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Guilford County (Continued)

05/04/2020

JUDGES’ SCHEDULE FOR REMOTE HEARINGS

(Updated May 3, 2020)

Week of May 4 – 8, 2020:
Courtroom 2E – Judge Susan Burch
Courtroom 3A (GSO) – Judge Teresa Vincent
Courtroom 3A (Hpt) – Judge Michelle Fletcher (on regular schedule)

Week of May 11-15, 2020:
Courtroom 2E – Judge Teresa Vincent
Courtroom 3A (GSO) – Judge Michelle Fletcher
Courtroom 3A (Hpt) – Judge Tabitha Holliday

Week of May 18-22, 2020: No court on the 18th
Courtroom 2E – Judge Michelle Fletcher (9:00 to 11:00 am)
Courtroom 3A – Judge Teresa Vincent (9:00 to 11:00 am)
Courtroom 3A (Hpt.) – Judge Marcus Shields (9:00 to 11:00 am)

Week of May 25 -29, 2020:
Courtroom 2E – Judge Susan Burch
Courtroom 3A (GSO) – Judge Bill Davis
Courtroom 3A (Hpt) – Judge Marcus Shields (on regular schedule)


04/30/2020

From: Wallace, Stephanie M. <Stephanie.M.Wallace@nccourts.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2020 12:51 PM
Subject: Message from Judge Vincent

Good afternoon Members of the Domestic/Civil Bar,

I understand that I have many opinions about the remote calendar call. I also understand that many of you are unfamiliar with WebEx. I already indicated that it is similar to Zoom, and it is. Many of us prefer Zoom. However, NCAOC has requested that we utilize WebEx instead of Zoom for court hearings and matters because it is a much safer platform. Please review the video in the following link to expand your knowledge regarding remote court hearings if you would like to do so. (Judges and an attorney in Texas are the presenters): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayaENNMKSqs (control and click to access this link or cut and paste it in your browser)

I am also aware that many of you may be frustrated with the idea of not being able to discuss your court date if you are unable to agree to one before the calendar call. Please keep in mind that we have three calendars in Greensboro to get through before we begin the High Point calendar call at 2:00 pm. Also, remember that calendar call is already a tedious process that would be even more difficult and time-consuming for the judge calling the calendar to find the names of the attorneys involved in the discussion to unmute them before resolving the issue. Due to the decreased numbers in High Point civil, it may be feasible to allow for such a process. Therefore, if the judge presiding over that calendar call wishes to allow for such discussion, he or she may do so.

Please keep in mind that these are unprecedented times that have required us to be creative while being flexible. I know that there will be procedures that may be less than ideal. However, we are trying to create an opportunity to resume scheduling and hearings in a measured way that balances time constraints, the health, and well-being of court personnel, as well as attorneys and litigants.

You will have the opportunities to express your concerns and thoughts at our meeting via zoom on May 18, 2020, at 10:00 am. If there is a high level of discomfort with having a remote calendar call after our virtual meeting on May 18, 2020, we will consider canceling the remote calendar call and continuing with remote hearings until we fully reopen the courts.

I would ask that respect the difficulty of these times and keep in mind that these processes are fluid and evolving, just as this pandemic is. Thank you all for your time and attention. May you all remain safe and healthy.

Best Regards,


Teresa H. Vincent
Chief District Court Judge
Guilford
North Carolina Judicial Branch
O 336-412-7800
F 336-412-7805

