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COVID19 Lafayette City Court Closure

Lafayette City Court closed through March 27, 2020.

ON EX-PARTE MOTION of Douglas J. Saloom and Francie Bouillion, Judges of the City Court of Lafayette, acting in accordance with La. Constitution Article V, Section 1 and the inherent power of this Court, and considering the Declaration of State of Emergency of the Louisiana Governor; encouragement of the Louisiana Supreme Court to implement social distancing strategies and the Lafayette Mayor-President's order to close all government buildings to the general public, and in an effort to slow and possibly prevent exposure of the COVID-19 virus: 
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that normal court operations at the Lafayette City Court to the public will be suspended until March 30, 2020. Accordingly, all juvenile, civil, criminal and traffic court settings scheduled from Monday March 16 through Friday, March 27, 2020, are suspended effective immediately. This includes but is not limited to all civil matters including evictions, judgment debtor rules, trials, confirmation and motion hearings and in criminal/traffic matters all arraignments, discovery rules, trials, review hearings and/or pay fine dockets. All matters will be reset by the court. At this time, the Court will re-open to the public for all purposes on Monday, March 30, 2020; 
IN ACCORDANCE, IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT the court building will be closed to· the public during the period of suspension. The court remains open only to employees of the court for the handling of court business by mail, facsimile, phone or electronic means only. The court will be open only to other city/parish officials or employees including local law enforcement for city court purposes only; 
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT any session of court that is cancelled be rescheduled. Individuals scheduled to appear at the Lafayette City Court building for any reason are no longer required to appear. All cases will be reset and the court will send notice to the last address that was provided on file. It is defendant's responsibility to ensure that the court has a current address; 
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT if any person's address has changed, they must provide the new address in writing to the court by mail at Post Office Box 3344, Lafayette, Louisiana 70502-3344. Individuals must include full name as it appears on old notice, docket number and new address including city, state and zip code. Individuals can also provide a contact number and email address. 
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT all installments payments scheduled through March 30, 2020, shall be automatically deferred. The judges remind those having traffic tickets that most traffic tickets can be paid on line by using the Court's website, Traffic and criminal fines can also be paid by mail, ( do not send cash) payable to City Court of Lafayette, and mailed the court c/o Traffic Violations Bureau, Post Office Box 2086, Lafayette, Louisiana 70502; 
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT all persons be reminded that all civil and criminal prescriptive periods remain unaffected at this time. All civil pleadings, new petitions including new eviction proceeding, answers or other pleadings should be faxed to the court's civil department at (337) 291-8771 in accordance with Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 850. The court however will consider this "just cause" grounds in criminal/traffic matters in accordance with Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 701; 
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a limited amnesty period be declared by the Lafayette City Court Judges applying to all parties with existing criminal or traffic warrants or driver's license forfeitures through March 27, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. During this period, warrants will be stayed for any person with an existing warrant or driver's license forfeiture that contacts the criminal/traffic department at the phone number listed below and provides the following: Identifying information, including but not limited to race, gender, social security number, driver's license number (if any); and date of birth; and also provides a new physical address, phone number and email address. If so contacted, a new court date will be provided and the warrant/license forfeiture will be stayed until the new court date. Notice will be provided by regular mail to the defendant. Should the defendant fail to appear at the new date the warrant or forfeiture will be reinstated. Should the defendant appear, the warrant or forfeiture will be recalled and all previous contempt waived. This amnesty only applies if the defendant contacts the court. Until such time, the warrant or forfeiture remains active and the person can be arrested; 
IT IS FURTHER RECOGNIZED THAT this Order is effective immediately and shall remain in 
effect until the close of business on March 27, 2020, unless modified by further order of the court. 
Please click here to download the official Order and click here to download COVID Key Points provided by the Lafayette City Court.