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15th JDC releases guidelines on their reopening to the public

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Posted at 9:45 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 10:45:44-04

The courthouses in Acadia, Lafayette and Vermilion Parishes will reopen at 8:30 A.M. on May 18, 2020 on a limited basis and in accordance with Phase One COVID-19 guidelines.

The following are highlights important to the public:

1) All people entering the courthouses in Acadia, Lafayette or VermilionParishes must wear a mask or face covering which coversthe nose and mouth.

No person shall enter the Courthouse if any of the following apply:

a) You are diagnosed with COVID-19;
b) You have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days or have been advised by a physician to self-quarantine;
c) You are suffering from any of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever

2) All non-incarcerated individuals with criminal matters scheduled on or after May 18, 2020 shall appear on their scheduled court date and at the scheduled time. Only individual defendants shall appear. No additional individuals.

At that time your matter will either be heard or rescheduled, but YOU MUST APPEAR.

Be prepared to wait in outdoor accommodations before entry into the courthouse.

3) Civil hearings should be conducted via video and in scheduled time slots, UNLESS GOOD CAUSE CAN BE SHOWN OTHERWISE.

In circumstances where video scheduling is not possible, civil in-person hearings will also be scheduled in time slots. If you have an upcoming civil court date and have not received information regarding your time slot, you should contact your attorney or, if not represented by an attorney, contact the presiding judge's office.

THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO CRIMINAL MATTERS. IN CRIMINAL MATTERS, ALL DEFENDANTS ARE TO APPEAR AS SCHEDULED UNLESS YOUR ATTORNEY CONTACTS YOU WITH OTHER DIRECTIONS.

4) All matters taken up in person will be done in a fashion so as to limit the number of people in a courtroom or hallway to 25% capacity and to allow for 6 feet of distancing between people.

You must sit only where indicated.

5) Only people with direct business with the court are allowed in the courtrooms (no additional individuals). Additional individuals desiring to attend a particular proceeding, should contact the presiding judge's office.

6) The Clerk of Court from each parish may limit entry into the Clerk’s office to individuals who have a business need to enter.

7) No one is allowed to go to a judge's office without an appointment. Contact the judge's office first by phone to discuss the reason for the visit.

8) Anyone who missed a criminal court date (misdemeanor, felony, traffic or arraignment) between March 20 and May 15, 2020 shall appear for service of a new court date as follows:

• Last name beginning with letters A-I - Appear for re-service on May 26
• Last name beginning with letters J-Q - Appear for re-service on May 27
• Last name beginning with letters R-Z - Appear for re-service on May 28

Lafayette Parish will have a drive/walkthroughsystem. VermilionParishwillre-serve onthe courthouse porch. Acadia Parish will serve in a tent in front of the courthouse.

Read the full order below

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