Coronavirus Resource Center from Westlaw

Westlaw is featuring a Coronavirus Resource Center that is available at the following link:  https://www.thomsonreuters.com/en/resources/covid-19.html. It includes resources that can be accessed by anyone, regardless of whether you currently subscribe to Westlaw and/or Practical Law. There are over 85 free resources on this page that are constantly being updated and added to, so check back often as needs arise.

One Buncombe Fund Offers Relief for Individuals, Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Buncombe County is strong and resilient. When times are hard, we look out for those with less and pool our resources to make sure our neighbors are getting by. Even though we are apart, we can come together as One Buncombe. And that’s why Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Town of Montreat, members of the Asheville-area Chamber of Commerce, Mountain BizWorks, the Land of Sky Regional Council, and others have launched the One Buncombe Fund (onebuncombe.org), a centralized COVID-19 donation and relief center.

The One Buncombe Fund addresses those affected by the COVID-19 crisis by providing basic needs for unemployed individuals and bridge funding for small businesses. We need you to join us and our community partners to distribute meaningful and immediate relief to our neighbors. Please visit onebuncombe.org to make a donation.

If you or your business needs assistance, we encourage you to apply immediately (see below for details).

Assistance to individuals who have lost employment due to COVID-19

Individuals who have lost employment due to COVID-19 are eligible for direct assistance grants. Funds can be used for life-essential needs caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis such as electric bills, deposits, fuel oil, kerosene, natural gas, propane, wood, mortgages, overnight lodging, etc. Funds will be paid to the service provider, not directly to individuals. Assistance will be provided through the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services. County social workers will screen applicants to ensure all other potential sources are leveraged, including public assistance programs (e.g., unemployment insurance) and the services of our community partners. Social workers will also make referrals to Health and Human Services partners to assist the applicant to help alleviate their immediate crisis.

If you have questions or want to apply, please contact COVID-GA@buncombecounty.org or call (828) 250-5500.

Assistance for locally owned, small businesses affected by COVID-19

Small businesses affected by COVID-19 will be eligible for loans up to $10,000. During the initial six-month period, there will be no payments of any kind. Interest will accrue at 4% during the six-month period, but will not be paid and rolls up into the loan at the end of the six-month period. Loans will be designed to provide low-cost bridge funding to help businesses stay open and limit job losses until they qualify for longer term disaster funding from SBA or others. At this time, small businesses are defined as having fewer than 50 employees. Loan underwriting and administration will be provided by Mountain BizWorks, a nonprofit community development financial institution. Eligible uses include payroll, accounts payable, fixed debts, or other bills the business is unable to pay due to effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Business Eligibility:

  • Fewer than 50 full- and part-time employees
  • Must have a physical location and be principally based in Buncombe County
  •      Demonstrated loss of revenue of 25% or more due to COVID-19
  • Agree to provide impact data

For full details and to apply online visit mountainbizworks.org/one-buncombe-fund/. If you have questions, please contact Jeremiah Robinson at (828) 253-2834 ext. 14.

The Buncombe County Service Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, will serve as fiduciary for all One Buncombe Fund donations. Donations are considered tax deductible, but please consult a tax professional for any specific guidance.

Please donate here: onebuncombe.org

To donate by check, make it payable to “Buncombe County Service Foundation and mail to:
Buncombe County Service Foundation
200 College St., Suite 300
Asheville, NC 28801
*Please make sure to note that funds are for “One Buncombe Fund.”

We thank you in advance for donating. These are unprecedented times, and they call for equal measures. We know this is a big ask, but it’s not from us; it’s from our community’s most vulnerable, our neighbors, friends, and the future generation.

Members of the public who have questions about donating, please contact Angelyn Johnson at Angelyn.Johnson@buncombecounty.org.

For individuals in need, please contact COVID-GA@buncombecounty.org.

For questions about business loans, please contact Jeremiah Robinson at (828) 253-2834 ext. 14.

Interested in becoming a matching funds partner? Contact Sybil Tate at Sybil.tate@buncombecounty.org.

We want to thank our initial partners for supporting the One Buncombe Fund.

One Buncombe Fund Partners

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce

Buncombe County

City of Asheville

Land of Sky Regional Council

Mountain BizWorks

Town of Montreat

Biltmore Lake Charitable Fund

Ramble Charitable Fund

Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority

Supreme Court Orders Appellate Court Deadlines Extended

The Supreme Court of North Carolina issued an order today extending all appellate court deadlines that fall between March 26 – April 30, 2020 for 60 days. In addition, the order encourages electronic filing and credits back secure-leave scheduled in April and May 2020.

“We have reached a critical moment in our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and we must take every opportunity to flatten the curve,” said Chief Justice Beasley. “We encourage attorneys to adhere to existing timelines where possible to help us lessen the backlog that will be created by this extension, but most importantly, we want attorneys and their clients to stay safe during this challenging time.”

