UPDATE–Chief Justice Beasley Issues New Order and Emergency Directives Expanding North Carolina Court Operations

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley today issued new emergency orders about court operations across North Carolina. The orders extend some filing deadlines, postpone jury trials, and require in-person court operations to take place with some defined restrictions to ensure safety protocols like social distancing and routine cleaning take place.

“Court is going to look different for a while. Dockets will be smaller. Cases will be heard online. We’re going to have to socially distance in the courthouse,” said Chief Justice Beasley. “North Carolinians are resilient and resourceful, and we approach our challenges with a spirit of cooperation and innovation that I know will carry us through the challenging days ahead.”

Under the orders entered today, some deadlines for filings and other required actions have been extended to July 31.

  • Filing deadlines for criminal matters are extended until July 31.
  • Filings due pursuant to statutes of limitation or repose are extended until July 31.
  • Filings and actions due in civil matters that had been previously extended are due June 1.

The Chief Justice has also placed a number of restrictions on in-person proceedings to avoid crowded courtrooms and allow for social distancing:

  • No session of court may be scheduled if it would result in the public being crowded into courtrooms or waiting in close proximity without social distancing.
  • Senior Resident Superior Court Judges are directed to have courtroom seating and all areas where lines form marked with six-foot intervals.
  • They must also ensure that public areas of the courthouse are cleaned throughout the day and that hand sanitizer is provided at every entrance and exit.

Local courts are required to have seating and waiting areas clearly marked in six-foot intervals, establish maximum occupancies for courtrooms, and ensure that hand sanitizer and cleaning services are provided. Many of these steps will require cooperation and support from county governments who own and manage the court facilities.

The Chief Justice also ordered that no jury trials will be held until August while the court system works to identify alternatives to allow those trials to be safely conducted.

  • Jury trials are postponed through at least the end of July.
  • Senior Resident Superior Court Judges are also directed to assess local court facilities to determine whether juries can be convened with social distancing. If not, they must secure alternate facilities for jury trials.

The orders also include several measures to limit in-person contact between the public and the staff of local clerk of court offices. Filings by mail are encouraged and clerks may require filings be dropped off rather than submitted face-to-face at a service counter. Access to public records must be provided, but clerks may require appointments and limit hours. To encourage filing by mail, a 5-day grace period will be provided for documents delivered by mail.

  • Encourage filings by mail
  • Grace period of 5 business days for filings submitted by mail
  • Clerks must accept filings and provide access to records during business hours
  • May use a secure, physical drop box for filings
  • May require appointments and limit hours for public access

In addition, the Supreme Court of North Carolina entered an order on May 14 that made changes to several rules in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Court calendars may be published with less advanced notice.
  • Attorneys may designate additional secured leave from court.
  • Judges will receive continuing education credit for online courses.

Information about specific county operations is available on the court system’s website at NCcourts.gov. The public can use online tools on the website to check for upcoming court dates, sign up for court date reminders, and pay or dismiss traffic tickets.

For a list of orders from the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court of North Carolina, please visit the continuously updated Coronavirus (COVID-19) announcement page. The public is encouraged to visit NCcourts.gov to find answers to frequently asked questions before calling the local courthouse.  Announcements from local counties about changes to court operations can be found on the county page as well as the closings and advisories page. The public may also visit the Judicial Branch Facebook page and Twitter account to access information related to the coronavirus health concern.

UPDATE-Chief Justice Beasley Extends Emergency Directives Until May 30

North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has issued an order to extend the effect of previously issued emergency directives until May 30, 2020. By law, the Chief Justice’s emergency directives expire after 30 days unless renewed. The order also eliminates a consent requirement that had made it difficult for courts to schedule remote hearings using teleconference technology.

On April 2, the Chief Justice entered an order containing seven emergency directives that postponed most in-person court hearings until June 1, broadened the court system’s ability to use technology and stopped driver’s license suspensions for nonpayment of court fines. The latest order extends the effect of those directives through the month of May.

