There have been several operation and deadline updates affecting North Carolina’s courts and the Industrial Commission.  Check below to see how this may impact you or your business.

N.C. Appellate Court Filing Deadlines

On March 27, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued an order  extending all appellate court deadlines that fall between March 27 – April 30, 2020 for 60 days.

N.C. Court Filing Deadlines

On March 29, Chief Justice Beasley issued an order extending filing deadlines and curtailing other court processes. Documents due to be filed between March 16-April 17 will be deemed timely if they are filed before close of business on April 17, 2020. Any acts required from March 16-April 17 in civil actions, criminal actions, estates, and special proceedings are postponed until April 17, 2020. The N.C. Judicial Branch has more information on its website.

On April 2, Chief Justice Beasley issued an order postponing court proceedings in North Carolina until June 1, 2020. The order allows for court proceedings to be handled remotely via video or audio transmission, the use of a sworn statement under penalty of perjury rather than notarization for court filings and oaths and the service of court documents by email with party consent required. There is 5 p.m. deadline for documents to be counted for that day.

N.C. Industrial Commission

The N.C. Industrial Commission is currently open with staff working remotely if possible. Please contact the Commission staff via email instead of by phone. Staff members may not be able to access their work phone or voicemail messages. Email addresses can be found under the “Sections” tab on the Commission’s website.

To encourage social distancing, the N.C. Industrial Commission is allowing the use of DocuSign. To read specifics, visit here

On April 2, Chief Justice Beasley issued an order postponing court proceedings in North Carolina until June 1, 2020. As a result, the Industrial Commission has announced that all mediations prior to June 1, 2020 will be conducted with all parties appearing remotely or be rescheduled for a date on or after June 1, 2020. All parties must consent to appear remotely, and if not, the mediation will be reschedules for on or after June 1, 2020.

Medical Motion Hearings

Beginning March 23, the N.C. Industrial Commission has amended medical motion hearings procedures arising under G.S. §97-25(f) to allow for parties to appear remotely if needed. The presiding Deputy Commissioner will provide a toll-free number and access code to all parties. A court reporter will be available to record hearing testimony.

The Commission strongly encourages parties to explore options that avoid appearing remotely by submitting Pre-Trial Agreements or taking lay witness testimony by deposition.

  • Parties are not required to appear remotely upon approval of the Deputy Commissioner if no lay witness testimony is required or agree to take lay witness testimony by deposition.
  • A Pre-Trial Agreement and set of stipulated exhibits must be submitted. Once completed, medical depositions will be taken.

This will begin March 23 and continue through the end of April 2020.

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP continues to follow all developments related to COVID-19, and we are available to answer any questions our clients have about ongoing legal matters.