Am I bound to the orders of a divorce judge if the judgment was not filed and signed by the judge?

Full Question:

In May of 2009 my fiance took his ex-wife back to court to get some visitation and child support issues taken care of. Her attorney agreed to produce a judgment, but to date our Clerk of Court says there has been no judgment recorded. She continues to threaten my fiance saying that he is in contempt of court, yet there is no signed judgment. She tells him that she has the court minutes and that they are as good as a judgment and he is in contempt. Is this true? Are the minutes/transcripts used for contempt even though there is no judge signed order? Thank you.
10/08/2009   |   Category: Divorce   |   State: Louisiana   |   #18998

Answer:

Louisiana Civil Procedure Rules state the following with regard to the filing of a judgment:

Art. 1916. Jury cases; compromise agreements; signature of judgment by the court

A. After a trial by jury, the court shall prepare and sign a judgment in accordance with the verdict of the jury within ten days of the rendition of the verdict, or the court may order counsel for a party in the case to prepare and submit a judgment to the court for signature within ten days of the rendition of the verdict, in accordance with the rules for Louisiana district courts.

B. When the parties to a contested matter reach a compromise agreement which is recited in open court and on the record capable of being transcribed, the court may order counsel for a party to prepare and submit a judgment to the court for signature, in accordance with the rules for Louisiana district courts, within twenty days of the recital.

Acts 2006, No. 474, §1; Acts 2008, No. 824, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Therefore a judgment issued from the bench must be presented to the judge for signature within 20 days.

Failure to file in a timely manner could expose the attorney ordered to submit the judgment to sanctions from the court.

However, there is no rule that states failure to prepare and submit the judgment means the orders made by the court are not in effect.