“We continue to take steps to increase the services we can safely provide to the public,” said Chief Justice Beasley. “While our task force is hard at work developing plans for the months ahead, it’s important that we remain vigilant about protecting the health and safety of everyone in our courthouses.”

For a list of orders from the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court of North Carolina, please visit the continuously updated Coronavirus (COVID-19) announcement page. The public is encouraged to visit NCcourts.gov to find answers to frequently asked questions before calling the local courthouse.  Announcements from local counties about changes to court operations can be found on the county page as well as the closings and advisories page.  The public may also visit the Judicial Branch Facebook page and Twitter account to access information related to the coronavirus health concern.

 

 

Judicial Branch COVID–19 Task Force

MEMORANDUM

TO:            Judicial Branch Employees

FROM:        Chief Justice Cheri Beasley
NCAOC Director McKinley Wooten, Jr.

DATE:         April 30, 2020

SUBJECT:    Judicial Branch COVID–19 Task Force

The last six weeks have seen unprecedented challenges for our Judicial Branch. We want to extend our deepest thanks to each of you for the fortitude you have shown. Your commitment is truly inspiring.

We have been closely monitoring the guidance of public health officials as we think about our path forward. Last week, Governor Cooper announced a graduated plan for lifting restrictions on mass gatherings and reopening North Carolina’s businesses. That plan indicates that we must continue to exercise social distancing and limit the gathering of large groups, particularly in public places, well into the summer.

It is clear that we will not be in a position to resume normal functioning of our court system for at least several months, and possibly into the fall. However, we also know that we cannot continue indefinitely with so many of our court functions frozen in time. We must begin to plan to provide a greater level of service to the public while still protecting the health and safety of all who work in and visit our county courthouses.

To assist in developing those plans, we have formed the COVID–19 Task Force for the Judicial Branch, co-chaired by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Don Bridges and Chief District Court Judge Jay Corpening. Please join us in thanking them for their committed service and willingness to lead in this difficult time. The Task Force will work with the conferences and associations within the branch to put forward recommendations for future emergency directives, policy changes, and best practices to move our court system forward.

We know you are anxious to begin planning court sessions for June. At this time, we do not believe it will be possible to safely convene jury trials or high-volume court sessions that would bring large crowds to courthouses during the month of June and would encourage you to plan accordingly. Rotation of superior court judges will be suspended for the fall term and all superior court judges will be assigned to their home districts. Additionally, knowing that it would not be possible for our court system to absorb 10 weeks of filings on a single day, we have asked the task force to formulate recommendations for spreading out those court filings and deadlines. We will continue to share updates from the work of the task force as we move through the month of May.

Again, we extend our deep gratitude for all that you do in service to the people of North Carolina. Stay safe and well!

Members of the Judicial Branch COVID–19 Task Force

  • Don Bridges, Co-Chair, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, Cleveland and Lincoln Counties
  • Jay Corpening, Co-Chair, Chief District Court Judge, New Hanover and Pender Counties
  • Wayland Sermons, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge; Beaufort, Hyde, Martin, Washington, and Tyrrell Counties
  • Teresa Vincent, Chief District Court Judge, Guilford County
  • Billy West, District Attorney, Cumberland County
  • Robert Evans, District Attorney; Nash, Edgecombe, and Wilson Counties
  • Marsha Johnson, Clerk of Superior Court, Harnett County
  • Elisa Chinn-Gary, Clerk of Superior Court, Mecklenburg County
  • Kinsley Craig, Trial Court Administrator, Cleveland and Lincoln Counties
  • Kellie Myers, Trial Court Administrator, Wake County
  • Jason Cheek, Magistrate, Davidson County
  • Jennifer Harjo, Public Defender, New Hanover and Pender Counties
  • John M. McCabe, Attorney, Wake County
  • J. Wade Harrison, Attorney, Alamance and Guilford Counties
  • Patrick Benton Weede, Attorney, Wake County
  • JD Keister, Attorney, Wake County

