The 16th Judicial District that covers Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary Parishes has announced that it will continue, or suspend, most court proceedings until April 10, in order to decrease the spread of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The court order issued on Monday by 16th JDC Chief Judge Lewis Pitman states that given the risk posed to the public, and in consideration of the public health recommendations, it is hearby ordered that effective Monday, March 16, 2020 at noon through Friday, April 10, 2020, at 5 p.m.:
- All jury trials, both civil and criminal, are suspended
- All grand jury proceedings in the District are suspended
- All criminal trials, hearings and court appearances are suspended except initial appearances (72 hour hearings), arraignments for incarcerated persons only and bond hearings
- The delays in all criminal cases created by the order constitute "just cause," pursuant to La. Code of Criminal Procedure art. 701
- All civil trials, hearings and court appearances are suspended except for hearings related to the folowing: civil protective orders, emergency child custody matters pursuant to La. Code of Civil Procedure art. 3945, emergency interdictions and matters of public health related to the Corona Crisis, unless agreed to by the sitting judge and all the parties.
- All hearing officer conferences are suspended
- All support enforcement services matters are suspended
- All juvenile court and drug court matters will be addressed in a separate order by those courts
- The order does not affect the court's ability to consider civil or criminal or criminal matters that can be resolved without a hearing
According to the order, the Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary Parish Courthouses will remain open during regular business hours, and the public may continue to utilize court services in accordance with the order while following all the applicable public health guidelines.
You can read the order in full below: