How Does COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Affect My Court Date?

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COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus has had major implications throughout the State of North Carolina and beyond. Similarly, the North Carolina court system has also been impacted by the Coronavirus. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley ordered several directives changing the normal operation of the North Carolina court system in order to protect public safety. The Chief Justice has directed that local courts postpone most cases in district and superior court until June 1, 2020.

What cases are still going to court?

  • Cases involving someone in custody.
    • In example: bond modifications, first appearances, and probable cause hearings.
  • Emergency proceedings
  • Any other matter deemed necessary by the Resident Superior Court Judge and Chief District Court Judge that is conducted remotely.

Can I be evicted during the court closure?

According to the order signed by Chief Justice Beasley, summary ejections must be postponed until June 1, 2020.Clerks are still required by law to issue writs of possession in cases previously adjudicated before the Chief Justice’s original March 19, 2020, order.

Do I have to come to court for my probation violation?

No, unless you're in custody. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic court dates for probation violations should be continued until after June 1, 2020.

What about domestic violence victims?

This order does not impact filing for protective orders. In many counties victims can even file petitions for domestic violence protective orders online. Protective orders are still being processed. Protective orders are considered an emergency matter?

I am worried about a family member who is in custody what should I do?

Most matters involving inmates are still proceeding as normal except trials. This means that a guilty plea, bond modifications, or probable cause hearings can be done remotely. Our office would be happy to file a motion to modify your loved one's bond. This would be a great time to file bond motions due to delayed court dates and the fear of Coronavirus in local jails.

Do I have to report for jury duty?

Jury duty is canceled unless you were already serving as a juror prior to March 19, 2020.

How does the Coronavirus impact my court date for a pending DWI?

Unless you are currently in jail your court date would be continued automatically to a date after June 1, 2020.

What about my traffic ticket?

It will be postponed until after June 1, 2020. I understand that you may be anxious to get your traffic ticket over with before then but as a word of advice do not pay it off without consulting with a North Carolina traffic lawyer. Here's a few quick reasons why in most cases paying it off is a terrible idea.

If you have any other questions about COVID-19 and your court date the best course of action is to call the clerk of court in the county where you have court.

About Ryan Stowe

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Ryan Stowe is the principal attorney at Stowe Law Firm, PLLC. Mr. Stowe is proud to be practicing in his hometown of Salisbury, NC, and is a first generation Rowan County attorney. He focuses his practice on traffic violations, criminal defense, DWI…

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