AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES AND TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS TO THE LAW GOVERNING THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE. SL 2019-243. Enacted November 6, 2019. Effective November 6, 2019, except as otherwise provided.
Bill Summaries: H 470 ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE CHANGES. (NEW)
Summary date: Nov 13 2019 - View Summary
Summary date: Oct 31 2019 - View Summary
Conference report to the 3rd edition makes the following changes.
No longer enacts GS 7A-98, GS 1-148.1, and GS 15A-101.2, regarding unsworn declarations under penalty of perjury. Instead, further amends the offense of perjury set forth in GS 14-209. Now makes it a Class F felony to knowingly and intentionally make a false statement under oath or affirmation in any matter in any court, in any deposition or affidavit taken pursuant to law, in any oath or affirmation duly administered of or concerning any matter or thing where the person is lawfully required to be sworn or affirmed (previously, the offense required willfully and corruptly committing perjury in the form prescribed by previously proposed GS 7A-98). Appears to intend that this provision is effective December 1, 2019, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date (was, 30 days after the Director of AOC certifies that AOC is ready to begin implementation of an integrated case management system).
Enacts GS 7A-49.5(b1) to mandate the Supreme Court to promulgate rules authorizing electronic filing and electronic signatures, including rules requiring registration to participate in e-filing and security procedures that include mandatory submission of identification to e-file pro se.
Requires AOC to report the rules promulgated under new GS 7A-49.5(b1) to the specified NCGA committee by March 1, 2020.
Makes a technical change to the proposed changes to GS 105A-9, concerning appeals to superior court for a hearing de novo within 10 days of an order of the clerk of superior court, the AOC Director, or a designee.
Modifies the proposed changes to GS 44A-4, which allows a lienor to institute a special proceeding to sell a vehicle which has a fair market value of less than $800 in cases in which the certified mail notice is returned undeliverable or if the legal title holder cannot be reasonably ascertained. Now limits the special proceeding to no more than ten vehicles so long as the proceeds of each sale were only subject to valid claims and excess proceeds are paid to the Treasurer for disposition (previously, limited the proceeding to the sale of one vehicle and eliminated proceed restrictions).
Amends GS 7B-2102 to allow for fingerprints of juveniles adjudicated delinquent of an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult to be entered into a local fingerprint database to be used for investigative and comparison purposes so long as the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction is served by a secure crime lab facility that maintains a local fingerprint database.
Amends GS 15A-145.8, as enacted by SL 2019-186, concerning expunction of records when charges are remanded to district court for juvenile adjudication. Requires the court to order the expunction of DNA records when the person's charges have been remanded to district court for juvenile adjudication (was, when the person's case has been dismissed by the trial court) and the person's DNA record or profile has been included in the State DNA Database and the person's DNA sample is stored in the Databank as a result of the charges that were remanded. No longer amends the required content of the order. Also amends the requirements of the clerk upon order of expungement to now require the clerk to send a certified copy of the order to the defendant, the defendant's attorney, the AOC, and the state and local agencies listed under specified state law. Adds that agencies in receipt of certified copies must delete any public records made as a result of the charges that have been remanded to district court for juvenile adjudication. Prohibits deletion of records related to juvenile adjudication; deems these records confidential. Maintains the effective date of December 1, 2019.
Amends GS 15A-832 to except from the requirement of the district attorney's office to notify a victim of all court proceedings by type of notice the victim has elected to receive notice as required under GS 15A-835(b)(2), concerning appellate proceedings, and GS 15A-837(a)(2), concerning hearings relating to the defendant's supervision. Effective retroactively to August 31, 2019.
Amends GS 127B-29, as enacted in SL 2019-161, to change the federal statutory cross-reference regarding servicemember dependents' rights and protections under new Article 4, NC Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Effective retroactively to October 1, 2019.
