A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO ABOLISH THE COURTS COMMISSION AND PROVIDE THAT THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY SHALL PROVIDE OVERSIGHT OF THE COURTS, TO PROVIDE THAT VACANCIES IN THE OFFICE OF DISTRICT COURT JUDGE SHALL BE FILLED BY APPOINTMENT OF THE GOVERNOR, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE BEST AND MOST EFFICIENT USE OF DISTRICT COURT RESOURCES BY ENSURING THAT MAGISTRATES ARE USED FULLY FOR TRAFFIC COURT AND OTHER MATTERS TO WHICH THEY MAY BE ASSIGNED SO THAT DISTRICT COURT JUDGES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SPECIALIZED CASES AND OTHER MATTERS MORE SUITED TO THE EXPERTISE OF A DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends GS 7A-142 to delete changes to the 1st edition, which eliminated the nomination process for filling the unexpired term of a vacating judge. Reinstates provisions for current law calling for a nomination process with the appointment to be made by the governor, exceptstates that the Governor may select from the nominations submitted by the bar of the judicial district as defined in GS 84-19 with some specified exceptions (was, appointment by the Governor from the nominations submitted by the bar of the judicial district). Also provides that the bar of the judicial district has 30 days to submit nominations to the Governor. Does not reinstate provisions that directed the governor to fill the vacancy within 60 days after the district bar submitted its nominations, nor those providing that failure by the Governor to appoint a district bar nominee to fill the vacancy will result in the nominee with the highest number of votes from the district bar filling the vacancy, or that if the district bar fails to meet the 30-day deadline, the Governor may fill the vacancy without waiting for nominations.
Amends GS 7A-146(b) to clarify that the chief district judge is to ensure the best and most efficient use of court resources by making the fullest use of magistrates for less complex cases and for administrative and other matters (was, for traffic court and for administrative and other matters) towhich magistrates are assigned so as to leave district court judges available for matters more suited to the expertiseof a district court judge.
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