Today’s order follows several emergency steps taken by the Chief Justice to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. On March 13, Chief Justice Beasley issued two emergency directives postponing most cases in superior and district courts for 30 days and instructing local officials to take steps to limit the risk of exposure in courthouses.

On March 15, 2020, Chief Justice Beasley issued a memo providing guidance to local judges, clerks, and district attorneys as they worked to implement earlier directives. The memo allowed for the public and court personnel to practice social distancing and other preventative measures recommended by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control.

Chief Justice Beasley issued her third emergency step on March 19, 2020, when she issued an order that extended deadlines in the trial courts until April 17, 2020.

In light of this rapidly evolving public health situation, the Judicial Branch will provide continuously updated information on our website, NCcourts.gov. The public is encouraged to visit NCcourts.gov as a first resort to determine if a question can be answered without calling the local courthouse.  The public may also visit the Judicial Branch Facebook page and Twitter account to access information related to the coronavirus health concern.

Online court services are available for handling some court business, including citation services, paying your ticket, court payments, signing up for court date notifications and reminders, eFiling court documents for certain courts and case types, and more.

MORE INFORMATION

UPDATE – Essential Business Designation

Buncombe County Bar –

I hope this finds you and your families safe and well.

There have been a number of general inquiries for clarification concerning essential activities and essential businesses and a few particular to legal services.  Our guidance has consistently been that since Essential Businesses, such as law offices, may be open to provide services then individuals may leave their residences to receive those services as an Essential Activity. Further, in my opinion, it is up to an attorney to determine whether a service for a client or potential client is reasonably mandated.

The County and its municipal partners, including the City of Asheville, are working to apply the Stay Home Stay Safe declaration in a manner consistent with the spirit of the declaration.  Stay Home Stay Safe is not so much a designation of essential vs. non-essential businesses as it is a call for County-wide partnership to impede the spread of COVID-19 through physical distancing of people.

Thank you for your help.

Michael C. Frue

Buncombe County Senior Staff Attorney
p.(828) 250-4121  (828) 231-1572
200 College Street, Ground Floor
Asheville, NC 28801

 

UPDATE – Administrative Order Concerning Jail

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA COUNTY OF BUNCOMBE

IN THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE SUPERIOR AND DISTRICT COURT DIVISION  20R159

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER

The undersigned Senior Resident Superior Court Judge and Chief District Court Judge for the 28th Judicial District enter this Administrative Order pursant to Governor Roy Cooper’s prior Declaration of a Statewide emergency and Chief Justice Cheri Beasley’s Administratve Order in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19);

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

  1. This Order is entered with the consent of Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller, and applies to those individuals who were previously adjudicated guilty and who are presently serving sentences under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1351 for intermittent or non-continuous periods of confinement (also referred to as a “split sentences” or “weekend sentences”) in the local custody of Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.
  2. Effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020, those individuals shall have their intermittent or non-continuous sentences temporarily suspended and shall not report as previously scheduled for confinement to the Buncombe County Detention Center.
  3. Effective Friday, April 17, 2020, and unless otherwise ordered by this Court, that period of temporary suspension shall end, and those same individuals shall re-commence serving their intermittent or non-continuous sentences by reporting for confinement to the Buncombe County Detention Center as those individuals had done prior to the entry of this Administrative Order.
  4. By or before Friday, April 17, 2020, and unless otherwise ordered by this Court, those Probation Officers assigned to supervise and monitor the aforementioned individuals who are presently sentenced to serve intermittent or non-continuous periods of confinement, shall re-set, modifying and revise the confinement schedules for those individuals, shall notify those individuals of their new confinement schedules, and shall submit those schedules and all other necessary documentation to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.
  5. This temporary suspension shall not apply to individuals who were previously adjudicated guilty and who are presently sentenced to serve continuous or “straight” periods of confinement in the local custody of Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office. Those individuals shall report for confinement as previously directed.  Upon reporting, and prior to being admitted into the Detention Center, those individuals will be subject to a health screening to be performed by Detention Center Staff.  No individuals exhibiting Coronavirus symptoms or other flu-like symptoms shall be admitted to the Detention Center unless authorized to do so by the Detention Staff.
  6. During the period of suspension described in Paragraphs 1 through 4 above, those individuals serving non-continuous/intermittent periods of confinement (also referred to as a “split sentences” or “weekend sentences”) and who wish to complete their sentences more quickly, may request permission from their Probation Officers and the Sheriff’s Office to a continuous or “straight” period of confinement in the local custody of Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office. Any such requests will be left to the discretion of the Probation Officer and require the consent of the Sheriff’s Office.

Entered this the 25th day of March, 2020

 

Alan Z. Thornburg                                                 J. Calvin Hill
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge             Chief District Court Judge