April 15, 2020

Changes are occurring rapidly in Louisiana and the Law Office of Robert B. Dunlap is monitoring those changes for you. The following information is a brief update on how the State of Louisiana is addressing the situation and how it might affect you.

  1. Court closings.  The Louisiana Supreme Court has issued an extended an earlier order continuing all Civil and Criminal trials from now until April 13, 2020. All civil trials, hearings and court appearances set for any date between the date of this Order and April 13, 2020, are hereby continued to a date to be reset by local order, except for hearings related to the following: civil protective orders, a child in need of care proceedings, emergency child custody matters, proceedings for children removed from their home by emergency court order, proceedings related to emergency interdictions and mental health orders, matters of public health related to this crisis and other emergency matters necessary to protect the health, safety, and liberty of individuals as determined by each court. Court’s may proceed on certain matters via teleconferencing and telephone.
  2. Governor Proclamations.  Effective at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has ordered all non-essential services and employees are asked to stay home. Examples of Essential Worker Functions under the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines include:
    1. Healthcare workers and caregivers;
    2. Mental health and Social Service workers;
    3. Pharmacy employees
    4. Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail sales of food and beverage products
    5. Restaurant carryout and quick-serve food operations and food delivery employees
    6. Farmworkers
    7. Electricity and Utility Industry Employees
    8. Critical Manufacturing Employees (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food, chemicals)
    9. Petroleum, Natural and Propane Gas Workers
    10. Transportation and Logistics Workers
    11. Communications and Information Technology Employees
    12. Financial Services and Banking Industry Employees

Members of the public will still be allowed to go to grocery stores and pharmacies to pick up food, medicine, and necessary supplies, go to their essential jobs and to go outside for exercise and fresh air. When leaving their home, people should practice social distancing.

The governor has previously issued the following orders:

Original Declaration of Emergency, March 11, 2020.

Transportation, Healthcare, March 13, 2020. Among other things, this affects when you can get your vehicle registration and driver’s license. Also, if you are unemployed and receiving state unemployment benefits certain requirements for looking for work may be suspended.

Restrictions on Establishments, closures, legal deadlines, March 14, 2020. Among other pronouncements, unemployment insurance benefit requirements are waived.

Education, Healthcare, Administrative, March 19, 2020. 

  1. Employment-related information for Louisiana Workers. Especially important if you have lost your job due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You may be entitled to unemployment insurance benefits and certain work search requirements and the week-long waiting period for benefits are waived.  
  2. Remote Notarization. Governor Edward's latest proclamation addresses the issue of remote notarization. The executive order waives the requirement that a document be notarized in the physical presence of the of a notary if the notary and the individual can communicate simultaneously by sight and sound through an electronic device or process at the time of the notarization. This does not apply to testaments (Wills), trust instruments, donations intervivos, matrimonial agreements, acts modifying, waiving or extinguishing an obligation of final spousal support and authentic acts.
  3. Legal and Administrative Deadlines: Legal deadlines, including liberative prescription and peremptive periods applicable to legal proceedings in all courts, administrative agencies, and boards, are hereby suspended until at least Monday, April 30, 2020, including, but not limited to, any such deadlines set forth by law within the following:

a) Louisiana Civil Code;

b) Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure;

c) Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure;

d) Louisiana Children's Code;

e) Title 9 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Civil Code Ancillaries;

f) Title 13 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Courts and Judicial Procedure;

g) Title 14 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Criminal Law;

h) Title 15 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Criminal Procedure;

i) Title 18 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Louisiana Election Code;

j) Title 23 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Labor and Worker's Compensation;

k) Title 32 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations;

1) Title 40 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Public Health and Safety;

m) Title 46 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Public Welfare and Assistance are hereby suspended;

n) Title 47 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Revenue and Taxation;

o) Title 49 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, State Administration; and

p) Title 56 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Wildlife and Fisheries.

In addition, all other deadlines in legal proceedings in all courts, administrative agencies, and boards shall remain suspended until Monday, April 30, 2020

You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits here or by calling 866-783-5567. Effective March 17, 2020, the Louisiana Workforce Commission has extended its Claim Center hours to 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

The information provided above is intended to be an overview of a specific developing situation. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.