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Guilford County

10/12/2020

Administrative Order: Court Closure Due to Covid-19

09/02/2020

AMENDED COVID-19 Administrative Order


08/27/2020

Admin Order: Scheduling and Hearing of Court Motions and Other Matters by Audio-Video Conference

Remote Hearings Information


08/13/2020

Admin Order: Spectator Access to Domestic Court Remote Hearings


07/31/2020

Chief's Corner July 2020 to Domestic Attroneys


07/30/2020

Amended Administrative Order


07/29/2020

Administrative Order


07/24/2020

Administrative Order-Greensboro Courthouse Only


07/13/2020

Administrative Order Regarding COVID-19 Safety Procedures for the Eighteenth Judicial District


05/19/2020

(Amended May 18, 2020)

Remote Calendar Call

June 2020, Term of Court

On June 1, 2020, at 9:00 am, Domestic Courts Calendars will be called remotely for courtrooms 2E (ED and Regular). Upon completion of the 2E calendar call, we will take a fifteen-minute recess. The judge will then proceed to call the Greensboro 3A calendar call. On June 1, 2020, at 2:00 pm, we will also remotely call the High Point 3A calendar.


You will receive a link to participate. Please speak with the opposing attorney or pro se litigant in advance of the calendar call and have the agreed-upon date ready to type your agreed upon court date in the chat box after your case is called. Also, if you know the projected time necessary to hear your case, include it with your date in the chat box.


This process is essential to have an efficient and fluid calendar call. If you fail to have a date prepared for submission to the court, the judge may defer your input until after the completion of the calendar call, which negatively impacts the priority of your case. There will be an exception for child support, post-separation support, and temporary custody cases. If attorneys are unable to select a date for cases involving these issues, the judge will address these matters when the judge addresses the cases a second time. However, if the judge schedules the case, you will not lose your place on the calendar. Judges will mute attorneys to reduce noisy feedback and disruptions during the call of the calendar. Once a judge calls a case, please insert the date selected in the chat box. Of course, the court expects attorneys to select court dates before the calendar-call.


Please feel free to communicate with opposing counsel via the private chat box, text messages or phone calls during the calendar call to solidify your date if you have failed to do so before the calendar-call. The judge will continue the case to the next term of court if attorneys do not select a date and post it in the chat box by the second time the judge calls the case, unless otherwise noted.


The restrictions regarding having your court dates before the calendar call DO NOT apply to the 3A High Point calendar call due to a lower volume of cases and fewer time constraints. However, the court’s expectation and request remain the same


Please have an attorney that plans to participate in the remote calendar call to submit your agreed upon date to the court if you are unavailable for calendar-call. Thank you for your time, attention, and cooperation. Contact Stephanie Wallace or Pat Dixon if you have any questions.


05/19/2020


COVID19 PROTOCOL FOR CIVIL COURTROOMS [2E, 3A (GSO & HPT) & 3B],

FOR JUNE 2020

1. The Court plans to continue having remote hearings when appropriate and/or necessary. Parties requesting a remote hearing should make their requests at least one week before the scheduled hearing date (via a remote hearing form) so that the presiding judge and clerk can ensure attorneys and litigants receive a remote hearing invitation. Also, the judge will schedule a remote pre-trial conference if the opposing attorney or pro-se litigant disagrees with having a remote hearing.

2. The Court will call the daily calendar and pre-trial conferences remotely. Attorneys and litigants are responsible for ensuring that the Court has an updated email address.

3. Once the court begins the session of virtual court for calendar call or daily calendar call, please mute your audio and click the raise your hand feature until the court recognizes you.

4. The Court will only permit attorneys and parties for the first case scheduled to report to the courtroom each morning. Other attorneys and parties will be on telephone standby.

5. The Court will notify you (via the clerk) regarding the Court’s status, as well your case status, before the lunch break. Attorneys and litigants are responsible for ensuring that the Court has an updated telephone number.

6. The Court will continue any scheduled and unresolved matters to the next available term of Court.

7. The Court requests attorneys and litigants to wear a face-covering/mask while in the courtroom.

8. The Court requests attorneys and litigants to practice social distancing while in the courthouse.

9. Please remember to dress professionally for remote pre-trial conferences (at least business casual) and hearings (business attire).

10. Please make sure you are in a quiet environment for remote pre-trial conferences and hearings.



05/14/2020

PROTOCOL FOR REMOTE WEBEX HEARINGS

1. Types of Hearings Permitted Remotely:

a. Temporary Custody (30 Minutes per litigant to produce evidence/10 minutes per side for closing arguments); Courtrooms 3A
b. Temporary Child Support/PSS (30 minutes per litigant/15 minutes per side closing arguments); Courtroom 2E
c. Discovery Motions including Motions to Compel (15 minutes, including closing arguments); Courtroom 2E
d. Pre-trial conferences (5 minutes per litigant/10 minutes per case); (Courtrooms 2E & 3A)
e. Legal Motions (non-testimonial) – 12(b)(6), Summary Judgment
(other than divorce) (15 minutes per litigant) (Courtroom 2E)
f. Testimonial Divorces (10 minutes/each case) (Courtroom 2E)
g. Judicial Settlement Conferences will be available for ALL claims upon request. Individual Judge will set time limit
h. Pre-Trial Conferences
i. 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

