House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends the long title.
Deletes proposed amendment to GS 7A-146 (Administrative authority and duties of chief district judge) which required that small claims court be held at least twice a week. Makes conforming changes.
Bill H 706 (2017-2018)Summary date: Apr 19 2017 - View summary
Bill H 706 (2017-2018)Summary date: Apr 10 2017 - View summary
Enacts new GS 7A-223(b1) providing that the plaintiff can request that a claim for summary ejectment be severed from the claim for monetary damages in regards to a small claim action demanding summary ejectment and monetary damages, where service of process was achieved solely by first-class mail and affixing the summons and complaint to the premise pursuant to GS 42-29. Requires the magistrate to sever the claim for monetary damages and proceed with the claim for summary ejectment after finding that personal service was not achieved for one or more defendants. Provides that if severed by the magistrate, the plaintiff can extend the action in accordance with GS 1A-1, Rule 4(d). Provides that the judgment of a magistrate in the severed claim for summary ejectment does not prejudice any claims or defenses of any party in the severed claim for monetary damages.
Amends GS 1A-1, Rule 4(h1), eliminating the provision excepting summary ejectment from the provisions of subsection (h1), pertaining to a summons returned unexecuted.
Enacts new GS 42-28(b), providing that in counties with 200,000 or more residents as of the most recent decennial federal census, after the summons is issued, at the election of the plaintiff, the clerk must either (1) return the summons to the plaintiff or (2) forward the summons to the sheriff for service. Provides that if the magistrate serves the claim for monetary damages pursuant to GS 7A-223(b1), the plaintiff can extend the action in accordance with GS 1A-1, Rule 4(d).
Amends GS 42-29, adding new subsection (b) to provide that, only with respect to service for summary ejectment proceedings in counties with 200,000 or more residents as of the most recent decennial federal census, process server means any person over the age of 21 years (1) who is not a party to the action, (2) who is not related by blood or marriage to a party to the action or to a person upon whom service is to be made, and (3) who is hired by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's agent or attorney for the purpose of serving the summons and complaint for summary ejectment. Defines the term officer to mean the sheriff of the county where the subject premises is situated.
Adds new subsection (c) to provide that, only with respect to service for summary ejectment proceedings in counties with 200,000 or more residents as of the most recent decennial federal census, a process server can effectuate proper service upon a defendant solely for purposes of summary ejectment by mailing a copy of the issued summons and signed complaint to the defendant no later than the end of the next business day after receipt of said summons and complaint or as soon as practicable at the defendant's last known address in a stamped addressed envelope provided by the plaintiff to the action. Requires the process server to then deliver a copy of the summons together with a copy of the complaint to the defendant by affixing copies of to some conspicuous part of the premises claimed, and make due return showing compliance with this statute in the form of an affidavit of service setting forth the time, place, and manner by which the requirements were completed.
The above provisions are effective October 1, 2017, and apply to actions for summary ejectment filed on or after that date.
Amends GS 7A-146, adding new subdivision (13) to require the chief district court judge to ensure small claims court is held at least twice per week as part of the judge's administrative supervision and authority.