COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

Find the latest updates and announcements from the Judicial Branch on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation throughout the state.

Announcements

The North Carolina Judicial Branch continues to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation throughout the state. The Governor’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Task Force has been preparing and responding to this situation. We will continue to collaborate with state public health partners as well as North Carolina Emergency Management to closely monitor the situation to ensure the health and safety of our courts, judicial community, and the public.

Chief Justice Beasley Issues Order Postponing Court Proceedings Until June 1, 2020 - April 2, 2020
Supreme Court Orders Appellate Court Deadlines Extended - March 27, 2020
Memo to Judicial Employees: Governor Cooper's Stay at Home Order in Response to COVID-19 - March 27, 2020
Chief Justice Beasley Orders Extension of Court System Deadlines - March 19, 2020

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued an order today extending filing deadlines and further curtailing other court processes. The order states that documents due to be filed from March 16 to April 17 will be deemed timely filed if received before the close of business on April 17, 2020, and that any actions required to be done during that time can also be postponed until April 17, 2020. This order does not apply to documents and papers due to be filed or acts due to be done in the appellate courts.

NC Courts Largely Closed in Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - March 15, 2020

Chief Justice Beasley updated several directives delivered in her March 13 order and stressed that while courthouses must remain open, officials must drastically curtail trips to local courts to help reduce community transmission of COVID-19 and further protect employees of the courts who must still interact with the public.

Coronavirus Update for our Courts Memo to Judicial Officials - March 15, 2020
Chief Justice Beasley Announces Judicial Branch Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – March 13, 2020

In a press conference (watch below), Chief Justice Beasley has directed that local courts postpone most cases in district and superior court for at least 30 days, with some exceptions, effective Monday, March 16. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Announcement from NCAOC Director Wooten to Members of the North Carolina State Bar – March 13, 2020

Do not enter courthouse if exposed to COVID-19 poster

Do not enter courthouse if exposed to COVID-19 poster (Spanish)

Other Languages

Scam AlertWe have received reports of the "jury duty scam" taking place in counties. The caller identifies himself or herself as a member of the sheriff’s office, informs the victim that they have failed to appear for jury duty, explains that the clerk’s office has issued an order for their arrest, and advises the victim they can resolve the situation and avoid arrest by paying a large amount of money using a credit or prepaid debit card. 

THIS IS A SCAM! If you receive such a call, simply hang up and do not stay on the phone. Learn more about how to avoid the "jury duty scam."  

County Updates

Local updates or information: visit the county's pages or contact the courthouse.

County court closings or advisories: view the closings page.

Changes in local court sessions may be reported in the counties highlighted in the map and you should look at the details by expanding the “+” for each one. Some counties provide more information, administrative orders, etc., available below and on the county's pages. Be sure to check both during the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Announcements and Administrative Orders

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question about your court case, please first view the county page in which the case is filed for any local announcements, as well as the closings and advisories page, then if needed contact the clerk of superior court office. You may find other helpful information about the court system’s response and county court announcements and updates above.

The Judicial Branch cannot provide legal advice or address actions by individuals or entities that do not involve the courts or the impact of orders issued by the Chief Justice. Individuals who need legal advice about rights and remedies under the law should seek the advice of an attorney.

Will the Chief Justice’s 30-day order expire on April 13 or will it be extended?

To date, the Chief Justice has issued an Order containing two emergency directives: 1) a directive effective March 16, 2020, that postpones non-essential court hearings and proceedings for 30 days; and 2) a directive effective March 16, 2020, instructing clerks to post a notice informing people who have likely been exposed to COVID-19 not to enter the courthouse. Two additional orders have been entered that impact deadlines. On March 19, 2020, the Chief Justice ordered that (i) all pleadings, motions, notices, and other documents and papers that were or are due to be filed in any county on or after Monday, March 16, 2020, and by close of business on Friday, April 17, 2020, in civil actions, criminal actions, estates, and special proceedings shall be deemed timely filed if they are filed before the close of business on Friday, April 17, 2020, and (ii) all other acts that were or are due to be done in any county on or after March 16, 2020, and before close of business on April 17, 2020, in civil actions, criminal actions, estates, and special proceedings shall be deemed timely done if they are done before the close of business on April 17, 2020. The Supreme Court also entered an order on March 27, 2020, extending appellate court deadlines that fall between March 27, 2020, and April 30, 2020, inclusive of those dates, by 60 days. All of these orders are likely to be extended because projections suggest that infections in North Carolina will peak about the same time that the current directives are set to expire.

Is jury duty cancelled?

The Chief Justice’s first order issued March 13, 2020, effective March 16, 2020, provides that it does not apply to proceedings in which a jury has already been empaneled. Jury trials scheduled to begin after that date should have been postponed. For other related information, visit the county announcements above, then view the individual county page of interest.

If someone has a traffic ticket or other court date prior to April 13, is that postponed? Some limited essential proceedings are continuing to be held under the exceptions in the Chief Justice’s March 13, 2020, order that took effect on March 16, 2020. To determine whether a specific court appearance is impacted by COVID-19, members of the public should visit the county announcements above, then view their individual county page.

Are the courts ordering evictions? Hearings in summary ejectment actions should be postponed pursuant to the Chief Justice’s March 13, 2020, order, effective March 16, 2020, requiring most superior and district court proceedings to be postponed for 30 days. Clerks are still required by law to issue writs of possession in cases previously adjudicated and not impacted by the Chief Justice’s March 19, 2020, order.

Are the courts open to victims of domestic violence? The North Carolina courts remain open to victims of domestic violence, and protective orders are continuing to be processed. In 14 counties serving 51% of the state’s population (Alamance, Brunswick, Cumberland, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Orange, Rockingham, Rowan, and Wake), victims of domestic violence can file requests for ex parte requests and Domestic Violence Protective Orders (DVPOs) electronically.

NCAOC is working to provide judicial officials across the state with the tools they need to work remotely during this crisis, including laptops and web-based applications. This crisis highlights the tremendous need for statewide eFiling, which is a project that is underway and needs to be adequately funded by the General Assembly.

What if a parent is out of work due to COVID-19 and child payments are due? This is a question that would require legal advice. Please seek the advice of an attorney. If the NC IV-D agency (North Carolina Child Support Enforcement Agency) is involved in the case, then contact that agency to determine if a review is appropriate.

If child support services is involved, then the following links may be helpful.