The Third Circuit Court of Appeal on Tuesday upheld an Evangeline Parish judge’s ruling dismissing a residency challenge against Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue, KATC-TV reported.

In its ruling, the panel of judges said the district court judge was correct to dismiss the case because the plaintiffs, Linton Fontenot and Glenn Leleux, did not file their residency challenge against Chief Neal Lartigue during the timeframe allowed by law.

The plaintiffs claimed in their appeal to the Third Circuit that they were not challenging Lartigue’s residency but the election, and the trial court incorrectly applied the law for qualification challenges in the first hearing.

The Third Circuit panel disagreed. It ruled that despite the claims by Fontenot and Leleux that they were contesting the election results, they had in fact filed a residency challenge outside of the timeframe allowed by law.

Lartigue and Fontenot bested Leleux in the Nov. 4 primary, and Lartigue came out on top in the Dec. 6 runoff. Fontenot and Leleux filed the suit on Dec. 15.

Qualification challenges are required to be made at 4:30 p.m. on the seventh day after the close of the qualifying period, which was from Aug. 20-22.

Fontenot and Leleux claimed in their challenge that Lartigue did not live within the city limits on election day, urging the court to void the results.

State law requires anyone running for chief of police to live within the city limits of the place they wish to serve.