Normal operations at Lafayette City Court have been suspended until March 30.
The suspension can't have any impact on civil or criminal prescription periods, the court advises.
All court sessions scheduled between March 16 and March 27 are canceled and will be rescheduled.
Here's a statement from the court:
"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. If your address has changed, you must provide the new address in writing to the court by mail. The court’s mailing address is Post Office Box 3344, Lafayette, Louisiana 70502-3344. You must include your full name as it appears on your old notice, your docket number and your new address including city, state and zip code. You can also provide a contact number and email address. All efforts will be made to contact each defendant so the more information that you provide the better the chance of contact."
Some traffic and criminal fines can be paid on the Court's website, but existing fine and restitution installment payments are postponed; the court will reset later.
The judges remind those having traffic tickets that most traffic tickets can be paid online by using the Court’s website, https://www.citycourtlafayettela.org/Home.aspx.
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.
If your ticket is court mandatory, you will not be able to pay it online. Those matters will be reset by the court. You may be able to have your mandatory appearance waived but you must make the request by contacting the traffic/criminal department at the number provided below.
New civil and criminal filings can be made via mail, fax or email - although email filings require prior approval of the court.
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 also issued this statement on existing warrants and driver's license forfeitures:
"A limited amnesty period has been established by the Lafayette City Court Judges applying to all parties with existing criminal or traffic warrants or driver’s license forfeitures. The judges have declared an amnesty period from March 16 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 you contact the court. Until such time, the warrant or forfeiture remains active and the person can be arrested."
To get more information or ask questions:
If you are represented by an attorney, please contact your attorney;
If you are represented by the Public Defenders’ Office, please contact the attorney assigned to your case;
For civil and eviction matters, please call: (337) 291-8720, Option 3 or fax (337) 291-8771;
For criminal/traffic/OWI matters, please call: (337) 291-8720, Option 2 or fax (337) 291-8774;
For fine payment questions please call: (337) 291-8720, Option 1;
For juvenile delinquent/traffic matters please call: (337) 291-8720, Option 4 or fax (337) 291-8181;
For court service/probation/review hearing matters please call: (337) 291-8845 or fax (337) 291-8181; and
For any matter not listed here, including contact the Court Administrator at (337) 291-8720, Option 6;
Judges are prohibited to speak about cases to avoid possibility of conflict. Phone calls to Judges must come through Administration. Please call 337-291-8720 and select Option 6