Buncombe Family Courts Recognized for Efficiency

From Chief District Court Judge Calvin Hill:

The state office that monitors the efficiency of Family Court Jurisdictions recently recognized Buncombe County for maintaining the recommended percentage of cases under one year old at 15%. This is a difficult task even in normal times, let alone the difficulties that have come with Covid. I would like to recognize our Family Court Judges Scott, Dray and Dotson-Smith, along with their staffs, for this excellent work.  This is especially noteworthy because we were the only medium to large county able to achieve this.

From NC Court Programs Specialists:
Courts statewide continue to address the backlog of both criminal and civil cases that have been created as a result of COVID-19, which can feel like an uphill battle. We commend you for your tireless efforts and recognize how difficult this time has been (and continues to be) on judges, court staff, and the court community as a whole. NCAOC continues to monitor the pending caseloads to help identify areas where assistance may be needed.

The Aging Analysis Report compiled April 8, 2021 reports the following family court statistics regarding the percentage of cases pending over 1 year. The Family Court Best Practices & Guidelines (See Section IV. 5.f.2) recommends that no more than 15% of cases should be over one year old. The first chart shows the percentage of cases that have been pending longer than 1 year for all family court districts over the last 6 fiscal years as well as the percentage for the time period of July 1, 2021-March 31, 2021.

The chart below reflects the percentage of pending cases have been pending longer than 1 year for each of the 15 family court districts for the time period of July 1, 2021-March 31, 2021. (Note: The 15 districts represented include new districts that were created as a result of redistricting and also includes new counties that were added to existing family court districts but did not receive additional staff.)

We would like to recognize and congratulate Districts 3A (Pitt), 8 (Greene, Lenoir, and Wayne), 19B (Randolph), 20A (Stanly and Montgomery), and 28 (Buncombe) for meeting the 15% time standard despite a very challenging year. It may be helpful for those districts to share the strategies that have been employed to meet this standard during a pandemic. Please feel free to reply to Lori and me and we can compile the strategies to be disseminated amongst this group. Also, please know that Lori and I are always available to assist you. We know the challenges that the pandemic has created for judges and court managers during this difficult time and would like to support you in any way we can.