Justice for all
www.NCcourts.org

04/27/2020

Protocol for Remote Webex Hearings
  1. Types of Hearings Permitted Remotely:
    1. a. Temporary Custody (30 Minutes per litigant to produce evidence/10 minutes per side for closing arguments); Courtrooms 3A
    2. b. Temporary Child Support/PSS (30 minutes per litigant/15 minutes per side closing arguments); Courtroom 2E
    3. c. Discovery Motions including Motions to Compel (15 minutes, including closing arguments); Courtroom 2E
    4. d. Pre-trial conferences (5 minutes per litigant/10 minutes per case); (Courtrooms 2E & 3A)
    5. e.Legal Motions (non-testimonial) – 12(b)(6), Summary Judgment
    6. (other than divorce) (15 minutes per litigant) (Courtroom 2E)
    7. f. Testimonial Divorces (10 minutes/each case) (Courtroom 2E)
    8. g. Judicial Settlement Conferences will be available for ALL claims upon request. Individual judge will set time limit
    9. h. Note: All of the above will be scheduled in 3A (High Point).However, remote hearings will not be scheduled in High Point on Mondays.Cases are subject to being assigned to either 2E or 3A (GSO) if it becomes necessary to do so, due to court availability.
  2. Limitations:
    1. a. All parties must consent to participate by remote hearing.
    2. b. All hearings and conferences are subject to the time limits listed above.Time spent for cross-examinations will be applied to the time allocated to the attorney/litigant cross examining a witness/litigant.
    3. c. No exhibits will be permitted except with permission of the Judge.If permitted, only 5 exhibits per side (maximum 5 pages per exhibit) shall be permitted, unless otherwise permitted by the court. This may be determined by having a pre-trial conference the day prior to the trial.
    4. d. All exhibits must be placed in a share file box or emailed to the TCC (Stephanie Wallace or Pat Dixon, and emailed to the opposing party, at least 48 hours prior to the hearing).However, an exception will be given for hearings scheduled for May 4th or 5th due to time constraints.Exhibits must be submitted within 24 hours prior to the hearing for hearings scheduled for May 4th or 5th.Otherwise, the “forty-eight-hour rule” applies.If exhibits are not provided to the court or the opposing party, they will not be admitted as evidence.
    5. e. Just because an exhibit is produced correctly does not mean it is admissible.Parties are free to object to exhibits during the hearing.However, it would be advisable to resolve these issues in a pre-trial conference in order to streamline the hearing.
  3. Scheduling
    1. a. All remote hearings will be scheduled through the Trial Coordinator (TCC).
    2. b. The email requesting a remote hearing must include:
      1. i. A copy of the completed Remote Hearings Request form with an acknowledgment that all parties consent to a remote hearing, the limitations on the hearing, and the proposed dates;
      2. ii. An attached copy of the motion or complaint to be heard;
      3. iii. A list of emails of all attorneys, parties and witnesses to be invited to the hearing; and
      4. iv. Three potential dates for the hearing that are at least 7 days out from the request for which parties are available.
    3. c. Dates must be at least 7 days out to allow time for scheduling, exhibit production, and pulling files, EXCEPT for the first week of remote hearings.We will begin these hearings on May 4, 2020. Due to time constraints, request(s) must be submitted by Wednesday, April 29th for cases to be heard during the week of May 4, 2020.
    4. d. Remote trials will only be scheduled daily from 9:00 to 12:30 pm, except there will no remote hearings in courtroom 3A in High Point on Mondays.
    5. e. Hearings will be prioritized or ranked in accordance with the age of each case.Therefore, the oldest cases or motions will be given priority over newer cases.
    6. f. Pre-trial conferences and other brief matters may be scheduled in the afternoons from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Once you submit your remote hearing request, the TCC will inform you of the date and time of your hearing and pre-trial conference. If your case is scheduled for hearing, a pre-trial conference with the assigned judge will be scheduled by the TCC.The pre-trial conference will take place the day before the hearing date.
  4. Recording
    1. a. All hearings will be recorded by the Clerk of Superior Court and/or the Judge.Attorneys, parties and witnesses or attendees are not permitted to record the proceeding.Requests for recordings can be made through the Guilford County Clerk’s office. Any violation of this provision is punishable by contempt of court.
  5. Attendance
    1. a. Only parties, counsel, and witnesses will be invited to the hearing.All parties and counsel must be able to be heard and seen (preferably) by all other parties.
    2. b. Witnesses may be admitted to the hearing before or when it is time for them to testify (depending on the judge).They should leave the hearing after testimony, unless the attorneys/parties make a request to have them remain after their testimony is complete.
    3. c. Attorneys shall not forward the link to the hearing.They must provide the emails of all proposed parties and witnesses in advance to the Trial Court Administrator.
    4. d. The assigned judge may decide to “close the courtroom” for the remote hearing.Otherwise, members of the public such as friends or family who wish to attend must make a request directly to a Trial Court Coordinator to be invited to the hearing. Members of the public must provide the case name and time of the hearing, and a Trial Court Coordinator will send them an invitation.All members of the public must have their video ON, and their audio muted.
  6. Miscellaneous
    1. a. No notice of hearing will be required for a remote hearing once the parties agree to the date.An invitation to the WebEx hearing will suffice.
    2. b. All other pertinent rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rules will apply to the hearing.
    3. c. Business casual or business attire is appropriate dress for parties and counsel.
    4. d. Witnesses should be in a room alone during testimony, without access to any documents or papers, other than copies of exhibits already provided to the Court and opposing parties.
    5. e. If they are in separate locations, attorneys and parties may communicate privately via text or email during the hearing, provided however, parties may not communicate with counsel while they are testifying.No one may communicate with witnesses privately during the hearing without court permission.
    6. f. If an interpreter is needed, please indicate that in the email. A request will be made to AOC and send an appropriate invitation to the interpreter.We cannot guarantee that interpreters will be available for the dates and times chosen by the parties for a WebEx hearing.

