About Court Watch NOLA

Since 2007, Court Watch NOLA has recruited, trained, and supported volunteers in observing and reporting on whether Orleans Parish Criminal Court judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and other public servants are doing their jobs professionally, transparently, efficiently, ethically, and constitutionally. Volunteer court watchers wear bright yellow lanyards identifying themselves and carry bright yellow clipboards. Their daily presence in the courtroom helps identify systemic problems while sending the message that New Orleanians care about making the court system more accountable and just.

News

Catch up with the latest news in Court Watch NOLA, including events, media, and trainings.
*Stock photo by Flipboard on Unsplash

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Voter Education

Learn how to hold your elected officials accountable, and educate voters in your community on public servants, their actions, and their stated values.
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Reports

Check out our latest reports on issues and data collected in Orleans Parish criminal courts.
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Donate Now

Make a tax-deductible donation to Court Watch NOLA. We are community-driven and community-funded!
*Stock photo by Vitality Taranov on Unsplash
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How We Work

Ensuring that our public officials are held accountable for their day-to-day decisions and actions is a basic tenant of American democracy. On any given day, public servants of various independent offices including judges, attorneys, police officers, sheriffs, clerks, and judicial administrators must work together in criminal court in a productive and efficient manner.

Courtwatchers enjoy seeing the intersections of these different offices which create our local criminal justice system. Our volunteers take notes on bright yellow clipboards while observing court, paying special attention to any violations of civil rights or ethics rules. Each story of a courtwatcher’s day in court is uploaded to our database, where Court Watch NOLA aggregates the data and compares its analysis to historical data trends.

Court Watch NOLA welcomes volunteers from all walks of life and pays special appreciation to those whose lives have been impacted by the criminal justice system, as a victim, defendant, family member, witness, or taxpayer.

100

Volunteers

1,878

Court Sessions
Observed

13,000

Case Appearances
Watched (approx.)

*Annual averages

Want to Get Involved? Here’s how you can help.

Latest News From Court Watch NOLA:

CWN statement about the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

October 30, 2018

“While the synagogue shooting occurred in Pittsburgh and not New Orleans, the truth is that it could happen in any of our communities. Just like the act of hatred that occurred in the African-American church in Charleston and the nightclub in Orlando, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting was an act of hatred that should be punished […]

Court Watch NOLA’s 2017 Annual Report Now Available

May 22, 2018

Click here to read “Orleans Criminal District Court, Magistrate Court, & Municipal Court: 2017 Review.“

Court Watch NOLA’s “The State of Magistrate Court”…

October 18, 2017

Please check out Court Watch NOLA’s newly released “The State of Magistrate Court” report, in which CWN makes 7 recommendations and 1 commendation regarding the Orleans Magistrate Court.