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.”
The first order issued today postpones jury trials in district and superior courts for 30 days. The second order gives clerks of court 30 days instead of 7 days to schedule new summary ejectment action hearings for eviction cases.
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.