On October 3, 2005, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued a resolution, effective through October 25, 2005, establishing procedures to lift or modify the suspension, under Governor Blanco’s Executive Orders 32 and 48, of “all deadlines applicable to legal proceedings, including prescription and peremption, in all Louisiana state courts, administrative agencies, and boards.”

Under the resolution a party or attorney has been “adversely impacted” if his or her “ability … to proceed with the legal proceeding has been substantially impaired by Hurricane Katrina or Rita.”

If all parties to a suit file a joint motion certifying that no attorney or party has been adversely impacted by Hurricanes Rita or Katrina, the judge (trial or appellate) can lift or shorten the emergency suspension periods outlined in the orders.

If an attorney or party has been adversely impacted, he or she can agree to the lift or modification.

Finally, if no agreement can be reached, the resolution outlines a detailed procedure for a contradictory motion and hearing, with presumptive protection for those objecting parties or attorneys who “maintained his/her domicile or principal place of business in a Parish that was under an evacuation order for at least two (2) days,” or those who can prove seven (7) days’ actual displacement due to evacuation or storm damage.

The resolution basically requires acquiescence in the modification/lift of the suspension in the absence of an actual adverse impact. One cannot simply play the “hurricane card” without supporting facts.

The complete text of the resolution can be found here.