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IT’S TIME TO BE HEARD

IT’S TIME TO BE HEARD

Beginning June 1, 2020, pursuant to the following protocols, in person trials and hearings
will resume at the Wake County Courthouse in courtrooms 2B, 2C, 2D, and 2A. Judges may
direct and parties may request remote WebEx hearings for certain cases as provided herein.

Calendar Calls:

● All calendar calls will be held remotely via WebEx until further notice at the following
locations:
Wake County Courtroom 2B Personal Room: Meeting ID# 792 744 428
Wake County Courtroom 2C Personal Room: Meeting ID# 790 188 010
Wake County Courtroom 2D Personal Room: Meeting ID# 792 398 906

● The personal meeting rooms can be accessed by going to www.WebEx.com and selecting
the “JOIN” tab. In the box provided, type in the meeting ID number listed above for your
scheduled courtroom. Make sure your video and audio are working properly before
selecting “Join the meeting.” Mute your microphone until your case is called for hearing.

● Attorneys and Self-Represented Litigants should NOT come to the courthouse for calendar
call unless they are unable to use WebEx. Family members, witnesses, and members of the
public will not be permitted to enter the courtroom during calendar call. Self-Represented
Litigants who come to the courthouse for calendar call should ask their family, friends, or
witnesses to wait outside the courthouse building until the time of trial.

Hearings in Domestic Court

● The presiding Judge has discretion to hear the case in open court or make a determination
that a remote hearing is more appropriate. Pursuant to Chief Justice Beasley’s Emergency
Directive No. 3, the parties have the right to object to a remote hearing for good cause.

● At calendar call, the court will set a schedule of cases for the day, giving all parties a time to
appear in person or remotely. Attorneys, witnesses, and parties will only be able to enter
the courtroom at the designated time for the hearing.

● Beginning in July, the in-court mediation program will be available for parties who are both
in attendance for a hearing.

Remote Hearings in Domestic Court

● A judge may decide to hold a remote hearing instead of an in-person hearing. A party may
also request a remote hearing if an attorney or party is unable to attend court due to the
pandemic.

● The assigned judge, in his or her discretion, may designate some cases to be heard remotely
without the parties’ consent. These matters may be heard by the assigned judge or an
overflow judge. If the judge designates a case to be heard remotely, the parties will be
required to email or otherwise deliver exhibits to the FCCC before the start of the hearing.

● The Court will decide during calendar call, after consulting with parties and hearing
objections, whether the parties will appear remotely or in person for the hearing.

● If a party wishes to have a remote hearing, he or she must indicate this on the notice of
hearing and the Calendar Request (WAKE DOM 4A Temporary). All opposing parties must
be advised of the right to object for good cause in the notice of hearing. Email addresses of
the parties and attorneys should be provided in the Calendar Request. Parties who wish to
set a remote hearing will be required to email exhibits at least two business days before the
proposed hearing date to the FCCC and all opposing parties.

● If there is an objection to a remote hearing, it may be made in advance of the hearing in
writing, or at calendar call on the date of the proposed hearing. Written objections may be
made by emailing the FCCC and the opposing party at least two business days in advance of
the hearing. The email should include the basis for the objection, the names of the parties,
the file number, and the date of the hearing. In his or her discretion, the judge may make a
determination about good cause prior to or on the date of the hearing. This decision may
be based on written submissions alone, or arguments made during calendar call.

● No “permanent” claims (permanent custody or permanent modifications, permanent child
support, alimony, equitable distribution, show cause motions, or domestic violence return
hearings with an assigned judge) will be heard remotely. Temporary matters (temporary
child support, temporary custody or temporary modifications, post-separation support, and
interim distribution) and motions not requiring testimony (pre-trial, post-trial, and
dispositive motions) may be heard remotely.

● Remote hearings will be limited to the time requested in the Calendar Request, up to a
maximum of two hours. The number of exhibits in a remote hearing will be limited to five
exhibits per side and five pages per exhibit.