04/20/2020

From: Wallace, Stephanie M. Stephanie.M.Wallace@nccourts.org
Sent: Monday, April 20, 2020 12:20 PM
Subject: Letter from Judge Vincent

Good morning members of the Civil/Domestic Bar,

I hope you are well considering the unprecedented times we are currently living in. I know that many of you are interested in remote hearings.

At this time, we are working on a remote hearings policy and an administrative order that should be completed by the end of the week. I have already scheduled a meeting with the judges to ensure that we have a consensus regarding the policy.

The tentative plan is to begin scheduling remote hearings for May 2020. In addition, we will likely schedule the court hearings in accordance with the age of the case and by request of attorneys (similar to special settings). In addition, you can expect strict limitations for: the type of remote hearings that will be heard; the amount of documents that must be submitted in advance of the hearing; and the time allotted for the hearing.

Among other matters that are conducive to short hearings, you can expect that we will likely specify temporary custody hearings, child support and/or post separation cases as eligible for remote hearings. The policy will likely require that evidence be submitted forty-eight hours prior to the hearing and a pre-trial hearing in advance of the hearing to ensure that everyone is clear about the status of the case and prepared to proceed. However, remote hearings will likely be heard only for cases wherein attorneys and litigants agree to remote hearings.

Please keep in mind that this is merely a forecast of how we will proceed with remote hearings. Again, I am hopeful that I will have a finalized policy by the end of the week. Thank you for your patience and cooperation with the courts during this difficult time.

Court

Teresa H. Vincent
Chief District Court Judge
Guilford


North Carolina Judicial Branch
O 336-412-7800
F 336-412-7805

Justice for all
www.NCcourts.org

Effective Monday, March 16th, we will not be holding court unless there is an emergency situation for District Court Civil matters in Guilford County. Courtroom 2-B will operate as normal with regard to Ex Parte 50-B/50-C and their returns. Therefore, all other Civil matters, trials and motions, currently scheduled to be heard from Monday, March 16th, 2020 through Friday, May 29, 2020 in District Court will be postponed. If you believe your matter falls under an emergency circumstance, such as requesting a Civil Temporary Restraining Order, Exparte Custody please contact Stephanie Wallace (Greensboro) at Stephanie.M.Wallace@nccourts.org or Margaret Vongsoumphou cjdcv4@nccourts.org ; ( High Point) Patricia.M.Dixon@nccourts.org for direction and scheduling concerns.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter and for your cooperation/patience during this time as we work through the next few weeks on rescheduling matters in Guilford County District Court.