Homeless Services Local Updates and Information 4-27-2020

MEMORANDUM

TO: Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee Distribution List
FROM: Brian Huskey, Community Development Analyst, City of Asheville
DATE: April 27, 2020
RE:  April 27 – Homeless Services Local Updates and Information
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WNC PPE RESOURCES
In partnership with many innovative local companies and its regional Legacy Foundations, Dogwood Health Trust is helping to source and coordinate the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) products locally and distribute them equitably across the region. In the short term, the products will be prioritized to go to doctors, nurses and other health care staff, as well as law enforcement, paramedics / EMS, public health staff, and other key human services staff.  However, many of these local manufacturers are making these products available to nonprofit, business, and individual customers. Information is available at: https://wncready.org/ppe/

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The Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee (HIAC) will not meet as scheduled on Tuesday, April 28. All City Boards, Commissions, and Committee meetings have been canceled until further notice, with the potential exception of quasi-judicial boards such as Planning and Zoning, Board of Adjustment and Historic Resources which may be scheduled on an as needed basis.

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Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) is continuing to operate.
HIV case management services are helping people living with HIV access vital resources for rent assistance, food delivery, pharmacy services, etc. Client transportation to essential medical care is being provided as needed.

Pharmacy navigation services are being provided by phone including Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and Hep C counseling.

HIV and Hep C tests are being provided by appointment only.

Syringe services program is providing full services including overdose reversal kits and safer injection supplies by pick-up in the parking lot of 554 Fairview Road, Asheville, Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm. No appointment necessary.

For information about becoming a WNCAP HIV case management client or any of their services, please email info@wncap.org or call (828) 252-7489.

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The temporary shelter at Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville, operated by Homeward Bound in collaboration with multiple community partners, is not taking any new guests at this time.

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The Salvation Army (TSA) is serving hot dinner plates 7 days a week 4-6 pm in their mobile disaster food truck in the United Way (50 S. French Broad Ave.), available for walk up and drive thru meals. TSA Center of Hope is operating under normal business hours 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. TSA is providing crisis assistance, providing clothing vouchers, pre-packed food boxes, and financial assistance to anyone experiencing a crisis, by appointment. TSA shelter remains in isolation mode and is requiring residents to shelter in place.
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HAYWOOD STREET CONGREGATION
Hours for Wed/Sat lunch are 10:30 – 1:00; Sunday breakfasts are 8:30 – 10:00. All meals are “to-go” style, with boxes being served from multiple stations around their campus. Other activities on campus remain suspended. Haywood Street Respite is currently serving a very limited number of previously unsheltered medically vulnerable guests while continuing to evaluate its future plans for referrals and admissions during the pandemic.
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BeLoved Asheville continues to provide Street Pantries at multiple locations (restocked multiple times of the day with non-perishable foods and beverages), BeLoved Asheville Pet Restaurants (for unhoused folks’ pets to eat and drink), distribution of masks, hand sanitizers and other hygiene supplies, hot meals being delivered to folks on the streets, and more. For additional information, call (828) 242-8261.
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The RHA Behavioral Health Urgent Care (BHUC) is no longer offering 24/7/365 services.
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IRS Economic Impact Payment: The Internal Revenue Service has provided the link below for those in homeless services programs who may not have filed a 2018 and/or 2019 tax return. They can use this link to submit banking or address information to which they can receive their economic stimulus payment. This link is just for non-filers. Please check this same site periodically for an additional link for those who may need to update their banking or address information.

