Chip Moore

Richard "Chip" Moore is a judge in the 19th Judicial District Court

With 19th Judicial District Court Judge Richard "Chip" Moore in critical condition battling the coronavirus, his re-election committee filed a court petition Wednesday asking for permission to sign his qualifying papers.

The qualifying period for the Nov. 3 election began Wednesday and ends Friday.

Moore, 55, has been hospitalized at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center since July 2. He remains in the intensive care unit.

Moore's breathing tube was removed Saturday and he appeared to be making steady progress, but he was incapable of using his arms and hands sufficiently to sign any document, the petition states. He was re-intubated Tuesday morning.

"Judge Moore has demonstrated his intent to seek re-election in every way possible other than signing the Certificate," lawyers Beau Brock and Lori Palmintier say in the court filing. "Through no fault of his own, he has become the victim of an unforeseen pandemic, which is plaguing our entire nation. But for this pandemic, he would be able to comply with this last ministerial act of his candidacy.

"Petitioner is only requesting that it be allowed to file the Certificate for Judge Moore and affix the signature of his Campaign Manager to the form, and then, when the judge is physically capable, amend the filing to include his signature."

Brock is Moore's campaign manager.

The petition filed by Moore's re-election committee names Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court Doug Welborn as defendants.

The matter was allotted to 19th JDC Chief Judge Wilson Fields, who will hold a hearing Thursday morning via Zoom.

The petition asks Fields to both serve the intent of the law concerning elections and "protect a person who is most vulnerable from being robbed by this insidious virus of his desire to continue in public service."

Moore became a district court judge in April 2005. His current six-year term expires Dec. 31.

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