AN ACT TO MODIFY VARIOUS PROVISIONS AFFECTING OUR STATE COURT SYSTEM AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS.
House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.
Changes the effective date of the changes to GS 7A-171.2 which deemed eligible for nomination or renomination as a magistrate residents of contiguously bordering NC counties for which the magistrate is appointed, from when the act becomes law to October 1, 2022. Adds the following. Amends GS 7A-211 to allow the chief district judge to assign to any magistrate in the district any small claim action pending in the district if the defendant is a resident of the county in which the magistrate was appointed (was, magistrate resides). Makes conforming changes and makes language gender neutral. Amends GS 7A-211.1 to allow the chief district judge to assign any magistrate of the district actions to enforce motor vehicle mechanic and storage liens when the claim arose in the county in which the magistrate was appointed (was, in which the magistrate resides). Makes language gender neutral. Effective October 1, 2022.
Changes the effective date of the changes to GS 7A-146 which added to the chief district court judge's duties the duty to investigate written complaints against magistrates, authorized the chief to discipline a magistrate pursuant to the Rules of Conduct for Magistrates upon investigation and written findings of misconduct, and deemed specified documents as confidential, from when the act became law to October 1, 2022. Makes language gender neutral.
Deletes the changes to GS 7A-173 which would have specified that the suspension of a magistrate addressed by the statute, which applies when a judge determines sworn charges, if true, constitute grounds for removal, does not apply to disciplinary suspensions imposed under GS 7A-146 and also changed terminology to refer to "suspension pending removal" for instances of suspension under GS 7A-173.
Amends GS 7A-47.3 to require the senior resident superior court judge to designate a specific judge, resident or assigned to the district, to preside over all proceedings that occur 150 (was, 180) days after filing of medical malpractice actions under GS 90-21.11(2). Changes the effective date from when the act becomes law to July 1, 2022.
Further amends GS 9-6 to make language gender neutral. Further amends GS 9-6.1 by making a technical correction. Further amends GS 9-7.1 by defining judicial support staff for the purposes of the Article to mean employees of the Judicial Branch who provide case management and administrative support under the authority of a judge, including court assistants, court coordinators, court managers, and court administrators; excludes employees of the Clerk of Superior Court.
Deletes former section 8 which amended GS 15A-301, by expanding criminal process that can be recalled by a judicial official for good cause prior to service to no longer exclude a warrant or criminal summons. Makes conforming changes to the numbering of the act's sections.