District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington and District Hearing Officer Jacob Ruppert received awards at the recent Louisiana Support Enforcement Association (LSEA) conference in Baton Rouge. Harrington was awarded the Outstanding District Attorney Award and Ruppert was awarded the Outstanding District Hearing Officer Award for their work in the establishment and enforcement of child and spousal support judgments for Natchitoches Parish residents.
LSEA is a professional organization of approximately 500 members of federal and state government, District Attorneys, the Judiciary and private businesses actively engaged in the field of the family support program as administered by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services under Sub-Chapter “D” of Title IV of the Social Security Act.
Through his office, Harrington provides free litigation support for those seeking child or spousal support or enforcement of existing child or spousal support judgments.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition,” said Harrington. “Mr. Ruppert is a well deserved recipient. He is well versed in and applies the law fairly in dealing with many dynamic situations. I am proud of my child support enforcement staff and ADAs who prosecute the cases. They all do an exceptional job for the citizens of our parish.”
The cases are then brought to trial before Ruppert (magistrate judge) who determines paternity and the terms and conditions of child or spousal support, as well as the penalties for violation.
“D.A. Harrington and I work so well together in this effort, as all three branches of government should,” says Ruppert, “because we both understand that it’s all about the children of this parish and the stabilization of their families.”
Ruppert is the first to receive the statewide award twice in the organization’s 45-year history.