MTG Clients


John P. Fetner, Managing NC Attorney


December 15, 2020


Order of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina – December 14


On December 14, 2020, the Chief Justice of North Carolina issued a new order affecting

residential evictions, foreclosures, and general litigation in North Carolina. This order canceled or stayed all hearings in North Carolina scheduled between December 14, 2020 and January 14, 2021 unless the hearing meets the criteria for one of the exceptions. Effectively, foreclosures, evictions, and related litigation are covered by this order, unless they can be held remotely. The new order also extended previous Emergency Directives that have been in place for several months. These include the allowance of remote hearings, removal of the requirement to have certain documents notarized, and the requirement to file an affidavit in an eviction hearing to reflect compliance with the CARES Act.

Important Dates:

  1. Order is effective December 14, 2020.
  2. Order extends to January 14, 2021.

Exceptions to Hearings Being Suspended (Emergency Directive 1)

  1. Hearings that can be held remotely can move forward. Some counties are holding foreclosure hearings remotely; some counties are also holding certain motion and miscellaneous hearings remotely for general litigation. Currently, Wake County, Mecklenburg County, Wayne County, and Cabarrus County are allowing remote hearings. No county is holding eviction hearings remotely.
  2. Hearings that are necessary to preserve the right to due process of law. This exception primarily applies to criminal matters.
  3. Hearings that are necessary for the purpose of obtaining emergency relief. This includes

domestic violence cases, custody cases, and other temporary restraining order hearings.

4. Hearings as allowed by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, Chief Business Court

Judge, or Chief District Court Judge, and which can be done under conditions that protect health and safety of all participants. It is possible that foreclosure, eviction, or related litigation hearings would be covered by this exception, but it will be looked at on a case by case basis. A few counties, such as Lenoir, Davidson, and Durham have scheduled in person foreclosure hearings during the effective period. We will continue to monitor whether we are able to proceed with these hearings in person and act accordingly.