TO PROVIDE FOR SUPERVISION OF MAGISTRATES BY THE CLERK OF SUPERIOR COURT IN EACH COUNTY, TO PROVIDE THE JUDICIAL STANDARDS COMMISSION WITH THE AUTHORITY TO INVESTIGATE AND DISCIPLINE MAGISTRATES, TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF SIX-PERSON JURIES IN MISDEMEANOR CASES, AND TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN CONTROL OF CALENDARING IN SUPERIOR COURT BY THE SENIOR RESIDENT SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE.
Enacts new subdivision (1a) to GS 7A-103, authorizing the clerk of superior court to prescribe times and places at which magistrates must be available to perform their duties, consistent with the salaries set by the Administrative Officer of the Courts. Amends GS 7A-146(4), removing that duty from the purview of the chief district judge; the chief district judge retains the duty to assign matters to magistrates.
Amends GS 7A-374.2(5) to clarify that the term judge includes magistrates for purposes of the Judicial Standards Commission only.
Amends GS 15A-1201, which concerns the right to trial by jury, adding that the defendant has the right to be tried by a six-member jury whose verdict must be unanimous in misdemeanor cases. Clarifies that the right to a jury of 12 applies to all felony cases.
Amends GS 7A-49.4(c), which concerns superior court criminal case docketing, to provide that when a case has not been tried within nine months after the defendant was indicted or bound over to superior court, the senior resident superior court judge may give notice and schedule a trial conference, unless the district attorney provides good cause that the case is not ready for trial.
Effective January 1, 2012.
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