FAQ for Legal Deadlines During the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted on: March 30, 2020
The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Updated June 15, 2020. 

Are Louisiana court deadlines (other than federal court) extended?

All Louisiana state court deadlines have been extended to at least July 5, 2020. The particular rules can vary case by case and you are encouraged to get the advice of an attorney if you delay past July 5.

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 July 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.


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/


Are contract deadlines extended?

Contract deadlines are not necessarily extended. However, tenants cannot be evicted until after June 15, 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 July 5, 2020 or later.


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.

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