Know Your Rights: Legal Deadlines After Hurricane Ida

Posted on: September 9, 2021
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.
Current As of September 8, 2021

The Louisiana Supreme Court and Governor have delayed all civil legal deadlines until at least September 24, 2021, statewide. This means you should not be penalized for missing a deadline to file a suit, respond to a suit, or take other steps in a suit that is due from August 26 to September 23.

Most courts will apply these extensions without your asking. But if you have a court date before September 24, it is safest to ask the court to postpone the date based on the Hurricane orders. The courts should be in touch with the attorneys on cases about rescheduling court dates.

There is an exception that allows a property owner to:

  • reclaim leased property if “abandoned,” or
  • enter leased property to make necessary repairs.

See our post about how renters should protect themselves, here.

Are Federal Court deadlines extended?

The federal courts for the “Eastern District” and “Middle District” of Louisiana also suspended all deadlines for the same amount of time.

These two federal courts cover federal suits for the following parishes:

Ascension Lafourche St. Charles Terrebonne
Assumption Livingston St. Helena Washington
East Baton Rouge Orleans St. James West Baton Rouge
East Feliciana Plaquemines St. John the Baptist West Feliciana
Iberville Pointe Coupee St. Tammany
Jefferson St. Bernard Tangipahoa
What about cases in federal tax court?
The U.S. Tax Court has not issued any orders extending legal deadlines.  Anyone receiving a notice from the IRS with a deadline for going to U.S. Tax Court should meet the deadline, or request an extension before the deadline.

What happens when the extension ends?

Some judges may require all responses be in place by September 25. Other judges may allow more days, based on how many days you originally had or how many you had left on August 26. The safest choice is to have everything in place by the 24th.

If you have been sued and do not know what you need to do about a suit, you may need to file a motion for extension by then. There are small court fees to file this, around $30. If a court tries to charge more, tell them you are not paying “advanced costs,” but only for the motion for extension. If you have problems with the fees, you can contact Southeast Louisiana Legal Services to see if we can give you free legal help. See https://slls.org/contact-us/

You can check this website again around September 24 to see if there is a further extension or if there are specific instructions about filings that have been delayed. News about any extension may not be available until after September 24.

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

All major courts should have some way to act on emergencies. Emergencies include things like issuing domestic violence protective orders, stopping evictions and lockouts and illegal utility shutoffs that a court has not ordered, and stopping certain other illegal actions that cause immediate harm. If you think you have an emergency and cannot find a way to get it to court, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services can assist in some cases. Please contact us to see if we can give you free legal help. See https://slls.org/contact-us/

What if a court makes a ruling or decision against me before September 25?

Contact Southeast Louisiana Legal Services to see if we can give you free legal help. See https://slls.org/contact-us/  I Your income, where you live, where the court is, or the type of legal problem could affect whether we could help.

Where can I find these Orders?

https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/docs/HurricaneIda/170JBE2021StateofEmergencyAmendment.pdf

https://www.lasc.org/court_closure_orders/2021/2021-08-31_LASC_Ida_Civil.pdf

https://www.lasc.org/court_closure_orders/2021/2021-08-31_LASC_Ida_Criminal.pdf

https://www.laed.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/pdfs/EDLA-General%20Order%2021-12%20FINAL.pdf

https://www.lamd.uscourts.gov/orders/public_orders/2021-07.pdf

Are contract deadlines extended?

Contract deadlines are not necessarily extended. However, tenants cannot be evicted until after September 24th. 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 post about renters’ rights here.

Deadlines for Louisiana State and Local Agencies

Deadlines for all Louisiana State and local agencies, including for appeals, have been suspended through September 24, as well. Return to this site around then then for any update.

Read Full Article