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.


Catch up with the latest news in Court Watch NOLA, including events, media, and trainings.
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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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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!
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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.




Court Sessions


Case Appearances
Watched (approx.)

*Annual averages

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Latest News From Court Watch NOLA:

2020 Courts in Review Report

June 11, 2021

2020 profoundly impacted our community, challenging each of us uniquely. For the first time in over a century, our country struggled to contain a deadly pandemic, and many of us lost loved ones. In a city known for coming together, we had to stay apart to keep each other safe. Within weeks of our city’s […]

BREAKING: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Immunity…

April 21, 2020

BREAKING: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied District Attorney Cannizzaro’s request for immunity. Defendants argue that creating and issuing the fake subpoenas was protected prosecutorial conduct because it “relate[d] to the core prosecutorial function of preparing evidence and testimony for trial.” But the Supreme Court has squarely rejected this broad interpretation of absolute immunity. […]

5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision issued against…

April 21, 2020

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision denying Cannizzaro’s appeal for creating fraudulent subpoenas. Please read the appeals decision here.   4.21.20 Singleton v. Cannizzaro Fifth Circuit Opinion