The Ruston City Marshal is the executive officer of the Ruston City Court and carries out the orders of the Ruston City Judge. The Marshal's duties pertain primarily to civil law. The territorial jurisdiction of the Ruston City Court and Marshal is Lincoln Parish with a monetary jurisdiction of a maximum of fifty thousand dollars. Some of the duties of the Marshal: collect fines imposed by the court and disburse these fines according to law; provide security in the courtroom; serve civil papers for the court; serve warrants as directed by the Judge; perform evictions, repossessions, sequestrations and Marshal's Sales; work wage garnishments which entails calculating accrued interest, attorney's fees, keeping up with the balance due, etc.; approving appearance bonds (cash, professional and property) and maintaining accurate records of these bonds; maintain accurate financial records according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
The Ruston City Marshal is an elected position, but works directly for the Ruston City Court. The office is funded by a portion of the fines collected on traffic tickets and criminal cases. This "portion" is set by the Judge with limits set by the Louisiana Legislature. The Marshal's salary is set by the Louisiana Legislature.
The Marshal has no authority to take action on civil cases without written orders from the Judge. On criminal cases the Marshal has the same authority as the Sheriff or a police officer. Since the Marshal's duties are primarily dealing with civil law the training required to perform these duties go well beyond Police Officer Standardized Training (which deals only with criminal law). The current Marshal, Jim Liner and previous Marshal, Mike Hilton attended dozens of Civil Law Training Seminars on how to perform their duties. Each of these Marshals has spent countless hours training their deputies in how to properly perform their duties in Civil Law and in proper accounting procedures. In a best case scenario a new deputy could learn most aspects of the job in three to four years provided the deputy has an aptitude for accounting/bookkeeping.
Click the below button for a brief history of the Ruston City Marshal's Office (a work in progress):