, Press Release

Chief Justice's Remote Proceedings Task Force Holds Inaugural Meeting

The Task Force will work to develop a process to utilize audio visual technology to hold remote hearings for those in detention facilities.

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 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.

The members of the Task Force on Remote Proceedings
Pictured from left to right: Perquimans County Clerk of Superior Court Todd Tilley, NCAOC Chief Technology Officer Anthony Whitmore, NCDPS Deputy Secretary Juvenile Justice William Lassiter, NCDPS IT Application Development Director John Woodlock, Court Reporter Kimmel McDiarmid (District 15B), North Carolina Association of Counties Legislative Counsel Adam Pridemore (for Kevin Leonard), Johnston County Clerk of Superior Court Michelle Ball, NCDPS Chief Deputy Secretary for DACJJ Tim Moose, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour (District 15B), NC IDS Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry, North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Eddie Caldwell (task force co-chair), NCAOC Deputy Director Ryan Boyce, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Martin McGee (District 19A / task force co-chair), Cabarrus County Chief Information Officer Todd Shanley, NCAOC Director Judge Andrew Heath, Defense Attorney Patrick Weede, NCAOC Training and Services Director Mike Silver, Chief District Court Judge Charlie Brown (District 19C), and NC IDS Executive Director Mary S. Pollard. Not Pictured: District Attorney Ted Bell (Prosecutorial District 41), Davidson County Magistrate Jason Cheek, NCDPS Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee, and North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Executive Director Kevin Leonard.