Chief Justice Beasley extends emergency directives regarding jury trials, evictions, and public health measures

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

“These emergency directives have helped mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19 in our courthouses,” said Chief Justice Beasley.“Today’s order extending the directives for 30 days is needed to help ensure public safety while conducting court business across North Carolina.”

The extended emergency directives are as follows:

  • Postpone jury trials for 30 days
  • Require that an affidavit be filed in residential evictions to confirm compliance with the federal CARES Act
  • Require each senior resident superior court judge to craft a plan for the resumption of jury trials
  • Require the public to wear face masks while in public areas of court facilities 
  • Require a COVID-19 coordinator for each judicial facility
  • Prohibit crowded sessions of court where social distancing cannot be observed
  • Require COVID-19 coordinators to approve court calendars before they are publicly distributed to ensure social distancing is possible and ensure face coverings are available for court personnel
  • Require senior resident superior court judges to ensure public health measures such as cleaning and social distancing are provided in court facilities
  • Ensure public access to court records and allows clerks to limit face-to-face interactions when accepting filings
  • Encourage filings to be submitted by mail and allow a grace period of five days for filings received by mail
  • Allow clerks of superior court additional time to schedule hearings in summary ejectment actions

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.

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