a. You may submit a request without the consent of the parties. If one party disagrees with a remote hearing, the Court will schedule a pre-trial conference to determine whether the matter is appropriate for a remote hearing.
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.
c. No exhibits will be permitted except with the permission of the Judge. If permitted, only five exhibits per side, (maximum five pages per exhibit), except for financial affidavits and tax returns, shall be permitted, unless otherwise permitted by the Court. There is no page limit for financial affidavits and tax returns. If there are matters that are appropriate to address pre-trial, the Court will be available the day before the trial.
d. All exhibits must be placed in a share file box or emailed or deliveredto 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.
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

a. All remote hearings will be scheduled through the Trial Coordinator (TCC).
b. The email requesting a remote hearing must include:

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;
ii. An attached copy of the motion or complaint to be heard;
iii. A list of emails of all attorneys, parties and witnesses to be invited to the hearing; and
iv. Three potential dates for the hearing that are at least 7 days out from the request for which parties are available.
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.
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.
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.
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

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

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.
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 request to have them remain after their testimony is complete.
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.
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

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.
b. All other pertinent rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rules will apply to the hearing.
c. Business casual or business attire is appropriate dress for parties and counsel.
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.
e. If they are in separate locations, attorneys and parties may communicate privately via text or email during the hearing. However, the parties may not communicate with counsel while they are testifying. No one may interact with witnesses privately during the hearing without court permission.
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.

• Please take note of bold text or red text. It denotes most of the changes since the entry of the last protocol.

05/12/2020

COVID19 PROTOCOL FOR COURTROOMS 2E AND 3A (GSO & HPT) in JUNE 2020

1. The court plans to have a remote calendar call on June 1, 2020.

2. There will be no Pro Se or Magistrate Appeal cases heard in June.

3. All attorneys with cases on the June 2020, trial calendar, are requested to participate in the June calendar call remotely. Of course, we are hosting the Civil Court calendar call for June 2020, remotely to practice social distancing.

4. Please do not have your client report to court for the calendar call because we are trying to limit our numbers. If there is a pro se litigant on the other side of your case that reports to court for the calendar call, the court will permit them to be present in the courtroom to give input in setting a court date.

5. The court will handle all pre-trial conferences remotely. The court will also consider any request for a remote hearing regarding cases scheduled in June. The court will host a pre-trial conference to determine whether it is reasonable and feasible to hear a case remotely. Remote hearings held during the June calendar will not be confined to the restrictions previously ordered.

6. Only the attorneys and litigants that have the first case on each court date of listed cases will report to either 2E or 3A (in GSO or Hpt). All other litigants will be on telephone standby.

7. The court will notify you (via the clerk) regarding the court’s status, as well your case status, before the lunch break. The court will continue any scheduled and unresolved matters to the next available term of court.

8. The court requests attorneys and litigants to wear a face-covering/mask when in the courtroom. In addition, the court request all attorneys and litigants to practice social distancing while in the courthouse.


05/11/2020

From: Dixon, Patricia M. <Patricia.M.Dixon@nccourts.org>
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 10:44 AM
Subject: High Point Scheduling Suggestions

Good morning Members of the Domestic/Civil Bar,

I am aware that many of you are unfamiliar with using video communication technology, such as WebEx. As a result, here are a few alternatives for the High Point Civil Calendar that can be used prior to calendar call.

1. Contact opposing party to decide on a mutually agreeable date. Submit that date to me in an email and I will email you back to let you know that I received it.

2. Once the case has been given a specific date, I will also post it on the google calendar for you to confirm that your case is slated for the correct date.

3. I am asking that these dates be submitted to me by 5:00pm the Wednesday before calendar call (May 27,2020) so that the final calendar can be emailed out in a timely manner.

4. You may also let me know if both parties have agreed to continue the case to the next session.

Thank you for your time and attention. May you all remain safe and healthy.

Best Regards,


Court
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.

Patricia M. Dixon
Trial Court Coordinator
18th Judicial District/ District Court Judges
PO Box 2434
High Point, NC 27261
North Carolina Judicial Branch
O 336-822-6712
F 336-822-6713

Justice for all

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


05/04/2020
*UPDATED*
Protocol for Remote Webex Hearings

1. Types of Hearings Permitted Remotely:

  1. Temporary Custody (30 Minutes per litigant to produce evidence/10 minutes per side for closing arguments); Courtrooms 3A
  2. Temporary Child Support/PSS (30 minutes per litigant/15 minutes per side closing arguments); Courtroom 2E
  3. Discovery Motions including Motions to Compel (15 minutes, including closing arguments); Courtroom 2E
  4. Pre-trial conferences (5 minutes per litigant/10 minutes per case); (Courtrooms 2E & 3A)
  5. Legal Motions (non-testimonial) – 12(b)(6), Summary Judgment (other than divorce) (15 minutes per litigant) (Courtroom 2E)
  6. Testimonial Divorces (10 minutes/each case) (Courtroom 2E)
  7. Judicial Settlement Conferences will be available for ALL claims upon request. Individual Judge will set time limit

