Update as of Wednesday morning:
State Supreme Court Justice Marcus Clark, of West Monroe, is taking medical leave from the high court for the month of September, The Ouachita Citizen has learned.
Earlier this week, The Ouachita Citizen previously sought more information about Clark's leave of absence, which was unexplained at the time. The Supreme Court declined to provide any details about the matter until The Ouachita Citizen submitted a public records request on Tuesday.
In response to The Ouachita Citizen's public records request, the Supreme Court sent an email to the newspaper specifying the reason for Clark's leave.
"Justice Marcus Clark is out on medical leave and therefore not sitting on the September docket," said Robert Gunn, the court's deputy judicial administrator. "As this is medical leave, there is no further information I am able to provide."
State Supreme Court Justice Marcus Clark, of West Monroe, is taking an unexplained leave of absence from the high court for the month of September, a recent court order shows.
Clark, who is an associate justice, was elected to the Supreme Court in 2009. He served as a judge at Fourth Judicial District Court from 1997 to 2009 and as an assistant district attorney at then-Fourth Judicial District Attorney Jerry Jones’ office.
Neither the court order nor information about Clark’s leave was publicized.
The Ouachita Citizen reached out to Clark by telephone and text message to inquire about the reason for his leave of absence but received no response.
Trina Vincent, a public information specialist for the Supreme Court, provided The Ouachita Citizen with a court order appointing retired Judge Michael Kirby as justice ad hoc for the September docket.
The Ouachita Citizen inquired about the reasons for Clark’s leave from the high court, but Vincent declined to answer.
“I have no further information to provide,” she wrote.
In light of the vagueness enshrouding Clark’s leave, The Ouachita Citizen submitted a public records request to the Supreme Court requesting further information, such as whether Clark’s leave was taken on a paid or unpaid basis.
Chief Justice Bernette Johnson signed the Aug. 27 court order appointing Kirby.
Some of the cases scheduled for the September docket include State of Louisiana vs. Kenneth Jones; State of Louisiana in the Interest of A.N., State of Louisiana in the Interest of E.S., State of Louisiana vs. Desmond C. Parker; Beverly Smith vs. Citadel Insurance Company as Successor to Gramercy Insurance Company and GoAuto Insurance Company; LeBlanc Marine LLC vs. State of Louisiana, Division of Administration, Office of Facility Planning and Control; Steve Crooks and Era Lea Crooks vs. State of Louisiana, Department of Natural Resources; State of Louisiana vs. Henri Pierre Lyles; Newell Normand, Sheriff & Ex-Officio Tax Collector for the Parish of Jefferson vs. Wal-Mart.com USA LLC; Cynthia Simoneaux et al vs. Shell Oil Company et al; State of Louisiana vs. Fred Reimonenq; and Succession of Edward Robin Sr.