Section 6. Time Standards

TIME STANDARDS LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT

I. Writ Applications

A. No more than 120 days should elapse, under normal and usual circumstances, between the filing and the grant or denial of any writ application.

B. Writs granted for argument at any Court Conference other than an Opinion Signing Conference should, under normal and usual circumstances, be argued no later than 90 days after the writ grant.

C. Cases in which a writ application has been granted should, under normal and usual circumstances, be decided by the end of the cycle succeeding the cycle in which the case is argued.[fn1]

II. Appeals

A. Opinions in appealed cases should, under normal and usual circumstances, be decided by the end of the cycle succeeding the cycle in which the case is argued.

TIME STANDARDS LOUISIANA CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEAL

I. A. No more than 105 days[fn2] should elapse, under normal and usual circumstances, between the payment of costs by the appellant and the lodging of a civil appeal.

B. No more than 120 days[fn2] should elapse, under normal and usual circumstances, between the signing of the order of appeal and lodging of a criminal appeal.

II. No more than 175 days should elapse, under normal and usual circumstances, between the lodging of the appeal and the argument.[fn3]

III. No more than 70 days should elapse, under normal and usual circumstances, between the argument and the rendering of the opinion.

TIME STANDARDS LOUISIANA DISTRICT COURTS

A. General Civil. Civil cases should be settled, tried or otherwise concluded within 9 months of the date a motion to set for trial is filed, except for individual cases in which the Court determines exceptional circumstances exist and for which a continuing review should occur.[fn4]

B. Summary Civil. Proceedings using summary hearing procedures should be concluded within 45 days from service of process.

C. Domestic Relations. Domestic relations matters should be settled, tried or otherwise concluded within 4 months of the date of case filing, except for individual cases in which the Court determines exceptional circumstances exist and for which a continuing review should occur.


[fn1] The Court operates in six-week cycles. Cases are argued in the first week of the cycle. Opinions in argued cases generally are rendered on the first Monday of the next cycle (normally 6 weeks after argument) or on the first Monday of the next succeeding cycle (normally 12 weeks after argument). Thus, this standard recognizes that cases generally should be decided approximately eighty-four days (12 weeks) following the date of oral argument.

[fn2] These figures make allowance for two extensions of the return date, each of thirty days. Due primarily to the efforts of the courts of appeal, the number of appeals requiring an extension has been reduced to fewer than 30% of all appeals. The circuit courts of appeal should continue their efforts to reduce the number of appeals which require extensions of the return date.

[fn3] The Louisiana Supreme Court is aware that this aspirational 175-day standard is not presently achievable in the First, Third and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeal. These three circuit courts have a backlog of cases, and are working to reduce their congested dockets through use of summary docket procedures and special oral argument scheduling. During the time needed to reduce their backlog to a level where the 175-day standard is achievable, these circuits should be guided by workload goals which have been used by the Judicial Council of Louisiana to evaluate requests for new appellate judgeships.

[fn4] This standard does not encompass the matter of cases taken under advisement. These cases are governed by Section 2 of the Louisiana Supreme Court General Administrative Rules, which requires that district court judges report to the Judicial Administrator "all cases which have been fully submitted and under advisement for longer than thirty days, together with an explanation of the reasons for any delay and an expected date of decision."