When Coronavirus shut down businesses and services across the United States in March 2020, the court system was not exempt. In nearly all fifty states, services offered by the courts came to a halt and some court proceedings were forced to move online. Now, as the United States begins to re-open some services are becoming available again. If you have business to do in a Louisiana court, here is what you need to know about court closings during Coronavirus.
Are Louisiana Courts Open for Payments & Filings?
Although the state of Louisiana moved into Phase I of the reopening plan on May 15, 2020, individual parishes have the right to permit or prohibit the state of business as they see fit. In most parishes, the courts are open for business including:
- Paying fines and fees
- Filing civil cases
- Conducting drug screenings
- Handling outstanding bench warrants
In addition to these court services, the Office of Motor Vehicles is also open in most parishes. Services the OMV provides in person includes:
- Duplicating or Renewal of Driver’s License
- Renewal of vehicle registration
Services not currently offered in person include filing for a marriage license, applying for birth and death certificates, and applying for a passport. Anyone in need of any of the aforementioned certificates or licenses should call their local city hall for more information.
Will My Louisiana Court Hearing be in Person?
On June 1, 2020 Louisiana entered Phase II of their reopening plan. In this phase of the plan, the courts were permitted to hold in-person hearings once again. Any person who received notice that their court date was rescheduled should plan to appear in person if their new date is after June 1 unless they are notified otherwise. Some hearings will continue via Zoom including juvenile hearings which will be conducted online until the beginning of July. If you have a court date scheduled, you should receive notice of whether your hearing will take place in person or online before the date.
What Are the Rules for Entering the Courthouse?
Louisiana courts have prepared a number of guidelines for anyone doing business in their buildings. Such rules include:
- Only a limited number of people are allowed in the courthouse at any given time
- Only people with business in the courts are allowed to enter
- No visitors are permitted
- Everyone who enters must wear a mask
- Everyone must have their temperature taken upon entrance
For the safety of those entering, the courts are doing everything possible to maintain the guidelines recommended by the CDC including keeping everyone at least 6 feet apart. If you intend on visiting a Louisiana court for any reason, it is always in your best interest to call first to verify the rules for entering the building and the hours of business.
Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Fights For You
In Louisiana, a top source for criminal defense attorneys is the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm. We have more than 25 years of experience representing ordinary citizens just like you and want to help you get your life back on the right track. It’s our mission to give you the most personalized experience possible and help you have your voice heard.
Eric Johnson is respected throughout Louisiana and is known for providing solid representation that wins cases. He is a member of the Louisiana Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, with a successful track record of helping clients facing misdemeanor, felony, and even federal charges.
To schedule a free consultation regarding your case, call our office at 318-377-1555 or contact us online today. We’re here to represent you!