§998. Nonrefundable fee; assessment and disposition
A. In addition to all other fees and costs now or hereafter provided by law, the clerk of the district court in the parishes of Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, East Carroll, West Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, St. Landry, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, St. Bernard, Ouachita, Union, Richland, Tensas, Sabine, DeSoto, Vermilion, and Lafayette, except as otherwise provided by law and subject to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure Article 5181 et seq., shall collect from every person filing any suit or proceeding for divorce, annulment of marriage, or establishment or disavowal of the paternity of children a nonrefundable fee of ten dollars per such suit.
B. The clerks of the respective district courts, within thirty days of the close of each fiscal year, shall remit all funds collected pursuant to this Section to be deposited in the state treasurer's account for credit to a special fund after meeting the requirements of Article VII, Section 9 of the Constitution of Louisiana. The monies in this fund shall be invested by the state treasurer in the same manner as monies in the state general fund, and interest earned on the investment of these monies shall be credited to the fund following compliance with the requirement of Article VII, Section 9(B) relative to the Bond Security and Redemption Fund. Disbursement of funds shall be made by the office of children and family services in the Department of Children and Family Services, or its successor, in accordance with Paragraph (E)(2) of this Section and only in amounts appropriated by the legislature.
C. The monies appropriated by the legislature and disbursed from this special fund shall not displace, replace, or supplant appropriations from the general fund. This Paragraph shall mean that no appropriation for any fiscal year from the special account shall be made for any purpose for which a general fund appropriation was made in the previous year unless the total appropriations for that fiscal year from the state general fund for such purpose exceed general fund appropriations for the previous year.
D. All monies in the account shall be used solely for the purposes of providing fiscal support to those non-profit organizations located and operating within the respective parishes that provide shelter for battered women and their children. A shelter is defined for purposes of this Section as a temporary residence providing assistance to battered women and their children in the reestablishment of independent living from a financial, emotional, and psychological perspective.
E.(1) Within thirty days of receipt of such funds, the office of children and family services shall distribute the funds among those qualifying organizations. A qualifying organization must be recognized as a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and be located and operated within Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, East Carroll, West Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, St. Landry, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, St. Bernard, Ouachita, Union, Richland, Tensas, Sabine, DeSoto, Vermilion, or Lafayette Parish and shall provide:
(a) A shelter with a minimum of eight beds.
(b) Two in-house meals per day.
(c) Residencies for no less than fifteen days nor more than six months.
(d) A meaningful program to assist in the reestablishment of independent living from a financial, emotional, and psychological perspective.
(2) Funds shall be apportioned among the qualifying organizations in each respective parish on the same percentage basis that the qualifying organizations' points bear to the total number of points of all qualifying organizations in the respective parishes. Each qualifying organization shall receive five points per available bed, one point for each percentage of bed occupancy during the year, and two points for each person sheltered for at least fifteen days. All figures shall be based on the qualifying organizations' performance during the preceding calendar year.
(3) Organizations seeking to be qualified shall apply on an annual basis to the office of children and family services within the time and in the manner designated by the office of children and family services and afford such reasonable proof as is required to establish its entitlement to funds.
Acts 1995, No. 963, §1; Acts 1997, No. 573, §1; Acts 2000, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 141, §1; Acts 2001, No. 39, §1; Acts 2009, No. 409, §1, eff. July 1, 2009.