● All remote hearings will be held at the following WebEx locations:
Wake County Courtroom 2B Personal Room: Meeting ID# 792 744 428
Wake County Courtroom 2C Personal Room: Meeting ID# 790 188 010
Wake County Courtroom 2D Personal Room: Meeting ID# 792 398 906

● Remote hearings sent to the overflow courtroom will be held at this WebEx location:
Wake County Courtroom 2A Personal Room: Meeting ID# 793 202 682

● The personal meeting rooms can be accessed by going to www.WebEx.com and selecting
the “JOIN” tab. In the box provided, type in the meeting ID number listed above for your
scheduled courtroom. Make sure your video and audio are working properly before
selecting “Join the meeting.” Mute your microphone until your case is called for hearing.

● Business casual or business attire is appropriate dress for parties and counsel.

● All participants in a remote hearing must be able to be seen and heard by all other
participants. During the hearing, parties that are not testifying should have their
microphones muted unless they are speaking. Witnesses should be in a room alone during
testimony, without access to any documents or papers, other than copies of exhibits already
provided to the Court and opposing parties.

● If they are in separate locations, attorneys and parties may communicate privately via text
or email during the hearing, provided however, parties may not communicate with
counsel while they are testifying. No one may communicate with witnesses privately
during the hearing without court permission.

● If an interpreter is needed for a remote hearing, a request will be made to AOC and the
interpreter. We cannot guarantee that interpreters will be available for all remote hearings
and adjustments may need to be made if you request an interpreter.

Custody Mediation

● All custody mediation and orientation sessions will continue to be conducted solely via
Zoom.

● The mediation office is open during regular office hours, but typically only one mediator is
present each day. All other mediators are teleworking from home.

● Before a case can be scheduled for mediation, the Custody Mediation Office needs to
receive the Custody Mediation Cover Sheet which should include the parties’ email
addresses. If the mediation involves a show cause motion or a motion to modify, the
Custody Mediation Office will also need copies of these documents. If you do not include
email addresses for both parties, the information about the mediation orientation and the
Order to Attend will have to be mailed which will result in delays in your case.

● Pursuant to Chief Beasley’s Directive No. 5, the parties are permitted to sign the Parenting
Agreement under penalty of perjury and mail it to the mediation office.

● If you have questions, please email them directly to the Custody Mediation Office at
D10.custodymediation@nccourts.org.

DIVORCES

Courtroom 5B
● The normal pre-COVID19 divorce calendaring system will remain in place except as provided
herein. For the next several months, there will be a cap on the number of divorces that will
be permitted each day.

● Beginning June 1, 2020, pursuant to the directives of the Chief Justice, in person divorce
trials will resume at the Wake County Courthouse in Courtroom 5B. Summary Judgment
Remote divorces will be held in the following location:
Wake County Divorce Personal Room: Meeting ID #798 770 579

● The personal meeting room can be accessed by going to www.WebEx.com and selecting the
“JOIN” tab. Type in the Meeting ID number listed above in the “join” box. Make sure your
video and audio are working properly before selecting “Join the meeting.” Mute your
microphone until your case is called for hearing.

Summary Judgment Divorces

● Except for special settings on June 19, 2020 and June 26, 2020, all summary judgment
divorces will be held remotely on Fridays at 9:00 a.m. pending further notice. The
calendaring procedure will be the same as it was before COVID19, except as provided
herein.

● If you already have a case scheduled on one of the special settings on June 19, 2020 or June
26, 2020, those motions will be scheduled in person and heard under the pre-COVID system.
If you prefer a remote summary judgment hearing on June 19 or June 26, you simply need
to send the new notice of hearing (Wake DOM 23A Temporary) that informs the nonmoving
party of his or her right to object as provided below. No divorce trials will be heard
remotely.

