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RALEIGH – 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.