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. You may submit a request without the consent of the parties. If one party disagrees with a remote hearing, the Court will schedule a pre-trial conference to determine whether the matter is appropriate for a remote hearing.
  2. 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. No exhibits will be permitted except with the permission of the Judge. If permitted, only five exhibits per side, (maximum five pages per exhibit), except for financial affidavits and tax returns, shall be permitted, unless otherwise permitted by the Court. There is no page limit for financial affidavits and tax returns. If there are matters that are appropriate to address pre-trial, the Court will be available the day before the trial.
  4. All exhibits must be placed in a share file box or emailed or delivered 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. 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. All remote hearings will be scheduled through the Trial Coordinator (TCC).
  2. The email requesting a remote hearing must include:
    1. 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. An attached copy of the motion or complaint to be heard;
    3. A list of emails of all attorneys, parties and witnesses to be invited to the hearing; and
    4. Three potential dates for the hearing that are at least 7 days out from the request for which parties are available.
  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 request to have them remain after their testimony is complete.
  3. 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. 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. 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. All other pertinent rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rules will apply to the hearing.
  3. Business casual or business attire is appropriate dress for parties and counsel.
  4. 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. If they are in separate locations, attorneys and parties may communicate privately via text or email during the hearing. However, the parties may not communicate with counsel while they are testifying. No one may interact with witnesses privately during the hearing without court permission.
  6. 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.

Please take note of bold text. It denotes most of the changes since the entry of the last protocol.


05/04/2020

Remote Calendar Call

June 2020 Term of Court

Attorneys are requested to participate in the June 2020 Civil Calendar call via WebEx. The WebEx program is very similar to the Zoom program.
On June 1, 2020, at 9:00 am, Domestic Courts Calendars will be called remotely for courtrooms 2E (ED and Regular). Upon completion of the 2E calendar call, we will take a fifteen-minute recess. The judge will then proceed to call the Greensboro 3A calendar call. On June 1, 2020, at 2:00 pm, we will also remotely call the High Point 3A calendar.
You will receive a link to participate. Please speak with the opposing attorney or pro se litigant in advance of the calendar call and have the agreed-upon date ready to submit to the court when it appropriate to do so. This process is essential to have an efficient and fluid calendar call. If you fail to have a date prepared for submission to the court, the judge may defer your input until after the completion of the calendar call, which negatively impacts the priority of your case. There will be an exception for child support, post-separation support, and temporary custody cases. If attorneys are unable to select a date for cases involving these issues, the judge will address these matters when the judge addresses the cases a second time. However, if the judge schedules the case, you will not lose your place on the calendar. Judges will mute attorneys to reduce noisy feedback and disruptions during the call of the calendar. Once a judge calls a case, please insert the date selected in the chatbox. Of course, the court expects attorneys to select court dates before the calendar-call.
Please feel free to communicate with opposing counsel via text messages or phone calls during the calendar call to solidify your date if you have failed to do so before the calendar-call. The judge will continue the case to the next term of court if attorneys do not select a date and post it in the chatbox by the second time the judge calls the case.
The restrictions regarding having your court dates before the calendar call DO NOT apply to the 3A High Point calendar call due to a lower volume of cases and fewer time constraints. However, the court’s expectation and request remains the same
Please have an attorney that plans to participate in the remote calendar call to submit your agreed upon date to the court if you are unavailable for calendar-call. We plan to have a WebEx meeting with civil/domestic attorneys on May 18, 2020, at 10:00 am. We will send WebEx invitations to your email address in advance of the meeting. Thank you for your time, attention, and cooperation. Contact Stephanie Wallace or Pat Dixon if you have any questions.


05/04/2020

NORTH CAROLINA IN THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE
GUILFORD COUNTY DISTRICT COURT DIVISION
_____ CVD ___________
________________________ REMOTE HEARING REQUEST FORM
V.
________________________

The undersigned attorney(s), or party/parties (if pro se) in this action do hereby request a remote hearing in Courtroom 2E ___, 3A ____, High Point 3A ______ Guilford County, for the above-captioned action.
1. We estimate that the length of the hearing will be ______________. (Please be advised of time limits in all cases-see Protocol for Remote Hearings)
2. Issue to be heard _________________.
3. We certify that in the above-captioned case:
a. There are no present or anticipated discovery issues that would interfere with the matter being heard.
b. I know of no parties or witnesses that will not be available for trial.
c. The case is ready for trial, and counsel is prepared to proceed.
4. I request the following dates, times, and time limits (as required by the court) are satisfactory.
a. _____________ b. _____________ c. ______________ d. ___________
b. Opposing counsel ( ) Agrees to a remote hearing ( ) Disagrees to a remote hearing


_____________________________ ______________________________
____ Pro Se Plaintiff ____ Attorney ____ Pro Se Defendant _____ Attorney
Date: ________________________ Date: __________________________
Name: _______________________ Name: _________________________
Address: ______________________ Address: ________________________
______________________ ________________________
Phone: _______________________ Phone: _________________________
Email: _______________________ Email: _________________________