FAQ: Family Law During the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted on: April 25, 2020

FAQ: FAMILY LAW DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS

Current as of June 14, 2020

Are Louisiana Courts open?

Most legal deadlines in Louisiana are suspended through July 5, 2020 and most family law courts are only hearing emergency cases such as:

  • Civil protection orders (restraining orders due to domestic abuse, dating violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault)
  • Child in need of care proceedings (DCFS cases)
  • Emergency child custody (when your child is in danger of immediate injury or harm)

Some matters may be filed remotely (by fax, mail, or e-filing). Your local court may have a longer list of matters being heard and accepted.

Are Louisiana court deadlines extended?

Yes. Other than the emergency matters above, all family law deadlines are automatically extended through at least July 5, 2020. Action will be required come July 6, 2020. The Court may contact you or your attorney if your case is currently scheduled for a hearing or status conference. Most non-emergency matters will be rescheduled. You can always call the court directly for an update on your case.

For more details and updates about the extended deadlines, please check our COVID-19 resources at https://slls.org/faq-for-legal-deadlines-during-the-covid-19-crisis/ or consult an attorney.

What if I have an emergency that needs a court order?

All major courts should be open in some way for emergencies, including but not limited to civil protection/restraining orders, emergency custody matters, and stopping illegal evictions. If you believe you have an emergency or cannot get access to the court, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) may be able to assist or advise for free. Please call one of the numbers at the bottom of this flyer for more information.

Someone abused me or my children. How can I get help?

If you believe you or your children are in immediate danger, you can still request a restraining order. Louisiana Protection Order Forms are available on most court websites. If you need a restraining/protection order, or cannot get access to the forms, SLLS may be able to assist or advise for free. See the numbers at the bottom of this flyer for the number to call in your area.

I need an emergency custody order for my children. What should I do?

This is an emergency that the courts should be open for. SLLS may be able to assist or advise for free. Please call one of the numbers at the bottom of this FAQ.

My protection or restraining order is expiring. What should I do?

All protection and restraining orders are extended through at least July 5, 2020. Also, some Louisiana courts have extended their protection and restraining orders longer.

Please be aware that the police or sheriffs may not know about this extension, and your abuser probably does not know about the extension either. If you are having any issues, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services may be able to assist or advise for free. Please call one of the numbers at the bottom of this flyer.

Contact numbers to apply for free help from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services:

  • Baton Rouge: 225-448-0080
  • Covington: 985-893-0076
  • Hammond: 985-345-2130
  • Houma: 985-851-5687
  • New Orleans: 504-264-2212
  • Jefferson Parish Eastbank: 504-529-1000 ext. 294
  • Jefferson Parish Westbank, Plaquemines, and St. Charles: 504-374-0977
  • Bernard Parish 504-529-1000 ext. 224.

Many organizations locally and around the country remain open to help you with your needs, from counseling services to emergency shelter or help with filing for a protective order. Because of Covid-19, many services normally available in person are available by phone or video chat. There are 24/7 domestic violence hotlines including:

Metro Center for Community Advocacy Jefferson, St. Charles, St. John, St. James Parishes 1-504-837-5400
Safe Harbor St. Tammany, Washington Parishes 1-985-626-5740
SAFE Tangipahoa, Livingston, St. Helena, Washington Parishes 1-985-542-8384
The Haven Houma area (Terrebonne, Lafourche, Assumption Parishes) 1-800-915-0045 or 1-800-777-8868
IRIS Baton Rouge area 1-225-389-3001
New Orleans Family Justice Center/Crescent house New Orleans area 1-504-866-9554 or 1-504-592-4005
STAR New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Central Louisiana areas 1-855-435-STAR
Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence All of Louisiana 1-888-411-1333
National Domestic Violence Hotline United States 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233, or log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522

If any of these resources are no longer available, please call our COVID-19 Hotline (1-844-244-7871) to let us know and so we can connect you to other resources.

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