Bill Summaries: H113 2021 AOC LEGISLATIVE CHANGES.-AB

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Apr 21 2021 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Changes the effective date of the provisions of Section 10 of the act, authorizing legal proceedings by audio and video transmission, from April 1, 2021, to the date the act becomes law. Makes technical changes to statutory cross-references in new GS 7A-49.6.

    Adds the following content. 

    Amends GS 7A-20 to direct the Supreme Court to fix charges to litigants for document management as well as the reproduction of appellate records and briefs. Amends GS 7A-343.3 to provide for moneys collected through charges to litigants for document management to also be remitted to the State Treasurer and held in the Appellate Courts Printing and Computer Operations Fund, as is required of charges for reproduction of appellate records and briefs, to be used to support document management shop operations (was print shop operations) of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.

    Amends GS 1-239 to require judgement creditors to include the date and amount of the payment received in their notice to the clerk of superior court of any payment as required by the statute. Adds that a notice that includes multiple payments from the debtor must specify the date of each individual payment and the amount received on each date. Requires the clerk to promptly enter any such payments on the judgement docket, crediting each payment against the judgement as of the date received by the creditor (previously required prompt entering of the payment on the judgement docket). Adds the following. Requires proceeds paid to the clerk as a result of levy and an execution sale under Article 29B be credited and applied to the judgement as of the date the proceeds are received by the clerk, and funds paid to the clerk pursuant to the levy under execution without an execution sale credited and applied to the judgment as of the date the funds are collected. 

    Amends GS 1-310 to require a sheriff to separately note on the return of execution for a judgement requiring the payment of money (1) any amount collected without execution sale and the date of collection, and if multiple payments to the sheriff are collected on different sates pursuant to a single writ of execution, the individual dates of collection and the amount collected on each date, and (2) the date of levy and description of property levied and sole through execution sale pursuant to Article 29B. 

    Amends GS 1-339.70 to require proceeds paid by the sheriff to the clerk resulting from execution sale to be credited and applied to the judgement as of the date the proceeds are received by the clerk. 

    Amends GS 162-18 to require a sheriff who has collected money upon an execution placed in the sheriff's hands to immediately pay the same to the office of the clerk of the court from which the execution issued (previously alternatively allowed for payment to the plaintiff). 

    Amends GS 7A-38.1 (concerning civil actions in superior court) and GS 7A-38.3B (concerning mediation matters within the jurisdiction of the clerk of superior court) to provide for the enforceability of settlement agreements regarding issues at a civil proceeding or a mediation against a party if signed by the party's designee. 


  • Summary date: Mar 24 2021 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Makes a conforming change to GS 7A-38.2 to increase the members of the Dispute Resolution Commission from 17 to 18 to reflect the proposed addition of a court management staff member.

    Modifies the proposed changes to Rule 51 of the Rules of Civil Procedure to require the court to reduce oral jury instructions to writing for civil cases subject to GS 90-21.11 (subsection (b) defines medical malpractice action) rather than Rule 9(j) of the Rules of Civil Procedure regarding medical malpractice pleadings. Makes technical changes. Modifies the proposed changes to GS 7A-47.3 to direct the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge to designate a specific resident judge or a specific judge assigned to hold court in the district to preside over all proceedings in a case subject to GS 90-21.11 (subsection (b) defines medical malpractice action) rather than Rule 9(j) of the Rules of Civil Procedure regarding medical malpractice pleadings. No longer requires consultation with the Administrative Office of the Courts; maintains required consultation with the parties to the case. 

    Modifies the proposed changes to the Judicial Standards Commission, governed by GS 7A-375. Makes clarifying changes regarding the NCGA's appointment of two alternate members to serve in the event of conflict or disqualification of the two Commission members the NCGA has appointed to serve. Makes a technical correction to a subsection title. 

    Adds the following provisions.

    Amends GS 15A-305 to specify that an order for arrest can only be issued for a defendant's failure to appear as required by a duly executed criminal summons if the summons charged the defendant with a criminal offense. 

    Amends GS 15A-1011 regarding pleas in district and superior courts. Expands the types of cases authorized for pleas to be received outside of open court in subdivision (a)(4), which currently includes traffic offenses and hunting, fishing, and boating offenses, to include written pleas for the types of offenses specified in GS 7A-273(2) authorized under GS 7A-148(a) (including misdemeanor or infraction cases for alcohol offenses; traffic offenses; hunting, fishing, State park and recreation area rule offenses; boating offenses; open burning offenses; and littering offenses). 

    Amends GS 51-5.5 regarding magistrates' right to recuse from performing lawful marriages. Adds a new provision to specify that a recusal does not prohibit a magistrate who is also an ordained minister of any religious denomination or a minister authorized by a church from performing lawful marriages as a minister. Makes further clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 1C-1603 regarding the procedure for setting aside property exempt from the enforcement of creditors' claims, which are set forth in GS 1C-1601. Current procedure prohibits a clerk from issuing an execution or writ of possession for property after judgment unless notice from the court has been served on the judgment debtor advising the debtor of the debtor's rights. Adds a new provision to specify that this notice is not required if the property exemptions under GS 1C-1601 are inapplicable based on their exception from the exemption, set forth in GS 1C-1601(e), which enumerates 10 exemptions including claims of the federal government and claims of the State. Further amends GS 1C-1603 to eliminate the provision stating that failure to file a motion to designate exemptions or failure to request a hearing before the clerk within 20 days after notice of the debtor's rights was served results in waiver of the personal property and homestead exemptions of Sections 1 and 2 of Article X of the NC Constitution; maintains that such failures result in waiver of the exemptions provided in Article 16.