● Any other cases set after June 1, 2020 will be heard remotely via WebEx unless there is
objection made and good cause found by the presiding judge. The non-moving party must
be advised of his or her right to object in a timely manner as provided herein, or the motion
for summary judgment will not be heard on the scheduled date. If you have already set a
matter after June 1, you will need to resend the new notice of hearing form or file some
other proof of notice.

● Attorneys or parties who are scheduling a hearing for summary judgment, must advise the
opposing party that remote hearings may be objected to for good cause. This can be done
in a notice of hearing, or a separate notice. Service of Wake DOM 23A Temporary is
sufficient.

● All parties who wish to appear for the summary judgment motion must do so remotely
unless there is an objection made and good cause found by the presiding judge. If a nonmoving
party objects to a remote hearing, that party may submit his or her objections in
writing by filing them with the clerk of court or emailing them to
Tasha.S.ONeal@nccourts.org and to the opposing party at least 48 hours before the
scheduled hearing. The written notice must include the name of the parties, the date of the
hearing, the file number, and the basis for the objection. Parties may also object in person
at the courthouse on the date of the hearing by going to the Wake County Courthouse,
courtroom 5B at 9:00 a.m. The objection will be considered on or before the date of the
hearing. If the court finds good cause for the objection, the case may be continued for an in
person hearing or held open for an in person hearing later in the morning. If no good cause
is found, the case will proceed remotely and parties should be prepared to proceed
accordingly.

● At least 72 hours before the hearing, the moving party shall be responsible for emailing the
Judgment for Absolute Divorce, Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Affidavit, and the
Certificate of Absolute Divorce to Tasha O’Neal at Tasha.S.ONeal@nccourts.org and to the
opposing party. If the necessary documents are not received or served in advance, the
motion will not be heard. If documents are incorrect or incomplete, the motion for
summary judgment will not be granted.

● Remote summary judgment divorce sessions will be recorded through WebEx. Copies of the
recordings may be requested through the Clerk’s office.

● At the conclusion of the remote hearing, the divorce judgment will be time-stamped,
scanned and emailed by the Clerk’s office to the moving party for service. The moving party
is responsible for serving the opposing party. If certified copies of the divorce judgment are
required, certified copies may be requested through the Clerk’s office.

● Business casual or business attire is appropriate dress for parties and counsel. All
participants must be able to be seen and heard by the judge. During the hearing, parties
that are not speaking should have their microphones muted unless and until they are
addressed by the judge.

● If an interpreter is needed, please indicate this to the clerk when the court date is
requested. A request will be made to the Administrative Office of the Courts. We cannot
guarantee that interpreters will be available, and adjustments may need to be made if you
request an interpreter.
Absolute Divorce Trials

● The calendar procedure for scheduling absolute divorces trials will be the same as it was
pre-COVID19. Except for special afternoon settings on June 19, 2020 and June 26, 2020, all
divorce trials will be held in Courtroom 5B at 10:30 a.m. The party seeking a divorce may file
a calendar request with the clerk and request a court date.

● After a case is calendared, the moving party (party asking for the divorce) should appear in
the courtroom on the date and time of the hearing and bring all required forms to the
courtroom. The opposing party may attend the hearing in person in courtroom 5B, or if
they are not opposed to the divorce and simply want to observe the proceedings, they may
appear remotely via WebEx at:
Wake County Divorce Personal Room: Meeting ID #798 770 579

● The personal meeting room can be accessed by going to www.WebEx.com and selecting the
“JOIN” tab. Type in the Meeting ID number listed above in the “join” box. Make sure your
video and audio are working properly before selecting “Join the meeting.” Mute your
microphone until your case is called for hearing.

● If a party wishes to attend the hearing but is unable due to COVID19 or other reasons, that
party may file a motion to continue with the clerk of court by mailing it to the clerk and the
opposing party or by emailing the motion to the opposing party and
Tasha.S.Oneal@nccourts.org.