Amends GS 1A-1, Rule 40, concerning the assignment of cases for trial and continuances. Mandates that a request for continuance must be granted when requested to fulfill an obligation of service by carrying out any duties as a member of the General Assembly or service on the Rules Review Commission or any other board, commission, or authority as an appointee of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, or the General Assembly (previously, included these obligations as good cause shown for continuance requests which may be granted). Makes conforming changes to GS 15A-952. Maintains the effective date of December 1, 2019.
Summary date: Oct 9 2019 - View Summary
House committee substitute deletes the provisions of the 2nd edition and now provides the following.
Amends GS 7A-52 to allow emergency judges to be assigned in the event of a medical leave of absence, in addition to the disability, of a sitting judge. Adds that an emergency judge may be assigned: when a disaster declaration is made; upon assignment by the Chief Justice of a Rule 2.1 exceptional case to an emergency judge; and when court coverage is needed by holdover sessions, administrative responsibilities of the chief district court judge, or cases in which a judge has a conflict or judicial educational responsibilities.
Amends GS 7A-38.2 by adding that the chair of the Dispute Resolution Commission may collect a fee from any person who appeals an adverse determination to the full Commission for a hearing and fails to attend without good cause. Sets the fee at the lesser of the Commission's actual expenses for the hearing or $2,500, and requires that the fees be deposited into the Dispute Resolution Fund. Makes clarifying changes. Applies to hearings held on or after December 1, 2019.
Enacts GS 7A-98 to provide for unsworn written declarations under penalty of perjury to have the same force and effect as sworn declarations in all court proceedings or pursuant to any rule, regulation, order, or requirement requiring or permitting matters to be supported or proved in writing by oath or affirmation. Excludes oral testimony; oaths of office; and any statement under oath or affirmation required to be taken before a specified official other than a notary public. Sets forth the form for sufficient declarations under the statute. Provides for electronic declaration if the Supreme Court promulgates rules authorizing filing and electronic signatures in any court proceeding. Amends GS 14-209, which sets forth the offense of perjury as a Class F felony, to include the willful and corrupt commission of perjury in any unsworn declaration in the form prescribed by new GS 7A-98. Enacts GS 1-148.1 and GS 15A-101.2 to provide for unsworn declarations in civil pleadings and criminal actions. Effective 30 days after the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) certifies to the NC Supreme Court that the AOC is ready to begin implementation of an integrated case management system adopted pursuant to the e-Courts initiative.
Amends GS 7A-308 to exempt attorneys filing secured leave documents pursuant to Supreme Court rules from specified clerk fees.
Amends GS 7A-343 to require the report on business court site activities be submitted annually instead of semiannually.
Amends GS 7A-346.2 by removing the requirements to report on the economic viability of the worthless check collection programs.
Repeals GS 7A-346.3, which required an impaired driving integrated data system report.
Amends GS 15A-502 to allow either the sheriff or other designated agency (was, sheriff only) to inform the court when a person fails to appear for court-ordered fingerprinting.
Amends GS 15A-1452 as follows. Requires the clerk of superior court to enter an order reflecting the fact and directing compliance when an appeal is withdrawn for a judgment that imposed an active sentence or imposed only monetary obligations without probation. Requires that if the appellate division affirms a judgment that imposed an active sentence or imposed only monetary obligations without probation, the superior court clerk must file the directive and order compliance with its terms. Requires that the clerk, when an appeal is withdrawn for a judgment imposing a suspended sentence, notify the district attorney, who must calendar a review hearing as now required by the statute. Adds that if the appellate division affirms a judgment that imposed a suspended sentence, the clerk of superior court must file the direction and bring the matter to the attention of the district attorney, who must calendar a review hearing as now provided for in the statute. Specifies that at such a hearing, the defendant is entitled to be present and represented by counsel to the same extent as in the original sentencing hearing; sets out additional requirements for the hearing. Effective December 1, 2019, and applies to any mandate of the appellate division received in the trial division on or after that date.
