All upcoming Superior and District Court hearings are postponed until June, Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced Thursday. The decision came as time was running out on her previous order that suspended these court proceedings until mid-April.

“My number one priority is to protect [attorneys, court employees,] and the public by limiting gatherings and foot traffic in our county courthouses, while making sure our courts stay available to serve the public,” Beasley said in a statement.

Cases that have yet to be heard by a jury will not take place in person until June 1 or will take place through a teleconference. While courts are still open, everyone is encouraged to stay out of local courthouses unless absolutely necessary. Cases that can be heard online or over the phone, or cases that involve domestic violence and other emergency relief, will take place. Cases that are related to due process, like probation hearings, will also continue.

Fines and fees are postponed for 90 days, and the DMV will not be notified if someone has yet to make a payment. Filings and oaths will be accepted with a sworn statement, instead of a notary signature.

This Beasley’s order doesn’t address this specifically, it would seem to prevent residential evictions from occurring until June 1 as well, although there’s some gray area. The Durham County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement saying it would not be enforcing eviction rulings, but the statewide memo didn’t mention evictions. Nor did it mention whether evictions could be heard over the phone, either.

Can’t Pay Won’t Pay said in a statement that Beasley’s order doesn’t protect tenants from eviction. They also called Governor Cooper’s “encouragement” that landlords pause filing evictions a joke.

“Neither of these actions do anything to cease the evictions orders currently being filed in courts or provide additional legal protections against evictions during the COVID-19 crisis and that is unacceptable,” the group says. “If eviction orders can still be filed, once the courts are in operation again, the temporary pause on the eviction process will be lifted and cases will resume. People will lose their homes due to this crisis.”

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One reply on “North Carolina Pushes Back Court Hearings Until June”

  1. Maybe it’s time to stop insidious practices by landlords and other predatory organizations who can hold housing hostage at a premium. It’s time to look at what has happened to wages for the average worker and start fighting back against corruption and rampant greed. Most of these landlords don’t actually bring anything back to the community, leaving the communities poorer for it.

    Cap rent. Make it so rent is tied to minimum wage. Any landlord or “property management” firm who breaks these rules are fined by a % of their total wealth (a small static number is ineffective as we’ve seen demonstrated countless times).

    Maybe it’s time that these “landlords” get a real job and start contributing to society. Provide value to their community. This isn’t 17 century Europe; we don’t have “Lords” in America: we have people who put in blood, sweat, and tears to make this country what it is.

    It’s about time they pull themselves up by their bootstraps and stop stealing the wages of hard working Americans — hard working North Carolinians.

    The government needs to put a hold on all rent payments while we discuss a solution to this problem. We can do better for our fellow residents and communities. Let’s increase the quality of life for ALL in North Carolina by putting more money into the pockets of those who create VALUE in our society: the workers, the laborers, the people who actually make and do things.

    If we do this, we’ll see an economy stronger than any in history. We can’t do this if we continue to let parasites like landlords steal wages from those of us who work hard. Grocers, cashiers, textile makers, construction workers: these people, these jobs, are essential. Let’s act like it. Let’s pay like it. Landlords do nothing and provide no value. Let’s trim the fat and make life better for all.

    In solidarity with the millions of fellow workers out there.

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