Criminal Court Outlines New Operations, Reopens to Public on June 1

All jury trials are still suspended until further notice.

Orleans Parish Criminal District Court will be open to the public at 9 a.m. Monday, June 1 at which time it will enter phase 2 of the courts continuity of operations plan.

All criminal matters scheduled between March 13 and May 31 for defendants who are not incarcerated are continued. Criminal defendants with notice to appear between Mach 13 and May 31 should go to the court to receive a new court date. Notice will be provided by the clerk stationed at the entrance of the courthouse at Tulane Avenue beginning June 1.

All jury trials are still suspended until further notice.

Permanent and preliminary injunctions, protective orders and criminal stay away orders issued by the courts that would have expired between March 13 and June 12 are extended to at least to at least 4:30 p.m. July 1.

Criminal matters for incarcerated individuals will proceed by audio video conferencing. Lawyers are requested to be visible on the video screen and in proper attire. Lawyers are also encouraged to contact the section in which their matter is a sign for filing questions. They can visit www.criminalcourt.org to locate the section email address and telephone number.

Access to the courthouse will be strictly limited by the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office to ensure safe occupancy numbers and social distancing. The courthouse will reopen with the following restrictions:

  • All individuals entering the courthouse will be prescreened, including taking of temperatures. Criminal defendants denied admittance will be given a new court date.
  • All individuals entering the courthouse must wear a mask. Those who report without a mask will be provided one while supplies last.
  • Elevators will be limited to a maximum of two people.
  • Hallways and corridors will be clear and use for ingress and egress only as social distancing will be observed at all times.
  • Criminal defense attorneys are encouraged to use the Louisiana District Court rule 18 appendix 18, which is a waiver of the defense presence in criminal court proceedings.
  • The court will accommodate participation by the public through audio and video transmission.
  • Any person with active COVID-19 symptoms or anyone ordered to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19 or has had contact with a family member or a household member under the same conditions and restrictions will be prohibited from the courthouse.
  • Any person with pre-existing conditions that increase vulnerability to COVID-19 or who is 65 or older may request to reschedule the court date.

The public is strongly encouraged to visit the courts website at www.criminalcourt.org for more information. Participants can contact the Clerk of Court at 504-658-9000 for information regarding specific cases.  

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