In the wake of the devastating floods that have affected south Louisiana, the State of Louisiana and the federal district courts in Louisiana have suspended certain legal deadlines.

Following his declaration of a state of emergency, Governor John Bel Edwards signed an amended Executive Order on August 17, 2016 (amending a previous executive order of August 15, 2016 and applying retroactively from August 12, 2016) suspending legal deadlines as follows:

  • Liberative prescription and peremptive periods are suspended throughout the State of Louisiana until September 9, 2016.
  • Deadlines in legal proceedings in courts, administrative agencies and boards in the following parishes are suspended until September 9, 2016: Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.
  • Deadlines in legal proceedings in courts, administrative agencies and boards in all other parishes were suspended from August 12, 2016 through August 19, 2016. However, if a party to a pending matter can show that there is an inability to meet legal deadlines caused by the flooding, then deadlines for that specific matter are to be suspended until September 9, 2016.

The executive order specifies that courts, administrative agencies and boards within the listed parishes should use due diligence in communicating with attorneys, parties and the public on how the executive order will be implemented and interpreted.  Further, the executive order states that the suspensions of deadlines in legal proceedings is not to be interpreted to prohibit an owner of immovable property from reclaiming leased property if abandoned as provided by law or from entering leased property to make necessary repairs as provided by law.  The executive order is effective through September 9, 2016, unless amended, modified, terminated or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law before that time.

In addition, the United States District Courts for the Eastern District, the Middle District and the Western District of Louisiana have issued orders relating to legal deadlines in those courts as a result of the flooding.

We recommend that you contact your Gordon Arata attorney if you have any questions about how these state or federal suspensions of deadlines may affect you or your company.