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Times-Picayune Loses Legal Notices for Civil District Court


Following the announcement that it will scale back publication to three days a week, The Times-Picayune is losing its role as New Orleans' Official Journal for legal noties for at least one local public body. Today, the local Clerk of Civil District Court Dale Atkins announced that Gambit will replace Da Paper as the official journal where the state-required notifications of all matters in Civil District Court are made. The cost to place ads will be $.93 cents per agate line, according to a memo from Atkins.  The change will be effective August 1.

 

According to the Lens, the legal notices overall brought in $7 million a year in advertising. It is known how big of a percentage of that advertising came from Civil District Court.

 

The decision follows the passage of a law during this year's legislative session that changed the law governing legal notices in Orleans Parish. The new law erased a requirement that legal notices be published in a daily newspaper. Now, the notices are required only to run in newspapers with a circulation of more than 30,000.

 

According to The Lens, Gambit hired Baton Rogue lobbyist Thomas Jay Spradley two days before the bill went before the legislature.

 

The memo said the legal notices will run both in the weekly print edition of Gambit and online. There will be no charge for online publication. According to Atkins, the auxiliary journal for legal notices in Orleans Parish will remain Louisiana Weekly.

 

Mayoral spokesman Ryan Berni said he wasn't aware of any plans for the City to switch their legal notices to another publication.

 

H/T NOLA Notes for pointing this out first on Twitter.




I want public notices in a

I want public notices in a newspaper, not exclusively online.

Why?

Because reading a newspaper makes it a LOT FASTER to scan over the notices to get to the ones of interest.

Online, most notices are in serial form. Searches are time consuming and may completely miss some.

Newspapers enable us to use our wide field of vision and not the tunnel view of small screens.

Gambit did not get selected

Gambit did not get selected to publish the sheriff's judicial notices in either Orleans Parish or Jefferson Parish. We did submit proposals to both sheriffs. The TP was again selected in Orleans, and CityBusiness remains the publisher in Jefferson -- but both both had to cut their rates substantially to keep the business.

The TP had to cut its rate in Orleans by more than 50 percent to keep the business — from $1.57 per agate line to about 73¢ an agate line. AS a result, the TP will likely make more than $500,000 LESS than what it made last year. This is based on information supplied to us by Sheriff Gusman's office — that the sheriff paid the TP more than $1 million last year at the rate of $1.57 per agate line. Cutting that rate more than in half means reduced revenue of at least $500,000 — assuming the number of judicial notices remains more or less the same.

Regarding the dollar value attributed to judicial notices, The Lens has reported that they are worth $7 million. That figure may be accurate STATEWIDE, but in Orleans Parish it is far less — slightly more than $1 million, according to the sheriff's office.

Gambit did get selected as the legal notices publisher by the Clerks of Court for Orleans and Jefferson, and by the constables of First City Court and Second City Court in New Orleans. Under state law, each judicial officer — sheriffs, clerks, constables, etc. — who is responsible for placing legal notices is authorized to select a qualified publisher for those notices. These notices typically are far fewer in number and length than the sheriffs' notices and thus do not generate the kind of revenue that sheriffs' notices generate, but Gambit is happy to be able to offer its services for these notices.

The $7 million dollar

The $7 million dollar estimate is grossly exagerated. Additionally if its a fee-paid judicial notice there is no bid requirement or pre-set price other than 90% of commercial rate as required by state law.

Public notices in a weekly

Public notices in a weekly paper. Why not save the state $7 million and just put the notices on line for free. There are on line publications posting legal notices for free now. TheBatavian.com is one.

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