Madison Parish (318) 574-1706
East Carroll Parish (318) 559-6340
Tensas Parish (318) 766-4719
Madison Parish (318) 574-1706
East Carroll Parish (318) 559-6340
Tensas Parish (318) 766-4719
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District Court Order 2020-06

SIXTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT STATE OF LOUISIANA

PARISHES OF EAST CARROLL, MADISON AND TENSAS
 
COURT OPERATIONS ORDER 2020-06
 
Acting in accordance with the Louisiana Supreme Court Order dated May 15, 2020, Governor Jon Bel Edward's renewal of the State of Emergency for COVID-19 and extension and modification of emergency provisions in Proclamation Numbers 58 JBE 2020 and 59 JBE 2020 and in consideration of ongoing public health recommendations to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus and slowing the spread of the disease while balancing the need to protect the constitutional rights and public safety of the citizens of this state and the Sixth Judicial District by maintaining access to Louisiana courts,
 
IT IS HEREBY ORDER THAT:
  1. PRIOR ORDERS: All prior orders of this court will remain in place except as expressly modified herein.
  2. IN PERSON PROCEEDINGS: The prohibition on conducting in-person proceedings is hereby lifted, and this Court is authorized to conduct in-person proceedings on all matters. This authority does not extend to any matters suspended by executive action by the Governor, including but not limited to evictions. This court must continue to take measures to limit access to courtrooms and other spaces, with minimum physical contact, to practice social distancing and limit in-person court capacity to 25% of the total capacity, as determined by the State Fire Marshall, counting both the number of employees and members of the public present in the building at one time. As this situation is constantly changing, this Court is instructed to follow all guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control, the President and the Governor, and to further limit access to courtroom and other spaces to the maximum number of people set forth in any future guideline or official proclamation that may be issued. All matters should continue to be conducted with the use of video and telephone conferencing whenever possible.
  3. OFFICES IN THE COURTHOUSE: The courthouses for the parishes of East Carroll, Madison and Tensas will open to the public on June 1, 2020. Normal business hours from of 8:30 to 4:30, Monday through Friday will be observed. Persons having business with any of the offices in the courthouse should contact that office directly as access to some offices is by appointment only.
  4. SPEEDY TRIAL COMPUTATIONS: Given the public health concerns and the necessity of taking action to slow the spread of the disease, the continuances occasioned by this Order serve the ends of justice and outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial. Therefore, the time periods of such continuance shall be excluded from speedy trial computations pursuant to law, including but not limited to those set forth in the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure and the Louisiana Children's Code, and presumptively constitute just cause.
  5. JURY TRIALS: No Civil or Criminal jury trial shall commence before June 30, 2020.
  6. CRIMINAL MATTERS: All non-incarcerated individuals with criminal matters scheduled from June 1, 2020 forward shall appear on their scheduled court date and at the scheduled time unless notified otherwise by the District Attorney's Office. Only individuals and their attorneys shall appear; no additional individuals. Children will not be allowed in the courtroom unless expressly permitted by the judge. Any party that has caused a witness to be subpoenaed to court should arrange, with the bailiff, for the witness to remain outside of the Courtroom or courthouse on standby so they may be contacted when needed to testify.
In addition, Adult Criminal 72-hour hearings, bond reductions and any matter permitted by the Code of Criminal Procedure Article 562 involving incarcerated individuals will be conducted virtually through Zoom. This Court may also conduct
 
Gwen's Law Hearings via Zoom, if deemed necessary. All in-person appearances by incarcerated individuals must be approved by the Judge.
  1. CIVIL MATTERS: Civil hearings may be conducted virtually, at the discretion of
the judge, unless good cause exists to appear in-person. In circumstances where video scheduling is not possible and/or a video hearing has not been scheduled, civil in-person hearings will be conducted one at a time, so individuals should be prepared to wait outside the courtroom at a location designated by the bailiff, until the case is called. Only the party and his attorney should appear in person at the hearing. Any party that has caused a witness to be subpoenaed to Court should arrange, with the bailiff, for the witness to remain outside of the Courtroom on standby so they may be contacted when needed to testify. Any civil matters involving incarcerated individuals must be conducted virtually using Zoom. Children will not be allowed at civil hearings unless expressly authorized by the judge.
  1. JUVENILE   AND NON-SUPPORT MATTERS: Child in Need of Care
proceedings will continue to be conducted virtually via Zoom, when feasible and at the discretion of the Judge.
All persons noticed to appear in other juvenile and non-support matters, must appear
in-person unless instructed otherwise. All juvenile matters, excluding non-support, will be conducted one case at a time similarly to civil matters and all non-support matters to be conducted similarly to criminal matters.
IT IS FUTHER ORDERED that the foregoing order shall remain in place until it is
otherwise modified or dissolved by subsequent order.
 