Amends GS 20-217 requiring that the clerk of superior court notify the Division of Motor Vehicles of any person who fails to pay a fine or costs imposed under the statute (which requires motor vehicles to stop for properly marked and designated school buses in certain instances) within 40 (was, 20) days of the date specified in the court's judgement.
Amends GS 84-32 to require that final judgments of censure, whether issued by the State Bar Grievance Committee or the disciplinary hearing commissioner, as well as suspension or disbarment orders issued by the disciplinary hearing commission, be entered upon the judgment docket of the superior court where the respondent resides or practices and on the minutes of the NC Supreme Court. Adds that final determinations of incapacity or disability must be entered upon the judgment docket of the superior court in the same manner as those final judgments, whether issued by the State Bar Grievance Committee or the disciplinary hearing commission, and are effective statewide.
Amends GS 105A-8 to require contested claim hearings for any unit of the Judicial Branch to be conducted in accordance with the administrative procedures approved by the AOC Director and the Director of Indigent Defense Services. Establishes original jurisdiction for clerks of superior court where a judgement has been docketed to hear a contested claim and not transfer the matter to district or superior court. Establishes original jurisdiction for the AOC Director to hear contested claims of the Judicial Branch not arising out of a docketed judgement. Amends GS 105A-9 to entitle a party to appeal to superior court for a hearing de novo within 10 days of an order of the clerk of superior court, the AOC Director, or a designee. Provides for filing of the appeal. Makes conforming changes to GS 7A-498.6 to require the Director of Indigent Defense Services to collaborate with the AOC Director in developing administrative procedures regarding Judicial Branch contested claim hearings. Applies to notices issued on or after July 1, 2020.
Amends GS 7A-307 to provide that the only cost assessed when an estate is administered or settled under GS 28A-25-6 (concerning payment to clerk of money owed decedent) is a $20 fee. Increases the fee for hearing a petition for year's allowance to surviving spouse or child, in cases not assigned to a magistrate, from $8 to $20. Amends GS 7A-309 (Magistrate's special fees), increasing the magistrate fee for hearing a petition for year's allowance to surviving spouse or child, issuing notices to commissioners, allotting the same and making return from $8 to $20. Additionally, increases the magistrate fee for performing a marriage ceremony from $20 to $50. Applies to petitions filed on or after January 1, 2020.
Amends GS 7A-308 by adding a $300 fee for in rem foreclosures when the property is sold under execution. Makes conforming and clarifying changes to GS 105-375. Applies to execution sales conducted on or after December 1, 2019.
Repeals GS 7A-809, which required a report on the status of implementation of character recognition software when removing requested personal information from images or copies of publicly accessible official records.
Amends GS 11-7.1 to authorize retired clerks to administer oaths of office.
Amends GS 28A-25-6 to require a motion of the clerk or application of an interested party before the clerk of superior court, when no administrator has been appointed, to disburse money received under the statute to pay the surviving spouse's and children's year's allowance and other claims.
Amends GS 42-34 to provide that the specified deadlines related to summary ejectment actions are based on business days.
Amends GS 44A-4, which allows a lienor to institute a special proceeding to sell a vehicle which has a fair market value of less than $800 in cases in which the certified mail notice is returned undeliverable or if the legal title holder cannot be reasonably ascertained. Limits the special proceeding to one vehicle (previously, allowed for the special proceeding to include more than one vehicle so long as the proceeds of each sale were only subject to valid claims). Applies to applications filed on or after December 1, 2019.
Amends GS 48-2-403 to require that the petitioner, rather than the clerk of court, deliver notice of an adoption proceeding to the specified agencies, and requires proof of service to be submitted to the court.
Amends GS 7A-11 and GS 7A-20 by making language gender-neutral.
Amends GS 7A-354 to clarify that the ex officio members of the Human Trafficking Commission are nonvoting members.