    Amends GS 42-34.1 concerning undertaking an appeal in summary ejectment cases, to specify that a plaintiff appellee can apply to the clerk of superior court to immediately issue a writ of possession if the defendant appellant fails to make rental payments within five business days of the day rent is due under the terms of the residential rental agreement (currently only specifies five days).

    Enacts GS 7A-49.6 granting a general authorization for judicial officials to conduct proceedings of all types by means of an audio and video transmission in which the parties, the presiding official, and any other participants can see and hear each other. Requires participating parties to be able to communicate fully and confidentially with his or her attorney, if represented. Requires good cause for allowing a witness to testify by audio or video transmission in proceedings involving a jury. Establishes criteria that must be met when the right to confront witnesses or be present is implicated in criminal or juvenile delinquency proceedings, including (1) the court has obtained a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of the defendant's or juvenile respondent's rights or (2) the court finds that the use of audio and video transmission in the absence of a waiver is necessary to further an important State interest and will not materially prejudice the defendant's or juvenile respondent's rights. Allows parties to object to conducting a proceeding by audio or video transmission, and prohibits holding the proceeding by audio or video transmission if the presiding official finds that the party has demonstrated good cause for the objection. Requires compliance with state and federal laws governing confidentiality and security of confidential information. Provides for public and media access to proceedings and proceeding recordings, if applicable. Specifies that the statute is not intended to limit the court's authority to receive remote testimony under state law. Requires all proceedings to be conducted using videoconferencing applications approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Defines the term judicial official to include judges of the appellate, superior court, and district court divisions; clerks of superior court; and magistrates. 

    Repeals language in the following statutes relating to authority to conduct specific proceedings using audio or video technology, as identified, to reflect the new general authorization for judicial officials to conduct any proceeding using audio or video transmission pursuant to GS 7A-49.6: GS 7B-1906(h) (concerning hearings for continued custody of a juvenile), GS 15A-101.1(2) (defining document as used in the provisions regarding electronic technology in criminal process and procedure), GS 15A-245(a)(3) (concerning issuance of search warrants), GS 15A-304(d)(3) (concerning warrants for arrest), GS 15A-511(a1) (concerning initial appearance before a magistrate), GS 15A-532 (concerning conditions for pretrial release), GS 15A-601 (concerning first appearance before a district court judge), GS 15A-941 (concerning arraignment), GS 50B-2(e) (concerning ex parte relief in domestic violation actions), GS 50C-6(e) (concerning temporary civil no-contact orders), GS 50C-7 (concerning permanent civil no-contact orders), and GS 122C-268(g) (concerning inpatient commitment; maintains the requirements for AOC to approve the procedures and type of equipment for audio and video transmission used pursuant to this statute). Applies to proceedings occurring on or after April 1, 2021.

    Authorizes the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to expand the active list of emergency superior court judges to no more than 25, notwithstanding the limit of 10 set in GS 7A-52(a). Expands the Chief Justice's authority to include assignment of emergency judges to hold regular or special sessions of court to address case management issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sunsets the authorities granted on July 1, 2022.


  • Summary date: Feb 17 2021 - More information

    Amends GS 7A-38.2 to add a court management staff member to the Dispute Resolution Commission, appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Adds a new subsection to grant civil immunity to members of the Dispute Resolution Commission and its employees for conduct undertaken in the course of their official duties.

    Amends Rule 51 of the Rules of Civil Procedure to require the court to reduce oral jury instructions to writing for civil cases subject to Rule 9(j) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, regarding medical malpractice pleadings. Additionally encourages and authorizes the court to provide the jury a written copy of the oral instructions for the jury to take into the jury room during deliberation. Amends GS 7A-47.3 to direct the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge to designate a specific resident judge or a specific judge assigned to hold court in the district to preside over all proceedings in a case subject to Rule 9(j) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, regarding medical malpractice pleadings. Requires consultation with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and the parties to the case. Effective October 1, 2021.

    Mandates that the 2022-23 master jury list contain not less than 1.25 times and not more than 3 times as many names as were drawn for jury duty in all courts in the county during the 2018-19 biennium if the jury commission determines that those numbers would be more representative of the required number of jurors than the number of names drawn during the previous biennium. In counties preparing an annual 2022 master jury list, requires the list to contain not less than 1.25 times and not more than 3 times as many names drawn during 2019 if the commission determines that those numbers would be more representative of the required number of jurors than the number of names drawn during the previous biennium.

    Makes the following modifications to the Judicial Standards Commission, governed by GS 7A-375. Requires the General Assembly to appoint alternate Judicial Standards Commission members for the Commission members the General Assembly has appointed to serve in the event of scheduling conflicts, conflicts of interest, disability, or other disqualification in a particular case. Deems the alternate members to have the same qualifications of appointment as the original members. Defines vacancy to arise upon the resignation or death of a member. Requires vacancies of NCGA appointed members to be filled by the alternate member appointed, or if the alternate member is unable to serve, then pursuant to the procedures of GS 120-122 (previously, required all vacancies to be filled under GS 120-122). Requires the chair to call upon the alternate member in instances in which NCGA appointed members become disabled or disqualified from participating in a disciplinary proceeding, previously filled as if there were a vacancy under GS 120-122 and limited to disability. Concerning other non-judge members, provides for their replacement with alternates by their respective appointing authority in instances of disability or disqualification from participating in a disciplinary proceeding. Specifies that the Chair, who is the Court of Appeals judge appointed by the Chief Justice, serves at the pleasure of the Chief Justice. Makes conforming changes and organizational changes.

    Provides a severability clause.


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