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15th JDC - COVID-19 Update

15th JDC Announces EMERGENCY ORDER RELATIVE TO COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY 
PARISHES OF ACADIA, LAFAYETTE AND VERMILION 

15
th JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT EMERGENCY ORDER RELATIVE TO COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY 
PARISHES OF ACADIA, LAFAYETTE AND VERMILION 
 
In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the state of emergency declaration issued by Governor John Bel Edwards on March 13, 2020, the recommendations issued on March 12, 2020 by the Louisiana Supreme Court and the emergency declaration issued by Lafayette Mayor President Josh Guillory on March 15, 2020 which ordered the minimization of access to certain public buildings in Lafayette Parish, the Fifteenth Judicial District Court issues the following Order for the Parishes of Acadia, Vermilion and Lafayette: 
 
All trials and hearings set for any date between March 16 and March 27, 2020 are hereby continued and will be rescheduled by Order EXCEPT on Monday, March 16, 2020 juvenile hearings in Vermilion Parish, Child in Need of Care cases in Lafayette Parish and criminal matters in Acadia Parish will go forward as scheduled. Child in Need of Care cases in Lafayette Parish will also go forward on Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Also excepted from this Order are those matters listed in the following paragraphs.
 
In all parishes, civil protective orders, emergency child custody matters pursuant to La. C.Cr.P Article 3945, proceedings for children removed from their home by emergency court order and emergency commitment hearings are not subject to this Order continuing civil matters. 
 
Special precautions will be utilized by the Court to achieve separation of people and limitations of numbers in conducting these matters requiring expedited consideration. 
 
Criminal initial appearances (72 hour court) for adults and juveniles, arraignments for incarcerated individuals, and bond hearings (including Gwen's Law) will continue as usual. Adult proceedings will be conducted with the use of video appearances. 
 
Domestic hearing officer conferences will be conducted via telephone when possible or will be reset. 
 
All jurors summoned for service between March 16 and March 23, 2020 will be reset for a future jury week. Jurors should call the number listed on their jury summons for directions. All attorneys, parties and witnesses with civil matters set during this time period will receive a new notification from the court of the reset date of their case.
 
Anyone set to appear in criminal court in Lafayette Parish or Vermilion Parish between March 16 and March 27, 2020 are to report to the respective courthouses on their scheduled court dates to be served with a new court date. Persons scheduled to appear in Drug Court in Lafayette are to report to the Lafayette Parish Court house on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 to be served with a new court date. 
 
As noted above, anyone set for Acadia Parish criminal court on Monday, March 16 is to appear as scheduled. Anyone set for criminal court in Acadia Parish on Thursday, March 19 or Friday March 20, 2020 is to report to court as scheduled to be served with a new court date. 
 
Special precautions will also be utilized by the Court to achieve separation of people and limitations of numbers for those individuals appearing for re-service as noted above. 
 
This Order does not affect the authority of the Judges of the Court to perform any acts in any matters as deemed necessary in light of exigency of the circumstances and with regard to the health and welfare of the public. 
 
All courthouses in Lafayette, Acadia and Vermilion Parishes will remain open during normal business hours. The public may access the services of the court in accordance with this order and public health guidelines. 
 
The public is encouraged to check our website 15thjdc.org for updates and to review a copy of this Order. 
 
This Order shall remain in effect until 5:00 P.M. on March 27, 2020 or until further Order of this Court. 
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To download the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Order, click here.
 
The Lafayette Bar Association will provide updates as they become available through social media, website and email communications.
 

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