s/COVID-19-ORDER-LASC-3-23-20.pdf

SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA O R D E R Acting under the authority of Article V, Section 1 ofConstitution of 1974, and the inherent power of this Court, andconsidering the continuing spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019(COVID-19) in Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards’ declarationof public health emergencies in Proclamation Numbers 25 JBE2020, 27 JBE 2020, 30 JBE 2020 and 33 JBE 2020, President DonaldTrump’s declaration of a national emergency on March 13, 2020,the Orders of this Court dated March 16 and March 20, 2020, andin consideration of public health recommendations to reduce therisk of exposure to the virus and slowing the spread of thedisease while balancing the need to protect the constitutionalrights and public safety of the citizens of the state bymaintaining access to Louisiana courts,IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT: Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson

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s/COVID-19-ORDER-LASC-3-23-20.pdf

SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA


O R D E R


Acting under the authority of Article V, Section 1 of
Constitution of 1974, and the inherent power of this Court, and
considering the continuing spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019
(COVID-19) in Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards’ declaration
of public health emergencies in Proclamation Numbers 25 JBE
2020, 27 JBE 2020, 30 JBE 2020 and 33 JBE 2020, President Donald
Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on March 13, 2020,
the Orders of this Court dated March 16 and March 20, 2020, and
in consideration of public health recommendations to reduce the
risk of exposure to the virus and slowing the spread of the
disease while balancing the need to protect the constitutional
rights and public safety of the citizens of the state by
maintaining access to Louisiana courts,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

  1. The provisions set forth in the Orders of this Court dated
    March 16, 2020, as amended by the Order dated March 20, 2020,
    remain in effect, but are further restricted as set forth below;
  2. Courts must take immediate measures to limit access to
    courtrooms and other spaces, with absolute minimum physical
    contact, to practice social distancing and limit court activity
    to only the essential functions enumerated in Sections 2 and 3
    of this Court’s March 16, 2020 Order, as amended by the Order
    dated March 20, 2020, as modified herein, in accordance with the
    “Stay at Home Order” issued by Governor Edwards in Proclamation
    33 JBE 2020 on March 22, 2020.
  3. As this situation is constantly changing, courts are
    further instructed to follow all guidelines issued by the Center
    for Disease Control, the President and the Governor, and to
    further limit access to courtroom and other spaces to the
    maximum number of people set forth in any future guideline or
    official proclamation that may be issued.
  4. All essential court functions should be conducted with the
    use of video and telephone conferencing whenever possible. Any
    court lacking the technological capabilities to implement this
    mandate shall notify the Judicial Administrator of the Louisiana
    Supreme Court so that accommodations can be made.
  5. The essential criminal matters set forth in Section 3 of
    this Court’s March 16, 2020 Order should be conducted via video
    and/or telephone conferencing with increased frequency to
    alleviate potential overcrowding of jails, which is a public
    health emergency for citizens and jail personnel.
  6. The essential civil matters set forth in Section 2 of this
    Court’s March 16, 2020 Order should be conducted via video
    and/or telephone conferencing, including but not limited to
    civil protective orders, child in need of care proceedings,
    emergency child custody matters, proceedings for children
    removed from their home by emergency court order, proceedings
    related to emergency interdictions and mental health orders,
    temporary restraining orders and injunctions, and matters of
    public health related to this crisis and other emergency matters
    necessary to protect the health, safety and liberty of
    individuals as determined by each court.
  7. All matters that are resolved by agreement of the parties
    and with the approval of the court that do not involve any
    appearance at the court may proceed during the pendency of this
    order. This authority does not extend to any matters suspended
    by executive action by the Governor, including but not limited
    to evictions.
  8. Courts should work with parish clerks to encourage inperson filings of court pleadings to be replaced with filing by
    other means, such as U.S. mail, e-filing, email or facsimile.
    In all criminal, juvenile and civil matters handled on an
    emergency or expedited basis, a record shall be kept under the
    direction of the acting judge for each action.
    The Court may issue further Orders regarding this
    matter as necessary to address the circumstances arising from
    this pandemic and will post such Orders on the Court’s website
    at www.lasc.org, and in the news media.
    Given under our hands and seal this 23rd day of March
    A. D., 2020, New Orleans, Louisiana.
    FOR THE COURT:

Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson

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