Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COIVD-19) Update

March 23, 2020 – Published by Robinson Law Firm

Since our last post on Monday, March 16th, a lot has changed. Multiple directives and orders have been entered by our Governor, N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice, and local Court officials. We have addressed hundreds of questions about the status of our court system considering COVID-19.  Following is a timeline, summary and link to the directives and orders that affect the day-to-day operations of the court system.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper

  • 10 March 2020     Executive Order 116 declares a State of Emergency that waives transportation and contract restrictions to ensure adequate supplies and resources, prohibits excessive pricing, memorializes the COVID-19 task force, authorizes the hiring of additional labor force to support the response to the public health threat, and seeks federal assistance.
  • 14 March 2020   Executive Order 117 prohibits mass gatherings of more than 100, closes public schools until March 30th, unless extended, and urges social and physical distancing, and proper sanitizing.
  • 17 March 2020    Executive Order 118 limits sale of food and beverages to carry out, drive-through, and delivery only, and directs unemployment benefits directly related to COVID-19 to be extended to the maximum period allowed by federal law.
  • 21 March 2020    Executive Order 119 eliminates restrictions and allows waivers to facilitate and expand child care access to those health care related workers, first responders and others working to keep our community safe and healthy, restricts access to DMV services for health concerns, and postpones all DMV-related hearings not required by law to be set within 60 days.

N.C. Chief Justice Beasley

  • 13 March 2020    Enters Order that continues all non-emergency superior court and district court date proceedings for a period of 30 days.
  • 15 March 2020    Issues “Coronavirus Update” memorandum to all Senior Resident Superior Court Judges, Chief District Court Judges, Clerks of Superior Court, District Attorneys and Public Defenders that further details the need to reduce foot traffic and presence in all courthouses across the State.  “Put simply, it cannot be business as usual for our court system. Non-essential court functions that cannot be accomplished using remote technology must be postponed.”
  • 19 March 2020    Enters Order extending the filing deadlines and periods of limitations for all court documents that must be filed from March 16th to April 17th to on or before close of business on April 17th.  The extension does not apply to documents or papers to be filed or acts due in the appellate courts.

Pitt Senior Resident & Chief District Court Judge

  • 17 March 2020    Enters Order that restricts all court proceedings to essential, emergency matters, ex parte matters, first appearances, those in custody, and mandatory probation matters, and suspends operation of the Grand Jury.
  • 17 March 202    Enters Order that suspends the service of an active sentence by a defendant on probation in the Pitt County Detention Centers as a special condition of probation until May 16th. The defendant should continue to comply with all conditions of probation, except the active sentence of probation that is to be served in the Pitt County Detention Center.

Pitt County Clerk of Court

  • 17 March 2020    Clerk of Court publishes notice that advises the public of access to the facilities and services offered by the Clerk of Court in compliance with the orders entered by the Governor, Chief Justice and local Senior Resident Superior Court Judge and Chief District Court Judge.

Other Helpful Resources About COVID-19 

  • “By The Numbers” – COVID-19 Case Count in North Carolina “By The Numbers” is updated at 11:00 a.m. daily and provides the total number of cases, deaths, and tests completed in North Carolina, and US cases and US deaths. The link also lets you search your county for similar information.
  • COVID-19 Guidance -This link lists helpful information for businesses, restaurants, colleges, universities, childcare facilities, health care providers and local health departments, with additional links for FAQs.
  • FAQ About COVID-19 – This link answers questions about the disease, symptoms, risks, preventative measures, contamination issues, precautions and preparations, testing, and vaccines.
  • Pitt County: COVID-19 – This link provides resources to answer questions about COVID-19 and how it is directly affecting Pitt County citizens and the County Departments and Facilities.

We will continue to provide our clients with relentless representation. We continue to modify our day-to-day operations and implement mitigation measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to provide you with updates that affect our court systems as they become available. We are available to answer any questions you have about your case or about how the emergency directives and orders for COVID-19 affect your personal and/or business actions and conduct.

Together, we will persevere through this crisis and its challenges. Thank you for your cooperation, support, patience and understanding. We are here for you. Faith over Fear!

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