COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

Find COVID-19 announcements, FAQs, and more.

Help Us Keep the Public and Our Staff Safe

Courts are operating with reduced capacity. By order of the Chief Justice, only people with business at the courthouse will be allowed to enter. Masks or face coverings are encouraged, and in some locations may be required. Filings are encouraged to be mailed and will be treated as timely if received by mail within 5 days of the due date. You may be able to handle your ticket or citation through our online services. You can also sign up there for text and email reminders about your court date.

Check your county's information for changes to hours of operations, remote hearings, announcements, and more. If you need additional information, contact the clerk of superior court office before going to the courthouse. Find updates for the Supreme CourtCourt of Appeals, and Business Court.

Announcements and Orders

Many court operations have been modified by orders of the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court since March. While a summary is provided below, you should read the applicable order for details that might affect your case. See the orders below.

Filing Deadlines

  • Filings in civil cases that were due between March 16 and June 1 will be timely filed if they are filed before the close of business on June 1.
  • Filings in criminal matters have been extended to July 31.
  • Filings due pursuant to a statute of limitation or statute of repose have been extended to July 31.
  • Filings due in the appellate courts between March 27 and April 30 have been extended by 60 days.
  • Notices of appeal due to be filed between March 16 and June 1 must be filed by June 30.

Emergency Directives

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has entered a number of emergency directives affecting operations of the trial courts.

  • No jury trials will be held until after July 31.
  • Courts must allow for social distancing when scheduling cases.
  • Many hearings can now be conducted online by teleconference.
  • Documents that ordinarily require a notary can be submitted with a signed statement under penalty of perjury.
  • Some documents can be served on another party or attorney by email.
  • Due dates for fines and fees in criminal cases and traffic tickets are extended 90 days.
  • Pending bond forfeitures are stayed until September 30.
  • Filings submitted by mail will be timely if received within 5 days of the due date.
  • Magistrates may require appointments and limit the hours available for marriages.
  • Clerks may require appointments and limit the hours that public records are available.
  • Evictions have been stayed until June 20.

Orders

Order of the Chief Justice Issuing Emergency Directives 21 and 22   July 16, 2020 Order
Order of the Chief Justice Extending Emergency Directives 2 to 8   June 29, 2020 Order
Order of the Chief Justice Extending Emergency Directives 18   June 29, 2020 Order
Order of the Chief Justice Extending Emergency Directives 9 to 16   June 20, 2020 Order | Spanish
Order of the Chief Justice Issuing Emergency Directive 20   June 20, 2020 Order  | Spanish
Order of the Chief Justice Emergency Directives 17 to 19 for Staying all Pending Evictions and Establishing New Mediation Program   May 30, 2020 Order  |  Spanish
Order of the Chief Justice Extending and Modifying Emergency Directives 2 to 8   May 30, 2020 Order  |  Spanish
Order of the Chief Justice Extending Time and Periods of Limitation for Filing Notice of Appeal   May 30, 2020 Order  |  Spanish
Order of the Chief Justice Extending Filing Deadlines   May 21, 2020 Order
Order of the Chief Justice Emergency Directives 9 to 16   May 21, 2020 Order  |  Spanish
Order of the Supreme Court Modifying Certain Rules of Practice and Continuing Judicial Education   May 14, 2020 Order
Order of the Chief Justice Extending Emergency Directives 1 to 8 until May 30   May 1, 2020   |  Spanish
Order of the Chief Justice Emergency Directive to Resume Marriage Ceremonies   April 16, 2020
Order of the Chief Justice Extending Filing and Court-Related Deadlines   April 13, 2020   |  
Order of the Chief Justice Emergency Directives 1 to 7 Postponing Court Proceedings Until June 1   April 2, 2020 Order  |  Spanish
Order of the Supreme Court Extending Appellate Court Deadlines   March 27, 2020 Order
Order of the Chief Justice Extending Court System Deadlines   March 19, 2020 Order  |  Spanish
Order of the Chief Justice Emergency Directives 1 to 2   March 13, 2020 Order  |  Spanish

 
Find and search all local orders, rules, and forms
.