Amends GS 15A-145.8, as enacted by SL 2019-186, concerning expunction of records when charges are remanded to district court for juvenile adjudication. Requires the court to order the expunction of DNA records when the person's charges have been remanded to district court for juvenile adjudication (was, when the person's case has been dismissed by the trial court) and the person's DNA record or profile has been included in the State DNA Database and the person's DNA sample is stored in the Databank as a result of the charges that were remanded. Also amends the requirements of the order to include the name and address of the person and the person's attorney, rather than of the defendant and the defendant's attorney. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.
Amends GS 15A-1469(b1) by correcting a statutory cross-reference. Effective December 1, 2019.
Amends GS 28A-2-4 by correcting a statutory cross-reference.
Amends GS 30-29 to require that a petition for spousal allowance set out that the decedent's state exceed $60,000 (was, $30,000).
Amends GS 32C-1-116 to expand the clerk of superior court's exclusive jurisdiction to include determining the compensation and expenses for an agent under GS 32C-1-112(b) and GS 32C-1-112(c) (previously, limited to determining compensation for an agent under GS 32C-1-112(b)).
Repeals GS 45-21.21(f), which required a foreclosure sale to begin at the time designated in the notice of sale and never later than an hour after the time fixed, and required sales to be held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any day on which the Clerk's office is normally open. Amends GS 45-21.23 to require that the sale be held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any day when the Clerk's office is normally open (was, on any day other than Sunday or a legal holiday when the courthouse is closed for transactions). Repeals GS 45-21.29(k)(5a), as amended by SL 2019-53, concerning the order of possession for real property sold under power of sale pursuant to Article 2A, which required compliance with the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), if applicable.
Amends GS 101-2 to make a clarifying change.
Amends SL 2018-40, Section 8.2, by specifying that the effective date applies to testamentary distribution to a minor made on or after the effective date of January 1, 2019. Retroactively effective January 1, 2019.
Amends GS 14-118.6, as amended by SL 2019-117, to authorize the clerk of court to refuse to file a purported lien or encumbrance that the clerk has a reasonable suspicion that the lien or encumbrance is materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent (previously, cross-referenced the substantively identical description of false set out in subsection (a) of the statute). Additionally prohibits filing, indexing, or docketing documents against a property until the document is approved by the appropriate judicial official (previously, this restriction was limited to properties of a public officer or public employee). Effective December 1, 2019.
Amends GS 1A-1, Rule 40, concerning the assignment of cases for trial and continuances. Modifies and adds to the service that constitutes good cause for granting a continuance to now include any service in carrying out any duties as a member of the General Assembly or service on the Rules Review Commission or any other board, commission, or authority as an appointee of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, or the General Assembly (was, service as a member of the General Assembly or the Rules Review Commission). Makes language gender-neutral. Makes conforming changes to GS 15A-952. Effective December 1, 2019.
Amends GS 7A-377 by prohibiting the Judicial Standards Commission (Commission) from investigating when its own motion or a written complaint by a citizen is based substantially upon a legal ruling by a district or superior court judge and the ruling has not yet been reviewed and ruled upon by either the NC Court of Appeals or the NC Supreme Court. Limits the review to judicial conduct and prohibits reviewing matters of law. Applies to complaints or investigations pending on or after the date the act becomes law.
Changes the act's long title.
Summary date: Apr 11 2019 - View Summary
House amendment to the 1st edition makes the following changes.
Amends GS 50-93, which sets out the qualifications to be included on the district court's list of parenting coordinators, to require the person to hold a current license, accepted by North Carolina (was, hold a North Carolina license) in the parenting coordinator's area of practice.
Summary date: Mar 26 2019 - View Summary
Makes the following changes to Article 5, Parenting Coordinator, GS Chapter 50.
Adds party to the defined terms set out in GS 50-90, defining the term to mean any person granted legal or physical custodial rights to a child in a child custody action.
