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New orders stay evictions, extend filing deadlines

North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has entered new emergency orders that extend several existing emergency directives, extend the time for filing a notice of appeal, stay all pending evictions, and create a new mediation program for evictions.

The new orders were issued on May 30, the same day that Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order placing a moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants and providing relief for people unable to pay their utility bills due to the pandemic. Beasley’s order brings all pending evictions in the trial courts to a halt until June 21, the same period specified in Cooper’s order, and states that sheriffs aren’t required to execute pending writs of possession until the end of June.

The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts will create an affidavit that landlords must file in pending evictions to certify that the property is not subject to a federal moratorium on evictions that remains in effect until late July.

Beasley announced the creation of a new mediation program specific to summary ejectments, the most common form of eviction proceeding for residential tenants. The program will be conducted in partnership with Legal Aid of North Carolina, which has agreed to recruit and train mediators who will serve pro bono to help to settle pending evictions for low-income tenants, according to a statement released by the AOC.

Beasley also entered an order extending the deadline for filing a notice of appeal to June 30. It applies to any case in which the deadline for appeal fell between March 16 and June 1, and is intended to resolve any ambiguity about what deadline applies in such cases.

The final order extends seven previously issued emergency directives. These permit trial courts to continue using remote technology to conduct hearings and screen entrants to courthouses for symptoms of COVID-19, allow some documents to be served by email, waive notary requirements, and require magistrates to continue performing marriages statewide.

An emergency directive that had required the rescheduling of most trial court hearings was not extended.

Staff reports

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