Other Languages

Scam Alert

We 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.

COVID-19: County Updates

Find county announcements and administrative orders regarding COVID-19.

COVID-19: FAQs

Find frequently asked questions about court during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: NCAOC Guidance to Court Personnel

Find NCAOC guidance to court officials concerning the court system’s response to COVID-19.

County Updates

Find the latest COVID-19 updates by county, including orders, changes to hours of operations, remote hearings, announcements, and more.

Also, see the closings and advisories page where some changes in local court sessions may be reported. Counties provide information, administrative orders, and more on the county's pages. Be sure to check both during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find and search all local orders, rules, and forms.

General Frequently Asked Questions

Spanish | Preguntas frecuentes

If you have a question about your court case, please first view the county's pages 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 announcements 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.

Is jury duty canceled?

Yes. The Chief Justice has ordered all jury trials to be postponed. However, if you have received a summons to serve on a grand jury, you should report on the day required.

Are the courts ordering evictions? The stay of summary ejectment and eviction actions pending in the trial divisions in Emergency Directive 17 issued by Chief Justice Beasley in a May 30th order has expired. Trials in small claim actions seeking possession of real property were allowed to resume on Monday, June 22nd, subject to other Emergency Directives issued to ensure safety protocols such as social distancing. Review COVID-19 information for landlords and tenants from the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center.

Are the courts open to victims of domestic violence? North Carolina courts remain open, and protective orders are being processed. Victims of domestic violence in Alamance, Brunswick, Cumberland, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Orange, Rockingham, Rowan, or Wake counties can file online with the help of a local domestic violence service provider.

What if a parent is out of work due to COVID-19 and child support payments are due? You should seek the advice of an attorney. If the NC IV-D agency (North Carolina Child Support Enforcement Agency) is involved in the case, contact Child Support Services to determine if a review is appropriate.

What happens to upset bids during this time? All sales of real property subject to an upset bid period continue to be subject to upset bids. Please note that some clerk’s offices are operating with limited staff and hours. Please plan accordingly. (Note: Emergency Directive 15 in Chief Justice Beasley’s order entered on June 20, which currently expires on July 20, applies to filings, including upset bids, submitted to the Clerk of Superior Court by U.S. Mail.)

Does the Chief Justice’s Emergency Directive allow court reporters to take oaths remotely in depositions? The Chief Justice’s Emergency Directive temporarily waives the requirement for an oath to be administered in a deposition. The directive states, “When it is required that an oath be taken . . . it shall be sufficient if the subscriber affirms the truth of the matter to be verified. . .” The directive does not waive the in-person requirement for taking of oaths or conducting other notarial acts.

Do I have to have documents notarized? The Chief Justice’s Emergency Directive allows documents to be filed without a notary if the following statement appears on the document instead.

“I (we) affirm, under the penalties for perjury, that the foregoing representation(s) is (are) true. (Signed) ___________________”

Jury Service Frequently Asked Questions

Jury Service During COVID-19 FAQs (PDF)

Why are the courts summoning jurors when the virus is still going around and there is no cure?

Jury service is one of the cornerstones of our system of justice, expressly provided for in the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina Constitution. The Court has an obligation to uphold the constitutional rights of the citizens of this state, which includes the right to a jury trial. We are making every effort to take the necessary steps to keep reporting jurors safe while still protecting the rights of individuals and providing meaningful access to the courts.

What safety precautions are being taken at the courthouse to protect jurors?

Safety precautions may vary by courthouse / facility. Steps are being taken to clean facilities frequently according to CDC guidelines and to create an environment conducive to social distancing. Court staff is encouraged to wear masks and wash hands frequently. Some courthouses are taking temperatures and requiring the public to wear a cloth face covering. Plexiglass has been installed in some courthouses to serve as a barrier. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina has directed that hand sanitizer be made available, at a minimum, at all entrances to court facilities. Jury selection and / or trials may be held in a different location if the courthouse or courtroom cannot safely accommodate social distancing for jurors.

