Thursday, October 1, 2020, Winn Parish District Attorney Chris Nevils, who is legal counsel for the Winn Parish Police Jury (WPPJ), filed a Motion For New Trial in the Jacque D. Derr (Derr) VS. Parish of Winn case.
The original trial was settled on September 24, 2020, awarding Derr $30,201.57 to eliminate any further financial insecurity to the Judge’s budget. The WPPJ also agreed to pay $10,000 of the Judge’s attorney fees.
According to court documents obtained by the Winn Parish Journal, the WPPJ received an “Order” from Judge Derr five days after the stipulated judgment was reached in the case demanding the WPPJ pay Judge Derr an additional $113,465.81 on or before October 9, 2020.
Nevils is requesting the new trial on the grounds of the discovery of new evidence essential to the case since the “Order” from Derr came just five days after the judgment in the case was reached.
To summarize the grounds for a new trial into layman’s terms. If the WPPJ had known that Derr was going to “Order” $113,465.81 additional dollars be paid to his office, the Jury never would have directed their attorney to agree to the $30,201.51 to help with his budget shortfall. Because there would be a chance there would be no budget shortfall should Derr have legal grounds to order the WPPJ to pay him.
Derr’s claim that the WPPJ owes his office $113,468.81 stems from the Judge’s office’s discovery in March of 2020 that 2% of the bond fees collected by the Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office has been going to the WPPJ. According to Derr’s letter, there is a statute that states those funds should be delivered to the 8th Judicial Court’s Judicial Expense Fund. Derr is “Ordering” these funds be paid back going back to 2010.
The Winn Parish Sheriff distributes the bond fees each month, and as far back as any digital record can be reviewed, the sheriff has paid the WPPJ 2% of the fees collected. It is unclear why the year 2010 has been identified as the starting point of the repayment.
This story is developing and may be updated.
Court documents for this story can be viewed here.