The Chief Justice's Remote Proceedings Task Force held its first meeting today in Raleigh at the Administrative Office of the Courts in the North Carolina Judicial Center. The Task Force was formed to improve efficiency and reduce the liability and costs associated with transporting individuals from detention facilities to courthouses for court proceedings.
The mission of the Task Force is to develop and standardize a process by which audio visual technology can be utilized statewide to:
- Facilitate hearings between the North Carolina state courts and individuals who are housed in a county detention facility or a North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice (DACJJ) facility and
- Enable Central Regional Hospital to communicate with individuals housed in a county detention facility who are awaiting a determination concerning the defendant’s capacity to proceed.
"We are pleased to begin discussions to launch the important work of the Task Force," said Chief Justice Paul Newby. "It is important that we utilize the technology available to us in the most efficient way so that our courts remain open and accessible, and justice is administered without favor, denial, or delay."
The Task Force will work to accomplish its mission by:
- Establishing a pilot program between one or more county courthouse(s) and one or more jail(s) and prison(s) to hold remote first appearances using audio visual technology;
- Identifying a scheduling system to coordinate hearings between the courts and county and state facilities;
- Implementing a process for attorneys to effectively and confidentially communicate with their clients who are housed in a DACJJ or county detention facility.
The Task Force members are appointed by Chief Justice Paul Newby and are representative of stakeholder groups from the court system — judges, district attorneys, defense attorneys, clerks, magistrates — and other agencies, such as the N.C. Department of Public Safety, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, the N.C. Sheriffs’ Association, and the N.C. Association of County Commissioners.