Notices have been posted at the entrance to each court facility directing that any person who has likely been exposed to COVID-19 should not enter the courthouse. Attorneys and other persons who do not have business in a courthouse should not enter a courthouse, and those who do have business in a courthouse should not prolong their visit once their business has concluded. Attorneys are strongly encouraged to submit filings by mail rather than in person.

Visit your county’s page to view any local orders regarding specific procedures, such as required face coverings. See the Judicial Branch COVID-19 page for more information and emergency directives. There may also be local city or county government orders in place that require face coverings.

I am considered a high-risk individual for COVID-19 and I have been summoned for jury service. Do I have to appear?

Contact the jury coordinator in your county for juror excuse policy information.

I live with a person / I am a caretaker for a person who is a high-risk individual for COVID-19 and I have been summoned for jury service. Do I have to appear?

Contact the jury coordinator in your county for juror excuse policy information.

Do I have to wear a mask at the courthouse?

Some courthouses may require you to wear a mask or cloth face covering before being allowed to enter.

Visit your county’s page to view any local orders regarding specific procedures, such as required face coverings. There may also be local city or county government orders in place that require face coverings.

Will a mask be provided if I do not have one?

Visit your county’s page to view any local orders regarding specific procedures, such as required face coverings and the availability of masks if you appear without a mask.

Do I need to bring my own hand sanitizer?

The Chief Justice has directed that hand sanitizer be made available, at a minimum, at all entrances to court facilities. Please be aware security policies may prevent you from entering the courthouse if you have your own sanitizer. Please check with the local facility before appearing for court.

If I am selected, how will the jury pool be seated to ensure social distancing?

Every effort will be made to practice social distancing in the jury pool and jury box. In addition to other protective measures, the Chief Justice has ordered that spaces where the public and jurors will congregate be marked at intervals of 6 feet to ensure social distancing.

Jury selection and / or trials may be held in a different location if the courthouse or courtroom cannot safely accommodate social distancing for jurors.

If selected for a jury, will jurors be seated in a small room to deliberate?

Every effort will be made to practice social distancing during jury trials and deliberations. The Chief Justice created a COVID-19 Task Force that has developed guidelines and best practices for the conduct of in-person court proceedings in compliance with current public health guidance. The Chief Justice also ordered that each court facility designate a COVID-19 Coordinator who is directed to determine whether there is adequate space in the court facility to convene a jury trial in keeping with current public health guidance.

In making this determination, the COVID-19 Coordinator will take into account the need for the jury to observe social distancing, as well as for jurors to be socially distanced in the courtroom and any deliberation room.

The COVID-19 Coordinator is encouraged to consult with the local public health director, or their designee, in making this determination where possible. Jury selection and / or trials may be held in a different location if the courthouse or courtroom cannot safely accommodate social distancing for jurors. If you have additional questions, check with the local facility before appearing for court.

How long will the trial last?

This will vary by the policies established by each county’s COVID-19 Coordinator in collaboration with local court leadership. Courts have been encouraged to limit the trial duration and to prioritize less complex trials that will require less time to hear in order to shorten the time a juror must appear.

How long will I be in court each day?

This will vary by the policies established by each county’s COVID-19 Coordinator in collaboration with local court leadership.

What should I do if I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms prior to my jury service date?

Do not appear at the courthouse to report your symptoms. If you begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms prior to your jury service date, please inform the jury coordinator in your county by phone.

What should I do if I experience COVID-19 symptoms during my jury service?

If you begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms during your period of jury service while at the court facility, please inform the nearest court employee (e.g., clerk, bailiff).

What should I do if I have concerns about the safety measures in the courthouse or if I feel safety precautions are not being followed?

If at any time during your jury service you are concerned about your health or safety due to a lack of safety measures or because guidelines are not being followed (e.g., social distancing is not being practiced, there is no hand sanitizer at the courthouse entrance), please bring your concerns to the attention of the judge, the clerk, or the bailiff to be addressed.

NCAOC Guidance to Court Personnel

Find NCAOC guidance to court officials concerning the court system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  

Judicial Branch COVID-19 Task Force

Find information, meetings, and working groups of the Judicial Branch COVID-19 Task Force tasked with recommending emergency directives and policy changes related to the COVID-19 health emergency.