This afternoon (Friday, December 11th), Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced that the majority of non-essential, in-person court proceedings will be postponed for 30 days, beginning on Monday, December 14th.
Chief Justice Beasley’s order comes “…in light of the recent surge of new COVID-19 cases…” across North Carolina and seeks to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in courthouses statewide and among the general public. Postponing non-essential proceedings, such as civil cases and small claims cases, limits the need for people to appear in court and interact with others outside of their households. Processes that can occur virtually or through electronic means will continue. “Essential” court cases would typically be those involving immediate safety/harm concerns such as criminal matters, domestic violence, or family court.
For housing, this means that most cases of evictions for nonpayment will likely be postponed past the expiration of the CDC Order on December 31st. Forbearance related proceedings would also be delayed until mid-January.
Despite this reprieve in the state, emergency action is still needed to provide rental, utility, and mortgage assistance to prevent continued damage and long-term devastation. This order does not cancel rent nor provide resources to prevent housing loss. For more information, please see our latest blog.