North Carolina Judicial Branch

Stephanie M. Wallace
Trial Court Coordinator
18th Judicial District/ District Court Judges
PO Box 3008
Greensboro NC 27402

North Carolina Judicial Branch
O 336-412-7814
F 336-412-7805

Justice for all
www.NCcourts.org

E-mail correspondence to and from this address may be subject to the
North Carolina public records laws and if so, may be disclosed.


04/09/2020

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04/06/2020

Amended Guilford County Order

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03/31/2020

Guilford County Amends Stay At Home Order

Official Amended Guilford County Order

In the news: Rhino Times: Guilford County Amends Stay At Home Order


03/25/2020

Official Guilford County Order

Guilford County, Greensboro and High Point to announce countywide 'stay home' order.

In the news: News & Record: Guilford County, Greensboro and High Point announce countywide 'stay home' order.


03/23/2020

Chief's Report
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03/17/2020

See below concerning High Point Civil Court hearings and court dates. Please do not worry about your case. Your lead counsel with Woodruff Family Law Group is working very hard at this moment to look for the best alternatives to suggest to you. If you have a court date already planned for the remainder of March or April, we will be handling those situations first, and your lead counsel from Woodruff Family Law Group will be in touch with you.

Due to Civil District Court closing until the month of April 16, 2020, High Point will not have calendar call on March 27, 2020 for the April session. All the cases that were scheduled for the April session have been continued to May 04, 2020 session with calendar call being April 30, 2020 @ 9:00am in courtroom 3-A.

With this being said, you will need to be in court for calendar call on April 30, 2020 @ 9:00am to have your case set for the May session.

If you have a Divorce case scheduled in the High Point for any date prior to April 27, 2020 it has been rescheduled to be heard at 9:00 am in courtroom 3-A on April 27, 2020.

The High Point Pro-Se cases that have been scheduled prior to April 28, 20,20 have been rescheduled to be heard at 9:00am in courtroom 3-A on April 28, 2020.


03/17/2020

Modified Child Custody Mediation Procedures

During the Corona Virus Precaution Period
(to be in place until future notice)

By Order of the Chief District Court Judge for the Eighteenth Judicial District, due to the public health risks of the COVID-19 outbreak, the following modified procedures for Child Custody Mediation shall be in effect until further notice:

  1. Custody Mediation Orientation. In-person Custody Mediation Orientation sessions are temporarily suspended until further notice. During this temporary period, parties may complete the court-approved online Orientation offered by the NC Administrative Office of the Courts. No other online custody mediation orientation program will be accepted.

    To register for the court-approved online Orientation, please contact the Custody Mediation Administrator at (336) 412-7815 or at Michele.G.McRae@nccourts.org for more information.

    Parties who had registered for a previously scheduled in-person Orientation Session should complete the online Orientation in order to avoid unnecessary delay of their Custody Mediation.

    Parties who have not completed the court-approved online Orientation will receive notice to appear at a later session once in-person sessions resume

  2. Parent Education Class. In the event that in-person classes are temporarily suspended by the third-party provider for any of the court-approved parent education classes, parties may complete the online course, Two Families Now by IrisEd (www.twofamiliesnow.com).

    To register for the court-approved online class, please contact the Custody Mediation Administrator at (336) 412-7815 or at Michele.G.McRae@nccourts.org for more information.

  3. Custody Mediation Sessions. Custody Mediation sessions will continue to be held as scheduled by the Custody Mediation Office until further notice. Parties will participate remotely by teleconference/videoconference and these appointments will be made by the Custody Mediation office.


03/16/2020

Dear Clients,

If your case is in Guilford County, please find below the **Amended** Administrative Order of our Chief Judge Vincent. Please feel free to email questions to your lead counsel concerning your particular case. We are on top of this.

Amended Admin Order COVID-19 (Filed) PDF

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03/16/2020

Dear Clients,

If your case is in Guilford County, please find attached the Administrative Order of our Chief Judge Vincent. Please feel free to email questions to your lead counsel concerning your particular case. We are on top of this.

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