Chip Moore

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

A state appeals court Thursday night refused to hear a request from 19th Judicial District Judge Richard “Chip” Moore’s campaign team to allow the them to act on the hospitalized judge’s behalf and sign and file his re-election qualifying papers.

The last chance for Moore, who is in intensive care with the coronavirus, and his re-election committee now rests with the Louisiana Supreme Court.

An emergency appeal is pending at the high court. It is the same as the one the committee had filed with the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal.

A similar request was rejected Thursday morning by Wilson Fields, the chief judge of the 19th Judicial District Court.

The three-day candidate qualifying period for the Nov. 3 election ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Lawyers Jennifer Moisant and Dale Glover, both Democrats, qualified Thursday to run for the Division N seat that Moore currently occupies.

Moore, 55, who has been hospitalized at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center since July 2, is unable to qualify in person and not capable of signing documents at this time, his attorneys have said.

"Judge Moore is going to qualify for his re-election," a confident Beau Brock, who is Moore’s campaign manager and also an attorney representing the judge’s re-election committee, said shortly before the appeals were filed Thursday.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court's Office did not object to the relief sought by the committee, he noted.

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, according to a petition for declaratory relief filed by the committee Wednesday morning. He was re-intubated Tuesday morning.

Candidates are not required to appear in person, but they are required to sign the paperwork themselves, a clerk of court spokesman said.

"But for this pandemic, he would be able to comply with this last ministerial act of his candidacy," Brock and lawyer Lori Palmintier argue in the petition.

If Brock, as Moore's campaign manager, is allowed to sign the judge's qualifying papers by Friday, the judge would then amend the filing and include his own signature once he is physically capable of doing so, the petition states.

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

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