Art. 326. Cash deposits
A.(1) In lieu of a surety the defendant may furnish a bail undertaking, secured by a deposit with an officer authorized to accept the bail. The deposit shall consist of any of the following which are equal to the amount of the bail:
(b) A certified or cashier's check on any state or national bank.
(c) Bonds of the United States government negotiable by delivery.
(d) Bonds of the state of Louisiana or any political subdivision thereof negotiable by delivery.
(e) United States postal money orders or money orders issued by any state or national bank.
(2) The court in the parishes of St. John the Baptist and St. Charles, by written rule, may alter the percentage amount of bail to be deposited with the officer authorized to accept the bail undertaking and authorize the officer to charge an administrative fee, not to exceed fifteen dollars, for processing the bail undertaking.
B. Upon final disposition of all cases in which a deposit of money, checks, bonds, or money orders has been made pursuant to this Article, and the deposits have remained unclaimed for a period of one year from the date of the final disposition, the officer authorized to accept the bail shall apply and use one-half of such funds for the operation and maintenance of the office of the clerk of court, or the office of the clerk of the criminal district court, or the office of the clerk of the criminal district court in Orleans Parish, and one-half to the local governing authority after advertising his intention to so utilize the funds by publication in the official parish journal of a notice to the public containing an itemized list of all of such funds on deposit, containing the names and last known addresses of defendants and the docket numbers of the cases involved. The publication shall be made once within thirty days after the final disposition of the case as aforesaid. The clerk shall also send a notice by certified mail to each of such defendants at the last known address of the defendant. Any interest earned on the funds deposited for bail shall be disbursed as provided in Paragraph E of this Article.
C. After the publication and mailing of the notice by certified mail, the clerk of court, or the clerk of the criminal district court in Orleans Parish shall petition the court of proper jurisdiction for permission to utilize the funds for the use, operation, and maintenance of the office of the clerk of court or the clerk of criminal district court in Orleans Parish.
D. When bail has been given in conformity with this Article, the money, check, bond, or money order shall not be subject to garnishment, attachment, or seizure under any legal process. An assignment or sale thereof by the owner, to be valid, must be in the form of an authentic act and filed in the proceedings in the court having jurisdiction to discharge the bail. The property shall remain on deposit and the assignment or sale shall be contingent upon the nonforfeiture of the bail.
E. When money, checks, or money orders have been given for bail in conformity with this Article, those funds may be deposited by the officer authorized to accept bail into an interest-bearing account established exclusively for the deposit of such funds. Interest earned on the deposits in the account shall be used solely for the operation and maintenance of the office of the clerk of court.
Acts 1993, No. 834, §1, eff. June 22, 1993; Acts 2004, No. 496, §1; Acts 2010, No. 914, §1; Acts 2016, No. 613, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.