New Orleans DA announces public office closure in response to court’s COVID-19 shutdown
March 15, 2020
For Immediate Release

Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro on Sunday night (March 15) announced a temporary public office closure from March 16 through April 13, based upon efforts to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus that is at the center of a global pandemic.

The decision follows that of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, which announced earlier Sunday a closure for that span in response to the public health emergency.

“Given the severe nature of this health crisis, we fully support the difficult decision by acting Chief Judge Robin Pittman to close the courts,” Cannizzaro said. “We thank Judge Pittman for her leadership, and also commend Mayor LaToya Cantrell and our city health officials for the decisive measures they have taken in this rapidly changing environment. It is important that we all follow the advice of public health experts as we work to contain this outbreak and prevent further spread of this infectious disease.”

No employee of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office has reported being infected with the coronavirus. Supervisors and prosecutors will meet Monday at 10 a.m. to discuss assignments during the closure.

During the hiatus, a limited number of prosecutors will be on duty for essential duties such as new arrestees’ first appearances and emergency court proceedings. However, the OPDA office will be closed to the public. Diversion clients and persons receiving services from the OPDA’s Victim-Witness division will be contacted by counselors with individual instructions.

“At this time, we simply ask all our employees and members of the public alike to stay informed and limit contact that could potentially jeopardize their health,” Cannizzaro said.

“This is a very fluid and dangerous situation, but we will get through it.”