Thursday April 02, 2020

Courts make additional changes in wake of COVID-19

The Cabarrus County Court System is taking additional steps to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect individual rights and public safety.

A few of additional measures went into effect April 1, including:

  • Courts will continue to hear cases involving due process rights and domestic violence as ordered by the Chief Justice of North Carolina. This also includes hearing matters involving incarcerated defendants.
  • The Cabarrus County Courthouse’s new temporary hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Magistrate’s office will remain open 24/7.
  • Reasonable social distancing within the courthouse is elevated from good common sense to an enforceable rule.
  • Our courts will expand the use of technology to avoid transferring inmates between jails and prisons. We will also seek to use telemedicine for mental health evaluations instead of transporting inmates to locations as distant as Butner, North Carolina.
  • Our magistrates will appoint counsel in felony cases and indigent persons charged with misdemeanors may apply remotely to the Clerk for appointment of counsel.
  • The District Attorney is working with attorneys to expand the use of electronic discovery.
  • The Sheriff is working with lawyers to expand attorney-client meetings with inmates through the use of technology.
  • Orders for arrests for past failures to appear for court for certain misdemeanor offenses are temporarily stayed if they are not necessary for public safety.
  • Future scheduled short-term jail sentences for those on probation will be rescheduled.

We would like to express our appreciation to the courthouse leadership team, Cabarrus County, and the Cabarrus Health Alliance for their assistance in working through these challenges. We would also like to express our thank you to our frontline workers – the staff in the Clerk’s office, our bailiffs, our judicial staff, magistrates, detention workers, probation offers, local attorneys and prosecutors.

For more information, please contact the Clerk’s office at 704-262-5500 or visit the Court’s website at nccourts.org.

-  Judge Martin B. McGee, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge

- Christy E. Wilhelm, Chief District Court Judge

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