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March 2020

LASC order continuing dates in other La. courts

Last Friday, March 20, I posted about the Louisiana Supreme Court’s order extending deadlines in its own cases. Today I caught up to a second order by the Louisiana Supreme Court on March 20. This order continues trials in all other Louisiana courts and partially supersedes the Court’s March 16 order. The March 20 order continues all civil and criminal jury trials set to begin between March 20 and April 13, “to be reset by local order no earlier than April 14, 2020.” The order continues all other civil trials set to begin during the same period, except without the April 14 deadline for resetting them. Several time-sensitive categories of civil cases are exempted from the continuance.

To download a copy of this order, follow this link.

La. 1st Circuit order extending deadlines

Today the Louisiana First Circuit posted this announcement on its web site:


Acting in accordance with Louisiana Constitution Article V, Section 1, the inherent power of this Court, and considering Proclamation Number JBE 2020-30, the Louisiana Supreme Court Order of March 20, 2020, and the conditions associated with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that all deadlines set by this Court in all cases pending before this Court are HEREBY EXTENDED UNTIL TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2020. All filings due during the period of March 12, 2020 through April 14, 2020, or which become due during this period shall be deemed timely if filed on or before April 14, 2020.

Parties who are unable to file within this extended time may submit a Motion and Order with supporting documentation and argument requesting re-consideration of timeliness or other such relief.

THUS DONE AND ORDERED on this 20th day of March 2020.


To view and download a PDF copy of the order, follow this link.

LASC extends deadlines because of COVID-19

Today the Louisiana Supreme Court issued an order extending deadlines in that court. According to the order, all filings otherwise due between March 12 through April 13, 2020 will be deemed timely if filed by April 14, 2020. Parties who, because of the COVID-19 emergency, are unable to meet the extended deadline “may submit motions for extensions of time, supported by appropriate documentation and argument.” (Translation: extensions will not be granted automatically.)

To download a copy of today’s order, follow this link.

SCOTUS response to COVID-19 emergency

Like other courts nationwide, the Supreme Court of the United States’ building is now closed to the general public. The building is, however, open for official business. Yesterday, the Court issued an order giving litigants relief from some deadlines. In a nutshell, the order does two things:

  1. It extends the delay for filing a petition for certiorari under Rule 13 from 90 days to 150 days.
  2. It authorizes the clerk of court to grant certain extensions “as a matter of course” if the reasons for the extension are “difficulties related to COVID-19” and the length of the extension is reasonable.

To download a copy of the order, follow this link.

U.S. 5th Circuit general order

The U.S. Fifth Circuit has posted a general order responding to the COVID-19 emergency. To download a copy, follow this link. Here are the highlights:

  • The order confirms cancellation of in-person oral arguments that were set for March 30 to April 2, 2020 in New Orleans.
  • The John Minor Wisdom Courthouse (housing the U.S. Fifth Circuit) is closed until further notice.
  • The clerk's office remains open for telephone, electronic, and mail operations.
  • If you need to make a paper filing, call the clerk's office at (504) 310-7637 to coordinate delivery at the ground floor of the Hebert Building (housing the clerk’s office).
  • The requirement to file paper copies is suspended until further notice. The clerk may require paper copies on a case-by-case basis.
  • All current deadlines remain in effect except for those requiring paper copies. (This is in contrast to the Louisiana courts of appeal that have suspended deadlines following the governor’s executive order.)
  • The court intends to schedule oral arguments for April 27 through April 30.

La. 3rd Circuit’s response to the COVID-19 emergency

The Louisiana Third Circuit has announced two orders related to the COVID-19 emergency, both signed yesterday by the chief judge. The orders do a number of things:

  • All oral arguments “currently scheduled to take place through April 30, 2020 and May 31, 2020 are to have their matters submitted on briefs ....”
  • All filings must be made by fax or email. (For how to do that, see Internal Rule 12.)
  • Like the other courts of appeal, the Third Circuit has decreed a legal holiday through April 13, 2020, and set a deadline of April 20 to file anything that would otherwise be due during the legal holiday.
  • Finally, like the other courts of appeal, the Third Circuit has restricted physical access to the courthouse.

To download the orders, follow this link and this link.

La. 2nd Circuit’s latest order responding to the COVID-19 emergency

The Louisiana Second Circuit just issued an order responding to the COVID-19 emergency. Today’s order decrees a legal holiday for the court ending April 13, 2020. Any filings otherwise due during this holiday are due by April 20, seven days after the legal holiday ends.

Today’s order also decrees “that the entire docket set for April is re-set for Monday, May 18, 2020.” This provision of today’s order supersedes the March 15 order, which had continued all cases set for oral argument without date. (For a report on the March 15 order, see this blog post.)

To download a copy of today’s order, follow this link.

La. 4th Circuit’s superseding order on COVID-19 issued today

Today the Louisiana Fourth Circuit issued an order responding to the COVID-19 emergency and superseding the court’s March 16 order (see this prior blog post). Like the March 16 order, today’s order continues without date all oral arguments scheduled through April 30, requires all filings with the court to be made electronically, and orders that all notices from the court be sent only electronically. Today’s order incorporates Governor Edwards’s executive order JBE 2020-30 and decrees the time between now and April 13, 2020 to be a legal holiday. Any filings otherwise due between now and April 13 are now due within seven days after April 13, or by April 20.

To download a copy of today’s order, follow this link.

La. 5th Circuit closed until April 6 (for now)

Yesterday, the Louisiana Fifth Circuit issued an order closing the court until April 6, 2020, “unless conditions warrant an earlier or later reopening date.” The court will continue to receive and process electronic filings and filings by mail “as circumstances allow,” but will not accept any in-person filings. The order states that the closure period “shall be considered a legal holiday¨; thus any filings due before April 6 will be deemed timely if filed when the court reopens (currently April 6). To download a copy of the order, follow this link.

A word of caution comes from the order’s first sentence: the scheduled April 6 re-opening may occur sooner if “conditions warrant an earlier ... reopening date.” So if you have any active cases in the Louisiana Fifth Circuit, you should check the court’s web site periodically for any changes to the scheduled reopening date.