AN ACT TO DIVIDE DISTRICT COURT JUDICIAL DISTRICT 30 INTO DISTRICTS 30A AND 30B, TO REALIGN SUPERIOR COURT JUDICIAL DISTRICTS 30A AND 30B, AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS.
Amends GS 7A-41 to move Swain County from Superior Court District 30A (Cherokee, Clay, Graham and Macon) to District 30B (Haywood and Jackson), which each are assigned one resident superior court judge. Provides that upon realignment, the existing superior court judicial assistants serving at the pleasure of the senior resident superior court judge are reclassified as trial court administrators.
Amends GS 7A-133 to divide District Court District 30, which is assigned 6 district court judges, into Districts 30A (Cherokee, Clay, Graham and Macon) with three district court judges, and 30B (Haywood, Jackson and Swain) with five district court judges. Provides for the three judgeships established for District 30A to be filled by a district court judge from current District 30 who resides in one of the District 30A counties. Provides that the term of one judge living in Clay County elected in 2020 expires December 31, 2024. Requires the two newly established judgeships for District 30A to be appointed by the Governor pursuant to GS 7A-142, to serve terms to expire December 31, 2022, with successors elected at the 2022 general election for four-year terms. Provides for the five judgeships established for District 30B to be filled by the district court judges from current District 30 who reside in the District 30B counties. Provides for the terms of the two judges living in Haywood County elected in 2020 expire December 31, 2024. Provides for the terms of the three judges living in Haywood County elected in 2019 expire December 31, 2022. Directs the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to assign the two existing district court judicial assistants in Haywood County to the chief district court judge in District 30B, and hire one new district court judicial assistant to serve the chief district court judge in District 30A using funds appropriated by the act. Additionally requires AOC to ensure Districts 30A and 30B each have a custody mediator, using available funds, unless AOC authorizes program operation in conjunction with another district(s).
Makes the above provisions effective December 1, 2021.
Amends GS 7A-60, increasing the number of assistant district attorneys for Prosecutorial District 43 (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain) from 13 to 15 (makes changes to the statutes as it exists from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022, and January 1, 2023, and thereafter). Effective July 1, 2021.
Appropriates $553,946 and $759,038 in recurring funds for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years to AOC, to be allocated in specified amounts for two district court judge positions, one district court judicial assistant position, and two assistant district attorney positions. Appropriates $30,970 to AOC for 2021-22 to be allocated in specified amounts for the same described positions. Effective July 1, 2021.
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