Chief Justice Beasley Issues Order Extending Several Existing Emergency Directives

 Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has extended several existing emergency directives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The directives continue to allow increased use of technology and seek to limit foot traffic in courthouses.

“The extension of these emergency directives are absolutely crucial to ensuring that our court system continues to administer justice while protecting the health and safety of court officials, court personnel, and the public,” said Chief Justice Beasley. “I implore members of the pubic to abide by all recommended public health measures in our courthouses as we conduct court business across North Carolina.”

The orders entered today by Chief Justice Beasley extend the effect of Emergency Directives 2–8 and 18. By law, emergency directives issued by the Chief Justice in response to a catastrophe expire every 30 days unless they are renewed. Emergency Directive 1, issued by Chief Justice Beasley on March 13 postponed most hearings in the state’s court system while pandemic response strategies were put in place. That emergency directive expired May 1 and has not been further extended.

The emergency directives extended today include:

  • Require clerks of superior court to post notice at the courthouse to restrict entry by anyone likely exposed to COVID-19
  • Allow increased use of teleconferencing for remote court hearings
  • Limit public presence in courthouses to those with business to be conducted
  • Waive notary requirements for court filings
  • Allow certain documents to be served on another party or attorney by email
  • Direct clerks of superior court not to enter or report nonpayment of money owed in criminal or infraction cases until after July 31
  • Require that magistrates continue to perform marriages
  • Require that an affidavit be filed in summary ejectment cases to confirm compliance with the federal CARES Act moratorium on certain evictions

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.

Chief Justice Beasley Issues Directives on Jury Trials & Courthouses

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has extended emergency directives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that postpone jury trials and prescribe social distancing measures. The Chief Justice also issued a new directive allowing additional time for clerks of superior court to schedule summary ejectment proceedings.

“Courthouses are open across North Carolina, but the public health threat posed by COVID-19 remains an ongoing challenge,” said Chief Justice Beasley. “These orders help to mitigate these challenges and strike the proper balance between postponing court business and resuming full court operations.”

With more than 10,000 pending summary ejectment actions pending in the state’s court system, the COVID-19 Task Force recommended that the Chief Justice allow clerks of superior court additional time to schedule hearings in the matters. By statute, these hearings are ordinarily set within seven days, but social distancing restrictions and a large backlog of cases will require greater flexibility in scheduling. Under the new emergency directive, clerks of court will have up to 30 days to schedule new summary ejectment actions for hearing.

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.

Let’s Talk COVID-19: Mind, Body, and Social Justice

This afternoon, BCHHS and community partners are hosting a community conversation called Let’s Talk COVID-19: Mind, Body, and Social Justice. Carrying the weight of a global pandemic paired with critical social action is exhausting. None of us can fast-forward through this difficult time, but we can make it manageable. Join the conversation today, Tuesday, June 9, from 1-2:30pm. We will share community resources to support a healthy mind/body connection and there will be plenty of time to ask questions at the end. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation is available.

Register Here or watch live on facebook: English @buncombegov and Spanish @bchhs.

UPDATE–Chief Justice Beasley Holds Press Conference Today, Tuesday, 11am

 Chief Justice Cheri Beasley will hold a press conference on Tuesday, June 2, at 11:00 am, to speak about the intersection of the justice system and the protests occurring in cities and communities across North Carolina.

To enact social distancing measures and limit the spread of COVID-19, only credentialed media are invited to attend this event in-person.  The public is invited to watch the event via livestream on WRAL and the Judicial Branch Facebook page.