64 Parishes

Joe B. Hamiter

Joe Busbey Hamiter served as the chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court for five months in 1970.

Joe B. Hamiter

Courtesy of The Law Library of Louisiana

Joe B. Hamiter. Parker, John Clay (Artist)

Joe Busbey Hamiter was the fourteenth chief justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, though he served for only five months before his retirement. Hamiter was named chief justice on August 1, 1970, after the retirement of John B. Fournet, and served until December 31, 1970.

Hamiter was born on November 16, 1899, in Shreveport to Emmett W. and Mary B. Hamiter. After graduating from Shreveport High School in 1917, Hamiter attended Louisiana State University (LSU) until 1919. He engaged in farming and real estate until 1921, when he returned to LSU to study law. He earned his bachelor of laws degree from LSU and was admitted to the bar on June 13, 1923. Hamiter practiced law in Shreveport from 1923 to 1936, and he also served two terms as a state representative from Caddo Parish from 1928 to 1936. As a legislator, he frequently opposed the Huey Long faction and voted against their proposals.

In 1935 Hamiter was elected to a twelve-year term on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and was sworn in on January 1, 1936. Six years later he was elected to a fourteen-year term as an associate justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court; he was reelected without opposition to another fourteen-year term in 1956.

Hamiter was married to Hattie Wells Courtney in Shreveport on September 21, 1942. They had no children. He died on January 7, 1986, in Shreveport and was buried there in Forest Park Cemetery.