Amends GS 50-91, regarding the appointment of parenting coordinators. Now authorizes the court to appoint or reappoint a parenting coordinator at any time in a child custody action involving minor children brought under Article 1, on or after entry of a custody order other than an ex parte order, or upon entry of a contempt order involving a custody issue pursuant to: (1) all parties' consent to the appointment and the scope of authority; (2) upon motion of a party requesting the appointment; or (3) upon the court's own motion (previously, did not provide for reappointment; specified during the proceedings of the action; did not provide for the court to make appointment upon motion of a party requesting appointment or upon its own motion). Further provides for the court to make specified findings that the action is a high-conflict case, the appointment is in the best interests of any minor child in the case, and that the parties are able to pay for the cost of the coordinator, in the event the parties have not consented to the appointment (previously, allowed the court to make the appointment without consent of the parties upon entry of a custody order other than an ex parte order, or upon entry of a parenting plan, only if those specified findings were made). Adds that the court does not have to find a substantial change of circumstance has occurred to appoint a parenting coordinator. Requires the appointing order to specify the terms of the appointment. Removes the requirements for the order to specifically incorporate any agreement regarding the role of the coordinator made by the parties. Also eliminates the requirement for the court to give a copy of the order to the parties prior to the appointment conference. Provides for selection of the parenting coordinator from a list maintained by the district court (previously, selection specifically by the court). Clarifies that prior to appointment, the court, the parties' attorneys, or the parties must contact the coordinator to determine if the coordinator is willing and able to accept the appointment.
Amends GS 50-92, regarding the authority of the parenting coordinator. Requires the authority to be limited to matters that will aid the parties in complying with the custody order, resolving disputes regarding issues that were not specifically addressed in the custody order, or ambiguous or conflicting terms in the custody order (previously, identify disputed issues, reduce misunderstandings, clarify priorities, explore possibilities for compromise, develop methods of collaboration in parenting, and compliance with the court's order). Now provides 20 areas which the scope of authority can, but is not limited to, including transition time, pick up, or delivery; sharing vacations and holidays; diet, clothing, extracurricular activities, and discipline. Authorizes the coordinator to decide any issue within the scope of authority, and deems the decision enforceable as an order of the court. Requires decisions to be in writing and provided to the parties and their attorneys. Deems the decision binding so long as the custody order is in effect, even after the expiration of the coordinator's term unless the coordinator or subsequent coordinator modifies the decision or the courts review and modifies the decision. Allows any party or their attorney to file a motion for the court to review a coordinator's decision. Requires the parties to comply with the decision unless the court, after a review hearing, determines the decision is not in the child's best interest or the decision exceeded the scope of authority (previously, allowed the court to authorize the coordinator to make decisions regarding implementation of the parenting plan not specifically governed by the order, binding on the parties until reviewed by the court at a hearing at the request of the coordinator or either party; did not provide specific findings the court must make in its review of the decision). Provides that the moving party or their attorney must cause a subpoena to be issued for the coordinator's attendance at the review hearing (previously, only the judge presiding over the case can subpoena the coordinator to attend and testify at the review hearing). Requires the court to determine how the coordinator's fees are to be apportioned between the parties at the conclusion of the review hearing. Further authorizes the court to review and modify the coordinator's decision after the expiration of a parenting coordinator's term (not previously provided for). Requires the coordinator to provide any financial issues related to the coordinator's decisions to the parties or their attorneys (previously, did not specify that financial issues must relate to the coordinator's decisions and limited reference to the parties' attorneys). Make further clarifying changes.
Amends GS 50-93, regarding qualifications for inclusion of the district court's list of parenting coordinators, now requiring the person to hold a master's or doctorate degree in psychology, law, social work, or counseling (removing the qualification to hold a master's degree or doctorate degree in medicine or a related area) and current North Carolina license in the coordinator's areas of practice (previously, did not specify the license must be a North Carolina license; removes the qualifying phrase of applicability).
