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Jones Walker is proactively working with clients to help them move away from reacting to the COVID-19 crisis to getting ahead of it. We are also arming our clients with the information they need to identify key priorities and shift resources to where they are needed most. Below, we have provided a summary of existing federal and state court orders impacting litigation throughout the Gulf South. We also recommend this data visualization tool from the National Center for State Courts for information about the status of other courts throughout the country. We realize many unknowns remain, but our focus and advocacy continues to be on you and your success.

LOUISIANA:

Eastern District of Louisiana

  • All civil and criminal bench and jury trials are continued until May 1, 2020, to a date to be reset by each presiding judge, but does not continue any other pending deadlines.
  • All hearings, proceedings, and conferences continued until May 1,2 020, but other deadlines currently pending are not continued.
  • All grand jury proceedings are continued until May 1, 2020.
  • Criminal proceedings before the Magistrate Judges of the United States District Court for Eastern District of Louisiana will be adjusted as follows: Court will be convened on Mondays and Fridays. To the extent feasible, these twice-weekly court sessions will be conducted by video conference, as long as the defendant consents to that procedure.
  • Sealed documents should be submitted by email to the Court at sealeddocs@laed.uscourts.gov.  Please use the encrypted “Send Securely” option  in your email if available. Documents should be in PDF format and include an electronic signature of the attorney filing it.

Middle District of Louisiana –

  • All civil and criminal trials, bench and jury, are postponed to a date on or after May 1, 2020. This postponement does not affect any other pending deadlines other than the pre-trial conference and trial dates.
  • All civil evidentiary hearings and other in-court hearings and proceedings set until April 10, 2020 are postponed.
  • All grand jury proceedings are postponed.
  • Initial appearances in criminal matters will be conducted by video conference. Other criminal matters will take place in ordinary course or by video conference at the discretion of the assigned judge.
  • Prescriptive, peremptive and statute of limitation deadlines are hereby interrupted until April 13, 2020.

Western District of Louisiana –

TEXAS:

Southern District of Texas –

Northern District of Texas –

Eastern District of Texas –

Western District of Texas –

MISSISSIPPI:

Northern District of Mississippi –

Southern District of Mississippi –

ALABAMA:

Middle District of Alabama –

Southern District of Alabama –

  • TBD – inform court if been in contact with virus.

Northern District of Alabama –

FLORIDA:

Southern District of Florida –

Northern District of Florida –

Middle District of Florida –

  • Restrict access to courthouse.

US APPELLATE COURTS

5th Circuit –

11th Circuit –

The various judicial district courts, city courts, etc. have issued individual, court-specific orders in light of the Supreme Court’s order. The Supreme Court is compiling notices from the various courts on its homepage: http://www.lasc.org/.

For convenience, below are summaries of the orders issued by the Judicial District Courts for the Parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, East Baton Rouge, Caddo, and Lafayette.

Orleans (CDC) –

Orleans Criminal District Court –

  • MARCH 13 LETTER – http://www.lasc.org/COVID19/Orders/2020-03-13_OrleansCriminal.pdf
  • MARCH 14 ORDER – http://www.lasc.org/COVID19/Orders/2020-03-14_OrleansCriminal.pdf
    • The Criminal District Court orders the Department of Corrections to cease and desist the transportation of all inmates effective Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice.
    • All emergency matters may be presented to Deputy Chief Judge Robin D. Pittman and Former Chief Judge Keva Landrum as set out in the order.
  • MARCH 15 ORDER – http://www.lasc.org/COVID19/Orders/2020-03-15_OrleansCriminal.pdf
    • All criminal proceedings are suspended and the Criminal District Court is closed.
    • All attorneys, defendants, and witnesses with scheduled criminal proceedings and notices to appear from March 16, 2020 through April 10, 2020 shall appear between April 13, 2020 and April 17, 2020 for a subpoena for their new court date.
    • All jury trials are suspended for the duration of this order.
    • All jurors serving for the month of March are dismissed.
    • All jurors summoned for the month April 2020 will be notified regarding reporting for jury service.
    • All first appearances will be held via audio and/or video conferencing.

Orleans Juvenile Court –

East Baton Rouge Parish:

Jefferson Parish:

Caddo Parish:

  • ORDER – http://www.lasc.org/COVID19/Orders/2020-03-16_1stJDC.pdf
  • Effective through April 10, 2020 – people with coronavirus exposure shall not enter the courthouse.
  • All criminal trials, hearings, and court appearances are continued except for: first appearances, bond hearings, protective order hearings, arraignments (which shall be conducted by video when possible), probation revocation hearings when the defendant is in custody.
  • All civil and trial hearings and court appearances are continued except civil protective orders, emergency child custody matters, emergency interdictions, public health matters related to the current health emergency, civil commitments, any matter in which a rule to show cause is granted after the moving party sets forth written grounds why the matter should proceed.

15th Judicial District Court, including Lafayette Parish:

  • ORDER – http://www.lasc.org/COVID19/Orders/2020-03-15_15thJDC.pdf
  • FIRST SUPPLEMENT TO ORDER – http://www.lasc.org/COVID19/Orders/2020-03-17_15thJDCsuppOrder.pdf
  • SECOND SUPPLEMENT TO ORDER – http://www.lasc.org/COVID19/Orders/2020-03-19_15thJDC.pdf
  • THIRD SUPPLEMENTAL ORDER – http://www.lasc.org/COVID19/Orders/2020-03-23_15thJDC.pdf
    • All trials and hearings set from March 16 through March 27, 2020 are continued except (in all parishes) civil protective orders, emergency child custody matters, proceedings for children removed from their home by emergency court order, and emergency commitment hearings.
    • All trials and hearings set from March 30 through April 9, 2020 are continued except in Vermilion Parish on Monday, March 30, 2020 the Interdiction matter set before Judge Broussard will go forward as scheduled. On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 the Child in Need of Care cases in Vermilion Parish will go forward as scheduled.
    • Criminal initial appearances, arraignments, and bond hearings shall continue as scheduled and shall be conducted by video conference for adults. Juvenile bond hearings and initial appearances will be conducted via telephone or video conference.
    • Domestic hearing officer conferences will be conducted via telephone when possible or will be reset.
    • All jurors summoned for service between March 16 and March 23, 2020 will be reset for a future jury week.  All jurors summoned for service between March 30 and April 9, 2020 will be reset for a future jury week.
    • Anyone set to appear in criminal court in Lafayette Parish or Vermilion Parish between March 16 and March 27, 2020 are to report to the respective courthouses on their scheduled court dates to be served with a new court date.
    • Anyone set to appear in criminal court or traffic court in Lafayette Parish between March 30 and April 9, 2020 are to utilize the drive through system at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse to be served with a new court date beginning on March 20, 2020.
    • Anyone set for Vermilion Parish criminal court during the week of Monday, March 30 is to appear on March 30, 2020 at the temporary outdoor office on the east porch of the courthouse facing Charity Street to be served with a new date.
    • In all Parishes, the courthouses will be closed to the public except to provide services in the following categories:
      • Civil domestic protective orders;
      • Emergency child custody matters;
      • Proceedings for children removed from their home by emergency court order;
      • Emergency interdiction/commitment matters.
    • Adult criminal 72 hour hearings and bond reductions, including Gwen’s Law hearings, will be conducted via telephone or video conference.
    • In Lafayette and Vermilion Parish, persons seeking civil domestic protective orders and emergency child custody matters shall make application for such between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the appropriate courthouse.