The Mecklenburg County court shares the priorities of the local Bar and the public of protecting our collective public health while ensuring access to justice. These unprecedented times have required us to modify court operations to reduce the possibility of transmission of COVID-19. The next phase of court expansion launched October 19, 2020. This phase includes the expansion of criminal district court operations, the expansion of operational hours for the Clerk of Superior Court, a virtual hearing presumption in civil cases, and the resumption of jury trials. The October 22, 2020 Administrative Order linked here replaces the October 21, 2020 Administrative Order linked in yesterday’s Press Release.
Expanding Criminal District Court Operations
Through a phased approach we will resume hearings for criminal arraignments and bench trials in district court, misdemeanor probation violations, criminal contempt and district civil bench hearings. Details regarding the expansion of criminal district court operations may be found in the October 22, 2020 Administrative Order.
Expanded Hours with the Clerk of Court
The Mecklenburg County Clerk of Superior Court will be open to the public Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00AM and 3:00PM. Details regarding the expansion of the Clerk of Superior Court’s operations may be found in the October 22, 2020 Administrative Order.
Virtual Hearing Presumption in Civil Cases
Our ability to open more courtrooms to schedule in-person criminal sessions is contingent on reducing in-person hearings in civil matters and expanding the use of technology to conduct civil hearings virtually. All Domestic Court hearings, except those in which the right of a contemnor to confront witnesses or be present is implicated by the proceeding, shall be presumptively scheduled for a remote hearing. The Administrative Order detailing the Remote Hearing Presumption for Civil Matters in the District Court may be found here. Details regarding the Procedures for Remote Hearings in the 26th Judicial District may be found here.
Resumption of Jury Trials
Jury Trials will resume in Mecklenburg County on Monday, November 16, 2020. The Resumption of Jury Trials Plan for the 26th Judicial District Pursuant to Chief Justice’s Emergency Directive 22 may be found here.
For a list of all Mecklenburg County forms and orders please visit the Mecklenburg County Local Rules and Forms page.