IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
FOURTH SUPPLEMENTAL ORDER REGARDING
COURT OPERATIONS UNDER THE EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES
CREATED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
On March 16, 2020, this court entered an Order recognizing the exigent circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and continued all civil and criminal jury trials until May 1, 2020. On March 17, 2020, this court entered a First Supplemental Order restrict in g public access to our intake counters in our offices located in Alexandria, Lafayette , Lake Charles , Monroe and Shreveport until May 1, 2020.
The Court reiterates and adopts the findings on this matter contained in the prior orders. The Court further finds that the pandemic continues and indeed may not have reached its peak in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health authorities continue to recommend social distancing as a means of limiting further community spread of COVID-19.
Due to the Court's reduced ability to obtain an adequate spectrum of jurors and due to the reduced availability of attorneys and Court staff to be present in courtrooms because of the public health considerations described above, the time period of the continuances implemented by this Order are excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A). The Court finds that the ends of justice served by ordering these continuances outweigh the best interests of the public and each defendant's right to a speedy trial. In fact, the best interests of the public are served by these continuances.
In light of these findings and recommendations, the Court orders the following:
1. All civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin on any date from now through July 1, 2020, are continued, to a date to be reset by each presiding judge. All other hearings, conferences and/or proceedings are subject to the discretion of the individual judge presiding over the proceeding.
Unless extended, modified or rescinded, this Order will expire on July 1, 2020.