifteen days from the date of discovery of the alleged violation to Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, ATTN: Civil Division, P.O. Box 94005, Baton Rouge, LA 70804. A complaint should include the name of the public entity alleged to have violated the public bid law, the date of the violation(s), and any other information relevant for the LADOJ to determine if a violation has occurred.