Local News

Most court dates pushed again, this time to June 1

Posted April 3, 2020 12:24 p.m. EDT
Updated April 3, 2020 12:56 p.m. EDT

— State court proceedings, already delayed for a month in March, will be put off until June 1, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced Friday.

Beasley's new order also extends deadlines to pay most fines and fees by 90 days, and it directs court clerks not to report unpaid court debts to the state Division of Motor Vehicles, which means driver's licenses won't be suspended for non-payment.

Traffic tickets and some other fees can still be paid online via NCCourts.gov. People can also sign up there for text reminders on rescheduled court dates.

"We want people to know that they do not need to come to the courthouse right now to pay a traffic ticket," Beasley said in a statement. "Deadlines for those payments have been extended, and licenses will not be suspended until this emergency passes."

Some court proceedings will continue via teleconference to alleviate "the growing backlog in the court system and ensure that courts continue protecting constitutional rights," the Supreme Court said in Friday's announcement. The plan is to keep court operations "as limited as possible" for the next two months, the release states.

"Efforts to further leverage technology, including through electronic filing and additional online services continue to move forward as well," the release states.

Beasley's order also:

  • Reminds local clerks of court to post notices at court facilities telling people with COVID-19 symptoms or exposure not to enter
  • Authorizes court proceedings by remote audio and video feeds
  • Directs attorneys and others without business before the court to avoid court facilities
  • Allows sworn statement instead of notarizations for court filings and oaths
  • Allows service of court documents by email

People are asked to visit NCCourts.gov first for answers to scheduling and other questions. There's a court-date lookup service and each county system has its own page with local information.

If questions remain, call the local clerk of court.

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