Welcome to the Louisiana Court of Appeal Third Circuit
The Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal is the largest of five circuit courts of appeal in Louisiana. Its territory consists of 21 parishes in southwest and central Louisiana. The parishes are Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Catahoula, Concordia, Evangeline, Grant, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, St. Landry, St. Martin, Vernon, and Vermilion.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeal was created by Act. No. 561, Section 21(C) of 1958. This act amended Article 7 Section 21 of the Louisiana Constitution in 1921, and established the Third Circuit Court of Appeal with five judges. The Court began operations in Lake Charles on July 1, 1960. The Court was housed in the courthouse annex of the Fourteenth Judicial District Court. Act 10 of 1968 increased the judges from five to six. Act 620 Section 1 of 1977 increased the judges from six to nine and became effective June 1, 1978. Act 801 Section 2(B) of 1987 increased the judges from nine to twelve. The effective date of that act was July 20, 1987. The jurisdiction of the Third Circuit extends over a 21 parish area.
Construction of a new courthouse began in January 1990. The Court took occupancy of the building on November 1, 1991. The 3.2 acres on which the Court is located was donated to the State by Mr. A. P. Leonards. The cost of the building was 3.4 million dollars. In 1999 the Court was dedicated & renamed in honor of Judge Albert Tate, the first Chief Judge of the Third Circuit.