● If an interpreter is needed, please indicate this to the clerk when the court date is
requested. A request will be made to the Administrative Office of the Courts. We cannot
guarantee that interpreters will be available, and adjustments may need to be made if you
request an interpreter.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COURT

Courtroom 5A

Filing Motions and Complaints

● Parties may file Complaints and Motions related to Chapter 50B and 50C in Room 527 of the
Wake County Courthouse from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday, on days that the
Courts are open for business. Any filing that requests Ex Parte relief shall be filed by 4:00
pm to ensure adequate time to be heard the same day.

● Plaintiffs may normally file a Complaint at InterAct through the automated e-filing system;
however, at this time InterAct has temporarily suspended their automated e-filing program
but anticipates resuming this service in July. Currently there are no other approved remote
filing options available. Plaintiffs may request assistance from InterAct in facilitating a
hearing for Ex Parte relief via Web Ex.

● Plaintiffs requesting Ex Parte relief will have a hearing with a Judge the same day of filling.
Calendars

● Return hearings will be scheduled as normal pursuant to statute. If the calendar within 10
days of filing has too many cases docketed to allow for social distancing, then the Court may
determine that good cause exists to set the case for hearing in 11-15 days. Calendaring
decisions are intended to comply with the directives of the Chief Justice to minimize the
number of persons in the courtroom.

● The Court and the Clerk’s office will review multiple weeks of calendars when scheduling
new hearings in order to maintain a generally similar number of hearings daily.

● If the number of cases filed continue to increase, the Court will begin staggered hearing
times to reduce the number of persons entering the Courthouse at the same time. If
staggered hearing times are implemented, hearings may be noticed for 9:00 am or 11:00
am.

● There will be limited opportunities for a return hearing to be heard remotely. The Court’s
ability to accommodate a remote hearing will be dependent on the ability of the Clerk’s
Office or the District Court Judges’ Office to communicate with both parties and the
availability of a judge to conduct the remote hearing.

● All parties must agree that a remote return hearing may be scheduled beyond the statutory
requirements, if necessary, to accommodate the remote hearing.

Continuances

● Motions to Continue may be made by emailing the Wake County Clerk’s office at
WakeCivilClerk@nccourts.org prior to the hearing date.

● If a party is COVID-19 positive, has been exposed or believes that they may have been
exposed to the virus, or have other legitimate reasons to not enter the courtroom, they
should notify the Clerk’s office and request a continuance via email or phone call prior to
the court date. The Clerk will attempt to contact the opposing party to determine if they
object to the motion to continue. The Court will determine if the case will be continued
prior to the court date.

● Plaintiffs are encouraged to contact the Clerk’s office or the Wake County Sheriff’s Office
prior to their court date to confirm that the Defendant has been served. If there is no proof
of service on the day before the hearing, the Court may continue the case and provide the
new hearing date to Plaintiff and include the Continuance Order in the service packet.
Courtroom Protocol

● As Courtroom 5A has limited seating, social distancing will be enforced in the Courtroom by
Deputies, Clerks and Judges.

● Witnesses and persons who are present for emotional support may be asked to wait in the
lobby or other designated location.

● Courtroom 5A will have a designated area in close proximity available for overflow to be
utilized by the presiding Judge to ensure social distancing.

● All parties and attorneys shall avoid approaching the Clerk, unless specifically instructed to
do so by the Judge or Clerk. If any person needs to provide documents or other paperwork
to the Clerk or Judge, it should be handed to the Deputy in the Courtroom.

● All witnesses will be affirmed.

CHILD SUPPORT COURT

Courtroom 5D
● Courtroom 5D will resume regular operations on June 22, 2020.

● Prior to June 22, 2020, child support enforcement cases with the defendant in custody will
be heard in Courtroom 5B and should be coordinated in advance with the presiding Judge.

● Prior to June 22, 2020, any continuances, dismissals, consent orders or other matters
needing review or signatures of a District Court Judge shall be taken to the Judge presiding
in Courtroom 5B.

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