FAQ for Legal Deadlines During the COVID-19 CrisisPosted on: March 30, 2020
Updated May 19, 2020. This is a quickly changing situation. Please check back for more information.
Are Louisiana court deadlines (other than federal court) extended?
All Louisiana state court deadlines have been extended to June 5, 2020, except for initial criminal appearances, some emergency matters, or if the proceeding can be conducted without an in person appearance. Some of the emergency matters are listed at http://www.lasc.org/COVID19/Orders/2020-03-16_LASCorder.pdf. Others can be added by the local court. The Louisiana state courts are closed for new cases other than emergencies and cases that can be filed remotely (by fax or electronically).
These extensions apply without asking the court for an extension. The court will contact you or your attorney if you get scheduled to do something remotely before June 5, 2020.
What happens when that extension ends?
You may need to file paperwork or file for an extension immediately once the Governor’s order declaring a State of Emergency expires. This includes all courts at the local and state level. Check this website again just ahead of June 5 to see if there is a further extension or if there are specific instructions about filings that have been delayed.
What if I have an emergency that needs a court order?
All major courts should be accessible in at least a limited way for emergencies. Emergencies include things like issuing domestic violence protective orders, stopping evictions that a court has not authorized, and stopping certain other illegal actions that cause immediate harm. If you think you have an emergency and cannot get access to the court, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services may be able to give free help. Please call our COVID-19 Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 for more information.
Are Federal Court deadlines extended?
Most federal legal deadlines remain in place, except around Baton Rouge in the federal “Middle District of Louisiana”. Louisiana federal court deadlines are not necessarily extended, though federal courts are closed for most purposes. Please check the website of the applicable court for more information:
Middle District- area around Baton Rouge: https://www.lamd.uscourts.gov/
Eastern District- Greater New Orleans and part of the Northshore: http://www.laed.uscourts.gov/coronavirus-covid-19-orders-and-notices
Western District- the western and northern parts of the state:https://www.lawd.uscourts.gov/
How will I find the new deadlines and procedures when the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends?
Please come back to this website shortly before June 5, 2020. It may provide more information then. For cases already in court, the court will notify you, though it may be by mail rather than by Sheriff or Constable service.
Are contract deadlines extended?
Contract deadlines are not necessarily extended. However, tenants cannot be evicted until after June 5, 2020. But tenants do owe rent and could owe late fees if they do not pay rent on time. If tenants do not pay these, they could be evicted right after deadlines restart, if the landlord follows correct procedures. Please see our Tenant’s Rights COVID-19 Info Sheet at https://slls.org/tenants_rights_covid_19/ for more information.
Deadlines for Louisiana State and Local Agencies
Deadlines for all Louisiana State and local agencies, including for appeals, have been suspended through June 5, 2020 or later. Return to this site shortly before then for any update.
What if my driver’s license or license plate is expiring?
Many deadlines and expiration dates for the Office of Motor Vehicles have been extended. Please see the details in the April 30th proclamation by Governor Edwards (https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/Proclamations/2020/52-JBE-2020-Stay-at-Home-Order.pdf) and Office of Motor Vehicles website (https://www.expresslane.org/Pages/default.aspx) for more information.