RE-OPEN NORTH CAROLINA COURTS

RE-OPEN NORTH CAROLINA COURTS

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SURVIVORS OUTREACH MINISTRIES started this petition to Governor and

 The Constitution guarantees a public right to access court proceedings, which belong to the public and to defendant's in criminal cases. Currently in the state of North Carolina many avenues, businesses, restaurants, department stores, movie theaters etc. are starting to resume business, but our state courts are still closed for various sorts of business. The Corona-Virus Pandemic has crippled our legal system, creating constitutional dilemmas as the accused miss their days in court and families are torn apart waiting for custody hearings for children. The public health crisis has created a legal backlog that is overwhelming our courts across the state, leaving some defendant's behind bars longer, and forcing prosecutors to decide which cases to pursue and which to let slide. Children are being denied visitation and custodial time with the other parent,  leaving many custody cases pending and children's futures hanging in the balance. Most North Carolina counties do not have the option for web-ex hearings and the use of remote proceedings are undermining the attorney-client relationship, altering the perceived credibility of witnesses, leading many participants to disengage with the judicial process altogether. As we know more often than not, those involved with the Court System are minorities, people with mental illness or substance abuse . In addition to being unfamiliar with the court system, self-represented litigants are also disproportionately likely to have limited computer literacy, limited access to technology, some may need language interpreters, may be hard of hearing and have other disabilities, normally in-person court proceedings can provide these accommodations but online hearings make this accommodation not so easy.   Remote hearings often interfere with litigants constitutional right to a meaningful hearing by making it more difficult for them to present or examine evidence or by diminishing the reliability of witness testimony. 

Please sign the petition requesting Chief Justice Paul Newby and Governor Roy Cooper open courts in North Carolina, ensuring that all litigants and defendant's constitutional rights are upheld.  

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!