Commercial Litigation COVID-19 Resources
On March 19, 2020, Chief Justice Beasley of the Supreme Court of North Carolina entered an order extending deadlines for filings and actions to be done in North Carolina trial courts which were set to be filed or done between March 16, 2020 and April 17, 2020. We provided a summary of that order and several subsequent related orders entered by the Chief Justice and the Chief Judge of the North Carolina Business Court.
On April 13, 2020, Chief Justice Beasley entered another order modifying the extensions granted in her March 19, 2020 order and other deadlines as follows:
- Filings: All pleadings, motions, notices, and other documents and papers that were or are due to be filed on or after Monday, March 16, 2020 and before the close of business on Monday, June 1, 2020 in civil actions, criminal actions, estates, and special proceedings shall be deemed to be timely filed if they are filed before the close of business on June 1, 2020;
- Other Acts: All other acts that were or are due to be done on or after Monday, March 16, 2020 and before the close of business on Monday, June 1, 2020 in civil actions, criminal actions, estates, and special proceedings shall be deemed to be timely done if they are done before the close of business on June 1, 2020; and,
- Bail Bond Forfeiture Proceedings: Motions to set aside or objections to motions to set aside due to be filed between April 14, 2020 and September 29, 2020 shall be deemed timely filed if filed before the close of business on September 30, 2020 and all entries of final judgments or grants of motions to set aside are stayed through September 30, 2020.
The Chief Justice’s April 13, 2020 order does not apply to any appellate arguments or deadlines. However, according to the Chief Justice’s March 27, 2020 order, all deadlines imposed by the Rules of Appellate procedure which fall on or between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are extended for 60 days.
Chief Business Court Judge Bledsoe also entered an order dated April 14, 2020 that adopts the Chief Justice’s order for matters before the North Carolina Business Court. Judge Bledsoe’s order similarly extends all Business Court deadlines on or after March 16 to June 1, but encourages counsel for the parties to confer and advise the Business Court if they desire earlier deadlines, hearings by videoconference or telephone, or want to propose a new schedule for revised filing or case management deadlines. Parties can file documents electronically with the Business Court prior to June 1, but corresponding hard copies do not have to be filed with the local Clerk of Superior Court until June 8.
To make sure that parties meet all deadlines, attorneys should consult the full text of the orders and/or contact county trial court administrators and coordinators if necessary. Additional resources include the North Carolina Judicial Branch’s COVID-19 resource page, which contains a record of all related orders issued by the Chief Justice as well as a compilation of city, county, state, and administrative orders. The NCDHHS also has created a COVID-19 resource page with a broad range of resources for the public.