Charles Jacobs

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Edward Charles Jacobs

Division D Judge of the Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court for Bossier and Webster parishes
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 1, 2015
Preceded by John M. Robinson

Born May 13, 1970
Auburn, Alabama
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Melanie Jane McConnell Jacobs
Children John Jacobs
Residence Springhill, Webster Parish
Louisiana
Occupation Attorney

Edward Charles Jacobs, known as Charles Jacobs (born May 13, 1970), is an attorney from Springhill, Louisiana, who is one of the six judges, all Republicans, of the Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court, which encompasses neighboring Bossier and Webster parishes in the northwestern corner of his state. Jacobs ran without opposition to succeed the retiring Division D judge, John M. Robinson, in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on November 4, 2014, in conjunction with general elections in the other forty-nine states.[1]

Background

Judge Jacobs is the son of Edward Craney Jacobs (born August 1943), the dean emeritus of Liberal Arts and a former professor of English at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. He received the Bronze Star while serving in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.[2] His mother, the former Karen Rae Langpap (born August 1941), formerly of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is an English professor at Louisiana Tech.[3] Both of his parents received their terminal degrees from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, where they resided at the time of Jacobs' birth.[2][3]

Jacobs has three siblings, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Andrew. Andrew Jacobs, a graduate of Louisiana State University and the LSU Law Center in Baton Rouge, has been since 2009 an assistant district attorney for the 26th Judicial District Court.[4]

Jacobs is married to the former Melanie Jane McConnell (born November 16, 1971), a special education supervisor for the Webster Parish School Board. She is the daughter of Lynn Williamson McConnell of Norwood in East Feliciana Parish and Robert Morris McConnell (1946-2014), a Louisiana Tech graduate and a banker, originally from Clinton, also in East Feliciana Parish.[5]

John Jacobs, the only child of Judge and Mrs. Jacobs, graduated in 2017 from North Webster High School in Springhill, where he was a tennis player.[6] The Jacobses are United Methodists. [7]

Career

Jacobs' educational institutions are unavailable. Out of law school in Baton Rouge and admitted to the bar in 1996, his first job was in John Robinson's law office in Springhill before Robinson became state court judge in 1999. Robinson subsequently swore Jacobs into office as his successor district judge on January 1, 2015.[8]

Jacobs was for fifteen years the Springhill city attorney and similarly represented Cullen and Sarepta, also in Webster Parish.[7] In 2003, the Webster Parish Police Jury considered appointing Jacobs to the board of the North Webster Industrial Park to replace the chairman, Eugene Eason, a Republican who served briefly as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1991. Two jurors, including Charles Odom of Minden, whose wife, Patti Cook Odom, ran unsuccessfully against Eason for state representative, claimed that Eason had been unwilling to cooperate with other industrial park members and municipal and parish officials in the administration of the facility. However, jurors voted 8-2 to retain Eason in the position. "The park speaks for itself. It is growing and successful. We've done a lot and we have a lot of good things on the horizon," Eason said.[9] Eason died in 2007.

Jacobs has been a public defender, an assistant under Bossier Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin, and represented clients before the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Second District and the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, both in Shreveport.[7] Prior to becoming judge, Jacobs had also maintained a legal office in Minden.[10] In 2004 and 2005, Jacobs represented three landowners near the Minden Airport who challenged a municipal plan to expropriate their lands for airport expansion. The landowners claimed the expansion would not benefit the city in any meaningful way and that the amount offered was not clearly defined among ten affected property owners.[11]

When he announced his candidacy for judge, Jacobs noted that as an attorney he has:

done a little bit of everything … from domestic work to property work to contested successions. I’ve done some personal injury work, I’ve done some personal injury defense work and I’ve done criminal defense work … I’ve been a prosecutor. So in all, I’ve practiced in all areas of the law … when people come to court, even lawyers … it’s a stressful situation ... They get nervous and they all need to be treated with respect. You know, the courtroom is the one place where it should not matter if you have ten dollars or a million dollars in the bank – you ought to be treated with dignity and respect and you ought to get an equal shake.[7]

In 2017, plaintiffs James Wheat and Danny Brinson, after their arrests in Bossier City for violating a state statute forbidding panhandling, filled a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington and all judges of the 26th Judicial District Court, including Chief Judge Parker Self and Judge Jacobs. Wheat and Brinson allege that Bossier Parish unjustly jails defendants who cannot pay for bail or the required $40 fee to the office of the public defender. Nor does Bossier Parish permit defendants to seek a lowering of the bail amount, which is instead automatically set by the court. The suit claims that the parish has for years violated a "bedrock principle of our legal system that a person cannot be detained or imprisoned solely for their inability to pay a fee. Such an incarceration violates the substantive due process and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.”[12][13]

Jacobs' other judicial colleagues are Jeff R. Thompson, Mike Nerren, and Michael O. Craig, and until 2017 Jeff Cox, who joined the Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit. Cox was named a defendant in the Wheat-Brinson suit because he was a member of the 26th Judicial District Court at the time of the panhandling case.

References

  1. Vickie Welborn. Final day of qualifying in DeSoto, Webster. 'The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on August 22, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Edward C. Jacobs: Dean Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts. latech.edu. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Karen R. Jacobs: Louisiana Tech University. latech.edu. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
  4. Andrew C. Jacobs. linkedin.com. Retrieved on July 6, 2015.
  5. Robert Morris McConnell (father-in-law of Judge Jacobs). The Baton Rouge Advocate (May 1, 2014). Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
  6. John Jacobs. tennisrecruiting.net. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 26th District judge race: Charles Jacobs. Bossier Press-Tribune (July 23, 2014). Retrieved on July 4, 2015.
  8. Pat Culverhouse (January 1, 2015). Charles Jacobs sworn in as district judge. Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on July 4, 2015.
  9. Josh Beavers (December 21, 2003). Jurors vote down attempt to oust district chairman. Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on July 6, 2015.
  10. Edward Charles Jacobs. lawyers.com. Retrieved on July 5, 2015.
  11. Jana Ryan (February 17, 2005). City's suit in Minden airport case comes before judge. Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on July 6, 2015.
  12. Sarah Crawford (March 21, 2017). Lawsuit: Bossier Parish routinely violates rights of poor. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on June 16, 2017.
  13. James M. Wheat and Danny Brinson v. Judges Mike Craig, Jeff R. Thompson, Jeff Cox, E. Charles Jacobs, Mike Nerren, and Parker Self and Sheriff Julian Whittington. KSLA-TV Images (March 20, 2017). Retrieved on June 16, 2017.