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here

Additional information may be found here.
_________________________________________________________

Steady Collective continues to operate their essential functions, with the following schedule:
Tuesdays – in front of Firestorm Books 1:30 pm – 4:00
Wednesdays – Haywood Street Congregation 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

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Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry’s new hours are now 9:30 – 2:30 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday; Tuesday 12:00 – 2:30.  When people arrive at the Ministry they are asked to call in to receive assistance.
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VA MEDICAL CENTER – The Healthcare for Homeless Veterans clinic at the VA is now triaging walk-ins by phone. If you have access to a phone, you can call at 828-298-7911 Ext 1198. With limited in-office staff, it is possible that you may need to leave a message and receive a call back. If you present in person, there will be updated instructions posted on the door for how to access screening and staff. For additional assistance, please contact Amanda Stancil, Homeless Outreach Social Worker, directly at 828-273-3266. Please also contact Amanda if you are or know of a veteran who has been turned away or unable to access shelter due to increased shelter restrictions at this time.
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ABCCM Crisis Ministry Sites normal business hours are currently Monday-Friday from 8:30AM-4:30PM. North Crisis Ministry Site hours are Monday – Friday from 10AM-2PM. At all four ABCCM Crisis Ministry sites, they continue to offer the normal services of food boxes, clothing, furniture, appliances, household goods, and financial assistance. Intakes are conducted via phone. At their Downtown site, 24 Cumberland Ave., they continue providing to-go meals Monday-Friday from 11AM-2PM.

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Homeward Bound’s AHOPE Day Center is now operating only Monday-Friday, 8-12. Bathrooms, showers, mail, and storage remain available during the hours they are open.
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The ART bus system has made adjustments and reductions to its schedule on some routes.

170 – has been discontinued
S6 – has been discontinued
WE-1 – runs once each hour, leaving the station at 40 minutes past the hour.

Assessment of the transit system capacity will happen on a day-to-day basis, and be updated as the situation evolves. The City of Asheville and ART are continuing to follow the guidance of local public health officials and the CDC, including following social distancing and cleaning guidelines.

There are several ways to keep up with any ART schedule changes:

  • Download the Transit app to any smartphone.
  • Check real-time transit information on Google Maps.
  • Dial 828-253-5691 and press #1.
  • Subscribe to iRide Service Alert e-mails here.
  • Go to RideTheART.com under “Service Alerts.”

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Western North Carolina Community Community Health Services is open, seeing well patients in the morning and sick patients in the afternoon. They are screening everyone at the entrance and seeing some folks outside in their cars if needed.  Dental is open for emergencies only (no routine care).
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Guidelines for how homeless services providers can connect people experiencing homelessness with available testing, isolation, and quarantine resources are available here.
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Porta-Johns are located at:

Haywood Street Congregation, 297 Haywood St.
AHOPE Day Center, 19 N. Ann St.
Western Carolina Rescue Ministries, 610 Haywood Rd.
ABCCM Medical Minstry, 155 Livingston St (River Arts District)
ABCCM Crisis Ministry (Downtown), 24 Cumberland Ave.

Handwashing stations are also located at several sites where food is being provided (ABCCM Cumberland Ave location, Haywood Street Congregation, 12 Baskets on Haywood Rd) as well as Homeward Bound’s AHOPE Day Center.

Mapping for these locations: https://avl.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=f1282c9f87c54b609aa0b3e674226f06

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ABCCM – Veterans Restoration Quarters (VRQ) is currently unable to admit any civilians or overnighters to emergency shelter. Admissions to Grant Per Diem (GPD) beds are conducted on a case-by-case basis.
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Asheville City Schools McKinney-Vento eligible homeless families are provided meals M-F along with other support services as needed.
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HELPMATE
Helpmate’s emergency shelter is closed to new intakes.

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BUNCOMBE COUNTY SCHOOLS

The McKinney-Vento liaison has set up home deliveries for the families that do not have transportation or for whom there is a financial hardship, delivering meals from child nutrition or providing them with food boxes if there are additional needs. Eligible families can call 828-225-4768 for assistance.
______________________________________________________________

WESTERN CAROLINA RESCUE MINISTRIES

The shelter remains on isolation status. Those who leave will not be able to return. They continue to provide lunch and dinner outside for the general population as well as food boxes.