x    J(.
THUS, DONE AND SIGNED at Tallulah, Louisiana, this 29th day of May, 2020. 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
STATE OF LOUSIANA
PARISHES OF EAST CARROLL, MADISON AND TENSAS
SIXTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT
 
 
 
IN RE: STANDING ORDER FOR IN-COURT PROTOCOLS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

FILED:                                _
 
 
 
 

CLERK OF COURT

 
IN-COURT PROTOCOLS STANDING ORDER
 
 
The court, mindful of the need to protect court staff and members of the public from unnecessary risk of exposure during the COVID-19 outbreak, issues the following standing order concerning the conduct of In-Court proceedings:
 
IT IS ORDERED that the following protocols are adopted:
  1. The public will enter the courthouse at the entrance designated by each sheriff of his particular parish. All court personnel will enter by a separate entrance.
  2. All persons entering the courtroom will have their temperature taken by the bailiff andwill be asked the following questions:
    1. Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not fully recovered?
    2. Have you been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days or have you been advised by a physician to self-quarantine?
    3. Are you suffering from a fever, cough or shortness of breath?
    4. Are you awaiting a COVID-19 test result?
  3. Individuals who are running a fever or who answer "Yes" to any of the above questio ns, will not be permitted to enter the courthouse.
  4. All persons entering the courthouse and the courtroom shall wear a mask or face covering which covers the nose and mouth. Masks will be provided to those who do not have a mask, while supplies last.
  5. Hand sanitizers will be provided at the main entrance to the courthouse as well as in the courtroom.
  6. Bailiffs along with District Attorney Investigators will designate areas for those waiting to get into court and will assist in monitoring those areas.
  7. Persons who are of the general public shall not come past the bar into the counsel table area. These individuals must speak from the microphone at the podium provided.
  8. All court personnel including attorneys must arrive to court by 9:00 a.m.
  9. Attorneys are encouraged to refrain from moving around the courtroom as little as possible and are further encouraged to speak from the designated microphone at the counsel t able.
  10. To the extent feasible/possible, the maximum number of persons in all proceedings will be
limited at any one time to ensure proper physical distancing.
  1. Court dockets are to be staggered in such a way as to promote physical distancing.
  2. The Court will take recesses as necessary to ensure that the attorneys are able to communicate with their clients and investigators.
 
 
THUS, DONE AND SIGNED in Tallulah, Louisiana, this 29th day of May, 2020.
 
 

Coronavirus  (COVID-19) Pandemic
As we continue to assess the threat of COVID-19, we have decided that it's in our best interest for our office to be closed to the public until further notice.  
 
If you need help please call our office at
District Attorney’s Main Number                  318-574-1706             Facsimile Number 318-574-0904
Non-Support Division Number                      318-574-1715             Facsimile Number 318-574-1734
 
E-Mail Address for the following divisions
DA Office Account                  DAOffice@SixthDA.Org
Victim Assistance                   VictimAssistance@SixthDA.Org
Non-Support Division           NonSupport@SixthDA.Org
Juvenile Diversion                 Juvenile@SixthDA.Org
 
I am sorry for any inconvenience this causes and I hope you are all able to stay well.  
If anyone does experience symptoms, please CALL your health care provider for advice.  
 
The Sixth Judicial District Attorney is following the guidance of global health experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We are reminding our employees about frequent hand washing, and we are regularly cleaning and disinfecting our facilities and equipment. Importantly, we are asking that our employees stay home from work if they feel sick.
 
