Louisiana Supreme Court refused to hear Smith vs. Goins

I received word earlier today that the Louisiana Supreme Court refused to hear Charles F. Smith’s case arguing that Jonathan Goins doesn’t live in Alexandria Council District 3 and should be disqualified from running in the Oct. 4 election.

Smith, who represents District 3, lost an appeal in the Third Circuit Court, which affirmed 9th Judicial District Court Judge Rae Swent, who ruled that Goins, an attorney, does spend significant enough time at a Juliet Street residence, which is in District 3.

Smith said Goins lives in an apartment complex located off of Louisiana Highway 28 West. Goins doesn’t deny that he has the apartment. He does argue that Juliet Street is his main residence.

Charles F. Smith takes case to Louisiana Supreme Court

Alexandria City Councilman Charles F. Smith has taken his case against Attorney Jonathan Goins to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Smith, who had 48 hours after the Third Circuit Court affirmed Judge Rae Swent’s decision qualifying Goins to run in the Oct. 4 election, filed the appeal today.

Smith and his attorneys Eugene P. Circardo Jr. and George Gaiennie III, claims Goins doesn’t live in the District 3 and should be allowed to seek the District 3 seat.

Judge Swent in her ruling agrees that Goins does indeed spend most of his time at a Provine Street apartment, but that he maintains his residency at the Juliet Street home, which is in District 3.

Smith says that the city charter maintains that a candidate must live in a district at least two years before they are qualified to run for office.

In a decision handed down Thursday, July 31, the Third Circuit Court ruled that the “terms residence and domicile are not synonymuos, and although a person can have several residences, that person can have only one domicle.”

Third Circuit Court affirms Judge Swent’s ruling in Smith vs. Goins

Today, the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Ninth Judicial Court Judge Rae Swent’s ruling that allows Jonathan Goins to run against Charles F. Smith for the District 3 council seat.

Smith and his attorneys contend that Goins doesn’t live in the District 3 area, but instead lives in an apartment complex off of Louisiana Highway 28 West.

Click here for the ruling:LA Third Circuit Court ruling on Smith vs. Goins

Charles F. Smith appeals Judge Swent’s decision about Goins qualification to run for District 3 council seat

Attorneys for Councilman Charles F. Smith today filed an appeal in the 3rd Circuit Court in an effort to overturn 9th Judicial Court Judge Rae Swent decision that allows Jonathan Goins to run for the Alexandria City Council seat that represents District 3.

On Wednesday, July 23, Swent ruled in Goins favor. Smith maintains that Goins doesn’t live in a Juliet Street home, which is in District 3. Smith claims Goins lives in an apartment off of Louisiana Highway 28 West.

Swent found that Goins does indeed spend lots of time at his apartment, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t maintain Juliet Street as his primary residence.

Jonathan D. Goins does qualify to run for District 3 seat

Jonathan D. Goins can run for City Council District 3.

Judge Rae Swent ruled in favor of Goins, who can run against Charles F. Smith for the District 3 Council seat.

The judge’s ruling came about 5 minutes after closing arguments, in which Smith’s attorney, George Gaienne III, suggested the low use of electricity, water and gas indicated Goins didn’t live in the Juliet Street home and should not be qualified to seek to represent District 3 on the Alexandria City Council.
Goin’s attorney, Thomas Davenport, agreed that Goins does have an alternate residence on Louisiana Highway 28 West, but it is used for business purposes.

“Do not punish this young man because he doesn’t want to take business clients to the hood,” Davenport asked the judge.

Swent did as Davenport asked. She ruled that it’s not necessary to sleep at a home every night for that residence to be considered a primary residence.

“I don’t believe that it was their primary residence, but they were going there all of the time,” Swent said.

“Goins did take up another apartment, but he didn’t stop his mail, change his voter registration. His preference is to maintain contact with the community,” she said.

Meanwhile, Goins said he is grateful for the outcome, but he is upset that it had to end up in court.

“I’m appalled that Charles Fredrick Smith had to go through this length to hire a private investigator to go through my grandmother’s and mother’s private things. It’s a violation of the privacy of two elderly women who have been voting in this district for years.”

Expert witness testimony doesn’t look good for Goins

Please let me begin by saying that it’s 2:41 p.m. and there’s much more testimony to be heard in Charles F. Smith challenge of Jonathan Goins’ run for the District 3 seat.

This hearing in Judge Swent’s office has the be the biggest happening today in Central Louisiana. Everyone who is anyone has made an appearance to the court. City Councilmen Roosevelt Johnson and Louis Marshall dropped in this morning, as did several attorneys. Mayor Jacques Roy and Police Chief Darren Coutee made appearances this afternoon.

From what I’m hearing and seeing, this case seems to be swinging in Charles F. Smith’s direction. I say that because Smith’s expert witness, Mark Marcotte, the city’s superintendent of utility. Based on an analysis of the water, gas and electricity usage and billing, Marcotte seems to be concluding it “doesn’t appear there is sufficient enough use to indicate occupancy.”

Again, let me say there’s much more to be heard in this case.

Be back shortly!

Jonathan Goins: Juliet Street or Provine Street?

Councilman Charles F. Smith accuses his challenger, Attorney Jonathan Goins, of living somewhere that is not in District 3 for which Smith represents.

Apparently, on Monday, July 21, Smith’s attorneys, a photographer and an expert witness, inspected Goins Provine Street home to determine whether or not the large appliances used an amount of electricty that would suggest someone lived more in the apartment or somewhere else. The expert witness was Alexandria’s superintendent of electricity.

Jonathan Goins acknowledges that he does have two residences, one at 5445 Provine St., and the other at 3327 Juliet St., which he claims is his primary residence.

Apparently, Smith’s team has video showing Goins’comings and goins from both residences.

Judge Swent is hearing the case.

Stay tuned.