Some Johnston County Courts Closing Next Week Due To COVID-19

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Tom Lock has ordered some district and superior courts canceled next week, December 14-18, due to COVID-19.  A modified schedule has been put into place.

District Attorney Susan Doyle notified Judge Lock this week that two of her employees have tested positive for COVID.

“Shortly after the pandemic began, she divided her staff into teams and kept them separated to mitigate the spread of the virus in the event of an infection. The team members who have been in close contact with the infected employees are in quarantine. We also have engaged in contact tracing and do not believe that any members of the private bar have been in close contact with the quarantined employees,” Judge Lock wrote in a memorandum to court officials.

After consulting with Chief District Court Judge Jackie Lee and Johnston County Health Director Dr. Marilyn Pearson, Judge Lock said he will modify the operations of criminal court cases through the end of next week.

On Friday, December 11th the only cases that will be heard in superior court are probation violations involving in-custody defendants.  District disposition court will meet and adjudicate traffic cases. Benson District Court will convene at 10:00am Friday.  Prosecutors assigned to cases are members of the district attorney staff not quarantined

All criminal court cases scheduled for December 14-18 are canceled.  A jury trial session of criminal superior court is also canceled next week.  Civil district and superior courts will meet as scheduled since the civil courts are not impacted by the COVID incidents in the district attorney’s office, Judge Lock wrote in his order.