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ART bus service remains fare-free. https://www.ashevillenc.gov/news/asheville-installs-social-distancing-measures-on-art-buses-during-covid-19-public-health-emergency/ There is increased cleaning of buses and the transit station.

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DAY-BY-DAY AVAILABLE FOOD AND DAY SERVICES:

WEDNESDAYS

AHOPE Open from 8-12 (bathrooms, showers, mail, storage)
ABBCM Downtown Crisis Ministry, hot meals to go, 24 Cumberland Ave, 11-2
HAYWOOD ST. to-go lunch from 10:30-12:00
THE MISSION bag meals for lunch and dinner
SALVATION ARMY meals to-go 4 pm – 6 pm in United Way parking lot, 50 S. French Broad Ave.

THURSDAYS

AHOPE open from 8-12 (bathrooms, showers, mail, storage)
THE MISSION bag meals for lunch and dinner
ABBCM Downtown Crisis Ministry, hot meals to go, 24 Cumberland Ave, 111
SALVATION ARMY meals to-go 4 pm – 6 pm in United Way parking lot, 50 S. French Broad Ave.

FRIDAYS

AHOPE open from 8-12 (bathrooms, showers, mail, storage)
12 BASKETS will offer food to-go from 11-1
ABBCM Downtown Crisis Ministry site, hot meals to-go 24 Cumberland Ave, 11-2
THE MISSION bag meals for lunch and dinner
SALVATION ARMY meals to-go 4 pm – 6 pm in United Way parking lot, 50 S. French Broad Ave.

SATURDAYS

HAYWOOD ST to-go lunch from 10:30-12:00
SALVATION ARMY meals to-go 4 pm – 6 pm in United Way parking lot, 50 S. French Broad Ave.

SUNDAYS

HAYWOOD ST. to-go breakfast from 8:30-10:00
CHURCH OF THE ADVOCATE to-go meals at 2:30
SALVATION ARMY meals to-go 4 pm – 6 pm in United Way parking lot, 50 S. French Broad Ave.

MONDAYS

AHOPE open from 8-12 (bathrooms, showers, mail, storage)
THE MISSION bag meals for lunch and dinner
ABBCM Downtown Crisis Ministry, hot meals to go, 24 Cumberland Ave, 11-2
SALVATION ARMY meals to-go 4 pm – 6 pm in United Way parking lot, 50 S. French Broad Ave.
TUESDAYS
AHOPE open from 8-12 (bathrooms, showers, mail, storage)
12 BASKETS will offer food to-go from 11-1
THE MISSION will offer bag meals for lunch and dinner
ABBCM Downtown Crisis Ministry, hot meals to go, 24 Cumberland Ave, 11-2
SALVATION ARMY meals to-go 4 pm – 6 pm in United Way parking lot, 50 S. French Broad Ave.
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OTHER SERVICES:

TRINITY PLACE RUNAWAY AND HOMELESS YOUTH SHELTER

Remains on isolation status.

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ELIADA HOMES: Eliada has implemented a “no visitor” policy. Anyone with a fever or symptoms is restricted from programming.

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ABCCM (VETERANS RESTORATION QUARTERS and STEADFAST HOUSE)

No overnighters or civilians for shelter at this time. GPD admissions on a case-by-case basis.  Meal times are spread out to decrease the number of people gathered at any single time. Nurse is available on-site to consult with anyone who is symptomatic.

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WESTERN CAROLINA RESCUE MINISTRIES

  • Shelter is on isolation status; anyone leaving will not be able to return.
  • All Health Clinic activities have been shifted to Dale Fell at this time.
  • Continues to do lunch and dinner outside for the general population. They will also continue to do food boxes.

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12 BASKETS offers food to go on the Tuesdays and Fridays between 11-1. People are encouraged to bring their own containers.

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Brian K. Huskey
Community Development Analyst
City of Asheville
bhuskey@ashevillenc.gov
(828) 251-4048