The Court of Appeal, Third Circuit, was created by Act. No. 561, Section
21(C) of 1958. This act amended Article 7 Section 21 of the Louisiana
Constitution in 1921, and established the Third Circuit Court of Appeal with
five judges. The Court began operations in Lake Charles on July 1, 1960. The
Court was housed in the courthouse annex of the Fourteenth Judicial District
Court. Act 10 of 1968 increased the judges from five to six. Act 620 Section 1
of 1977 increased the judges from six to nine and became effective June 1, 1978.
Act 801 Section 2(B) of 1987 increased the judges from nine to twelve. The
effective date of that act was July 20, 1987.
The jurisdiction of the Third Circuit extends over a 21 parish area.
Construction of a new courthouse began in January 1990. The Court took
occupancy of the building on November 1, 1991. The 3.2 acres on which the Court
is located was donated to the State by Mr. A. P. Leonards. The cost of the
building was 3.4 million dollars. In 1999 the Court was dedicated & renamed in
honor of Judge Albert Tate, the first Chief Judge of the Third Circuit.