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Mecklenburg County Courthouse to close for a week after COVID-19 outbreak

Court officials say while the full extent of the outbreak is still being assessed, Mecklenburg County Public Health advised that the continued cancellation of court proceedings and closure of the courthouse was necessary.
Published: Aug. 8, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2021 at 5:13 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Mecklenburg County Courthouse will be closed for an entire week after a recent COVID-19 outbreak.

The court says that between Friday and Saturday, five employees working onsite at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse tested positive for COVID-19, a number of others have reported symptoms of COVID-19 and are awaiting test results, and at least 29 employees have been directed to quarantine.

The court previously announced a closure for Monday and Tuesday due to the outbreak, but announced an extended closure Tuesday evening.

Court officials say while the full extent of the outbreak is still being assessed, Mecklenburg County Public Health advised that the continued cancellation of court proceedings and closure of the courthouse was necessary.

The court says that all sessions of the district and superior court in the 26th Judicial District that was previously on Aug 11-13 will be rescheduled to a date after Aug. 13, with limited exceptions.

On Monday people showed up at the courthouse not knowing it was closed.

“I came to the courthouse today to enter a traffic matter,” Bertina Broadnix told WBTV. “I had a citation and I thought I could pay it off or take care of it.”

WBTV asked county officials whether courthouse employees are required to report vaccination status. According to a spokesperson, courthouse employees are state Judicial Branch employees, and workforce requirements are largely guided by statewide policy directed by the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts.

The N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts did not respond to requests for details on this policy.

A spokesperson for the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office told WBTV in a statement:

“We’re continuing to monitor the situation developing at the courthouse, and we will be prepared to work with whatever capacity public health circumstances will allow. Court employees are absolutely critical to the work of justice, and our thoughts are with all court personnel who are currently fighting COVID-19 and all those who are in quarantine.”

First Appearance hearings scheduled pursuant to N.C.G.S. Chapter 15A will be heard remotely via WebEx in Courtroom 4150 of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse and Felony Probation Probable Cause hearings will be heard as scheduled in Superior Court.

All Secured Custody hearings scheduled pursuant to N.C.G.S. 7B1906 will be heard remotely via WebEx using the link for Courtroom 8390.

Ex parte requests for temporary Domestic Violence Protection Orders, Motions for Temporary Injunctive Relief, and Motions for Non-Secure Custody of a juvenile pursuant to N.C.G.S. Chapter 7B should be made before a district court judge assigned to the Public Window of the Mecklenburg County Magistrate’s Office.

All grand jury proceedings will continue as scheduled. Jurors currently serving on a trial should report to the Mecklenburg County Courthouse as scheduled on Aug. 11. All new jurors summoned for Aug. 11-13 have been excused from jury service and should not report.

All persons seeking to file legal documents may use the secure receptable designated by the Mecklenburg County Clerk of Superior Court or submit their filings by mail.

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