Filed Under:  Local, Politics

Perque enters Traffic Court race

29th August 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Christopher Tidmore
Contributing Writer

Traffic Court candidate Richard Perque explained, “For me, the decision to go to law school was an easy one, I saw my grandfather and mother work as attorneys and use their skills to help people in the community. It was not uncommon for either of them to receive late night calls, or have clients drive to our home during the weekend, even if it was just to talk.”

“My grandfather told me that there are three people that people turn to in their lives: “Their priest when they are lost in faith, their doctor when they are sick, and their lawyer when they need help.” This was coupled with my mother’s reminder “Always remember that being a lawyer is not a job, it is a profession.”

“I want to be a traffic court judge to help the greatest number of people. I believe traffic court is one of the most basic structures of our judiciary, in so far as it is the court that almost all people will find themselves at some point in their lives. Traffic Court should be an open, accessible, ‘peoples’ court in which everyone is respected and all are afforded equal justice. That’s why I’m running: to ensure equal justice under the law for all.”

Perque’s listed his top three campaign planks for the voters to consider as they go to the polls on October 19. First and foremost, he said, was “Fairness.”

“Many people see the traffic court as inherently unfair and unbalanced. It is necessary that the court structure be modified to ensure fairness. The members of the court, judges and staff alike, are public employees. Accord­ingly, they are responsible and answerable to the public for their actions. That responsibility re­quires that each individual have their day in court to address the issues that affect them, and to tell their story. It obliges staff members to treat the public with courtesy and respect, and for judges to listen to all facts and apply the law fairly; regardless of race, gender, or social standing.”

Second, “Efficiency: It can never be overstated that the members of the court, judges and staff alike, are public employees. We must remember that we are there to serve the public good. This in­cludes running an efficient courtroom; ensuring that litigants do not find themselves waiting hours for resolution, only to find their cases continually moved to another date. The court must be efficient and dispense with matters in a well-organized fashion.”

And, third, “Financial Respon­sibility: The current Traffic Court structure allows for the election of four part-time judges. This structure allows judges to maintain a secondary law practice for supplemental income. Given the current system the additional benefits of a city car and gas card paid by the City of New Orleans are unnecessary. The judges of traffic court are elected by the people, to serve the people. That mandates that the judges act as custodians of the city’s best interest. I will serve in my elected position as judge and refuse any use of a city car and gas card.”

This article originally published in the August 26, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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