NC Court System Postponing Most Cases For 30 Days
North Carolina’s court system will postpone most court cases for the next 30 days in response to the coronavirus. The change will go into effect Monday, March 16. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley said in a press conference Friday that the decision would impact thousands of cases going through the state’s superior and district courts.
Beasley and her staff said certain proceedings would not be affected by the change. Exceptions include bond and probate hearings and the issuing of protective orders for domestic violence victims. Magistrates will continue to issue warrants and perform marriages. Court clerk proceedings like estate administration will also continue.
Beasley clarified that for trials that are underway, or where juries have already been selected, those cases will continue during the 30 day period.
Administrative Director McKinley Wooten asked anyone who thinks they may have the coronavirus -- if they are self-isolating or have a positive diagnosis -- to stay away from court facilities. The courts will remain open, but Wooten encouraged managers to allow staff to work from home where it’s feasible. Judges will have the discretion to conduct hearings by phone or video conference, when possible.
Wooten said his office plans to set up a phone help line by Friday afternoon to answer questions people may have. He directed people who have scheduled court appearances or summons to view notices that his office will post on the court system’s website, www.nccourts.gov.