                                                                                                                                                                                     James E. Paxton, District Attorney

 
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
 
 

STATE OF LOUISIANA
PARISHES OF EAST CARROLL, MADISON AND TENSAS
SIXTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT
 
In Re:
COURT OPERATIONS UNDER THE
EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES
CREATED BY COVID-19
(CORONAVIRUS)
ORDER
 
This General Order is being issued in response to the recent outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Louisiana, and throughout the United States. In light of Governor Edwards' declaration of a public health emergency and his executive order concerning public gatherings as well as the COVID 19 order issued by the Louisiana Supreme Court on March 16, 2020, the Sixth Judicial District Court, in and for the Parishes of East Carroll, Madison and Tensas issues this order. Our purpose is to address this public health crisis in a way that protects the health and safety of the public and of everyone at our Court facilities, while at the same time, to the extent possible, maintains access to the Court.

Given the risk posed to the public, and in consideration of the public health recommendation, it is hereby ORDERED that, effective beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 8:00 a.m. through Friday, April 10, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.:

     1. All jury trials, both civil and criminal, are hereby continued, to be re-set by Order;
  1. All grand jury proceedings in this District are hereby continued, to be re-convened by Order;
  2. All criminal trials, hearings, and court appearances are hereby continued, to be reset by order, except for initial appearances (72-hour hearings), arraignments for incarcerated persons only and bond hearings;
  3. The delays in all criminal cases created by this Order shall constitute "just cause", pursuant to La. Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 701;
  4. All civil trials, juvenile hearings and court appearances  set  for any date between the date of this Order and April 10, 2020 are hereby continued to a date to be reset by local order, except for hearings related to the following: civil protective orders, 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;
  1. All Non-Support matters are hereby continued, to be reset by order;
 
  1. The court orders the attached Court Notice, Coronavirus COVID-19 be posted where it is easily visible at all public entrances to the Courthouses. Anyone attempting to enter the Courthouses in violation of the protocols contained therein will be denied entry by a Court Security Officer and may be subject to punishment for contempt of court;
  2. This Order does not affect the Court's ability to consider civil or criminal matters that can be resolved without hearing.
     The East Carroll, Madison and Tensas Parish Courthouses remain open during regular business hours. The public may continue to utilize Court services in accordance with this Order and while following all applicable public health guidelines.

This Order remains in effect until 5:00 p.m. on April 10, 2020, or until further orders of this Court.

Dated this 16th day of March, 2020.
 
MICHAELE. LANCASTER, CHIEF JUDGE                 
 
 

  
COURT NOTICE

CORONAVIRUS  COVID-19

 
By Order of the Court, Effective Immediately, the following persons

SHALL NOT ENTER THE COURTHOUSE:

  • Persons who have travelled to any of the following countries within the last 14 days:
  • CHINA, SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN, ITALY, IRAN
  • Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has travelled to one of the countries listed above within the last 14 days.
  • Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital or health agency.
  • Persons who have been diagnosed with, or have had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Persons exhibiting symptoms unusual to you that are among the CDC-identified symptoms (these have been identified as fever, cough or shortness of breath.)
 
  • ANYONE ATTEMPTING TO ENTER IN VIOLATION OF THESE PROTOCOLS WILL BE DENIED ENTRY BY A COURT SECURITY OFFICER.
If you have a scheduled hearing, appointment or have other business inside the courthouse, and you are unable to enter because of the restrictions listed above, you should proceed as follows:
If you are represented by an attorney, or have been subpoenaed by an attorney. Please contact the attorney.

If you are an attorney or an unrepresented party, and you are scheduled to appear in court on a Civil proceeding, please contact the Judge's office directly.

If you are an attorney or an unrepresented party, and you are scheduled to appear in Court for a Criminal proceeding, please contact the District Attorney's office 
(318) 574-1706.

If you are scheduled to meet with a Probation Officer, please contact the appropriate officer.

For matters with the Clerk of Court, Tax Assessor, Police Jury or Sheriff's offices,
Please contact those offices directly. 

For any matters not listed here, please call the agency which you are here to see.

 These restrictions will remain in place temporarily until it is determined to be safe to remove them. People who think they have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
 
 

Meet the District Attorney James E. Paxton


My main goal as District Attorney is to make sure that we seek justice swiftly, but fairly. As District Attorney my job is to see that we honor our primary obligation to protect the public, but do so in a manner that is just, ethical, and proper.