Amends GS 50-94, concerning the parenting coordinator appointment conference, to no longer require a conference if the coordinator's term is later extended; a subsequent coordinator is appointed in the same matter; or the parties, their attorneys, and the proposed coordinator consent to a waiver of the conference by signing the proposed appointment order. Prohibits the court from entering an appointment order or conducting a conference unless a custody order has already been entered or is simultaneously entered. Removes the requirement for the court to determine the information each party must provide to the parenting coordinator at the time of the appointment conference. Makes clarifying changes. Eliminates the provisions requiring the coordinator and any guardians ad litem to bring all necessary releases, contracts, and consents to the conference, and requiring the coordinator to schedule the first session with the parties.
Amends GS 50-95, concerning fees of the parenting coordinator, to now require the coordinator to file a fee report and request a hearing in the event of a dispute of fee or retainer payment (previously, the coordinator was not required to file a fee report, and disputes on retainers were not included). Now additionally provides for a party disputing the fees or the allocation of the fees to file a motion with the court requesting a review of the fees. Adds that the district court retains jurisdiction to resolve disputes regarding the coordinator's fees after the conclusion of the coordinator's term so long as the coordinator's fee report was filed in a timely manner. Removes the provision authorizing the court to condition the appointment upon the parties' payment of a specified fee to the coordinator, and prohibiting the coordinator from beginning any duties until the fee has been paid.
Expands GS 50-96, now allowing meeting and communications between the parties, their attorneys, or any other person with information that assists the coordinator in the coordinator's duties, to be informal and ex parte. Now requires the parties to timely execute any releases necessary to facilitate communication with any person having information that assists the coordinator in the coordinator's duties, upon request of the coordinator. Authorizes the coordinator, in the coordinator's discretion, to meet or communicate with the minor children.
Rewrites GS 50-97, regarding reports of the parenting coordinator. Now permits the coordinator to file a report with the court regarding any of the five specified issues, including the parenting coordinator's belief that the existing custody order is not in the best interest of the child, a party's noncompliance with a decision of the coordinator or the terms of the custody order, or the parenting coordinator's request that the appointment be modified or terminated. Provides for a hearing in the event of a party's noncompliance with the coordinator's decision, the terms of the custody order, or nonpayment of the coordinator fees (previously, provided for a hearing no later than two weeks following receipt of the required report if the coordinator made noncompliance determinations). Specifies that the provisions do not prevent a party from filing its own motion regarding noncompliance with the coordinator's decision or the terms of the custody order. Now requires an expedited hearing to be granted and occur within four weeks of the filing of the report unless the coordinator requests longer or the court has already issued an order during a party to show cause why the party should not be held in contempt. Authorizes the court to issue temporary custody orders as required for a child's best interest after a hearing on the report.
Rewrites GS 50-98, regarding parenting coordinator records, to permit the coordinator to release any records held by the coordinator to the parties or their attorneys, at the discretion of the coordinator (previously, required the coordinator to provide written summaries of development and copies of other written communications to the parties and their attorneys; also required coordinators to maintain records of each meeting, which could only be subpoenaed by the presiding judge, and were reviewable in camera and released only if the court determined the records would assist the parties with the presentation of their case at trial). Now permits any party to apply to the presiding judge for the issuance of a subpoena to compel production of the coordinator's records. Requires any party submitting the application to provide reasonable notice to the coordinator and the parties so that any objection to the release of information or the manner of release can be considered prior to the issuance of the subpoena.
Amends GS 50-99, authorizing the court to terminate or modify the parenting coordinator's appointment upon motion of any party, upon the agreement of the parties, or by the court on its own motion, for good cause shown (previously, included upon motion of either party at the request of the coordinator). Now allows for the court to modify or terminate the coordinator's appointment upon request of the coordinator for good cause shown as set forth in GS 50-97(a)(5), as enacted. Makes organizational changes to the provisions describing good cause, and now includes in the term: (1) lack of reasonable progress (previously qualified with over a significant period of time despite the best efforts of the parties and the coordinator) and (2) the inability or unwillingness of the coordinator to continue to serve (was, the coordinator is unable or unwilling to serve). Makes clarifying changes.
Effective October 1, 2019.