AN ACT TO INCREASE THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF EMERGENCY SUPERIOR AND SPECIAL SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES THAT MAY BE LISTED AS ACTIVE, TO INCREASE THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF EMERGENCY DISTRICT COURT JUDGES THAT MAY BE LISTED AS ACTIVE, TO EXPAND THE REASONS THAT AN EMERGENCY JUDGE MAY BE ASSIGNED, AND TO REALLOCATE CERTAIN DISTRICT COURT JUDGESHIPS TO MAKE MORE EFFICIENT USE OF COURT RESOURCES.
Amends GS 7A-52 to increase the maximum number of emergency superior and special superior court judges that may be listed as active from 10 to 15 and the number of emergency district court judges that may be listed as active from 25 to 35. Expands the reasons for which an emergency judge is to be assigned to also include assignment by the Chief Justice of a Rule 21 exceptional case to an emergency judge, and court coverage need created by holdover sessions, conflict case sessions, or judicial administrative or education responsibilities. Effective October 1, 2019.
Amends GS 7A-133 by decreasing the number of district court judges in District 1 (Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Pasquotank, and Perquimans counties) from five to four; increases the number in District 4 from eight to nine (Sampson, Duplin, Jones, and Onslow counties); decreases the number in District 5 (New Hanover and Pender counties) from nine to eight; and increases the number in District 20B (part of Union County ) from one to two. Provides that the voters of District 4 must elect all nine judges but requires that candidates for the one added judgeship that begins on January 1, 2021, be residents of Sampson County. Requires that voters of Union County elect the one judgeship added to District 20B that begins on January 1, 2021. Effective January 1, 2021, with 2020 elections conducted in accordance with the transferred judgeships.
Requires transferring the district court judgeship taken from District 1 to District 4 to compose the judgeship added to District 4; the transferred judgeship is the one currently held by Judge Barnes. Transfers the district court judgeship from District 5 to District 20B; the transferred judgeship is the one currently held by Judge Ray.