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)U5 C.3 ^ovt\\ (Earolma (Enurte o — i o OT 3 .> CO GO 'CO p Oc S rr. -h CO 1986-87 JVttmral Report of t\\e ^mmtstrattOe Office of%(Eourts The Cover: The Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield, North Carolina, is represen-tative of the Neo-Classical Revival at its most monumental scale. This courthouse was completed in 1921. The cut stone veneered structure is rectangular in shape, three stories high, and is fronted hy a four-columned portico. The level roofline is defined by a stone balustrade. Johnston County is located in the central region of the State. Smithfield was established as the county seat in 1777. NORTH CAROLINA COURTS 1986-87 ANNUAL REPORT of the ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS JUSTICE BUILDING RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA The Honorable James G. Exum, Jr., Chief Justice The Supreme Court of North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina Dear Mr. Chief Justice: In accord with Section 7A-343 of the North Carolina General Statutes, I herewith transmit the Twenty-first Annual Report of the Administrative Office of the Courts, relating to the fiscal year, July 1, 1986 — June 30, 1987. Fiscal year 1986-87 marks the third consecutive year with significant increases in filings and dispositions in both the Superior and District Courts. During 1986-87, as compared to 1985-86, total case filings increased by 8.3% in Superior Court and by 1 1.1% in District Court; dispositions increased by 9.3% in Superior Court and by 9.9% in District Court. Because total filings were greater than total dispositions, more cases were pending at the end of the fiscal year than were pending at the beginning. Appreciation is expressed to the many persons who participated in the data reporting, compilation, and writing required to produce this annual report. Within the Administrative Office of the Courts, principal responsibilities were shared by the Research and Planning Division and the Information Services Division. The principal burden of reporting the great mass of trial court data rested upon the offices of the clerks of superior court located in each of the one hundred counties of the State. The Clerk of the Supreme Court and the Clerk of the Court of Appeals provided the case data relating to our appellate courts. Without the responsible work of many persons across the State this report would not have been possible. Respectfully submitted, U<uJkiL: Franklin Freeman, Jr. Director February, 1988 Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2012 with funding from LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation http://archive.org/details/northcarolinacou1987nort TABLE OF CONTENTS Parti The 1986-87 Judicial Year in Review The 1986-87 Judicial Year in Review 1 Part II Court System Organization and Operations in 1986-87 Historical Development of the North Carolina Court System 5 The Present Court System 8 Organization and Operations The Supreme Court 12 The Court of Appeals 24 The Superior Courts 32 The District Courts 35 District Attorneys 38 Clerks of Superior Court 41 Juvenile Services Division 43 Public Defenders 45 Appellate Defender 46 The N.C. Courts Commission 47 The Judicial Standards Commission 49 Part III Court Resources in 1986-87 Judicial Department Finances Appropriations 53 Expenditures 56 Receipts 58 Distribution of Receipts 59 Cost and Case Data on Representation of Indigents 62 Judicial Department Personnel 70 Part IV Trial Courts Caseflow Data in 1986-87 Trial Courts Case Data 73 Superior Court Division Caseflow Data 77 District Court Division Caseflow Data 137 Tables, Charts and Graphs Part II Court System Organization and Operations in 1986-87 Original Jurisdictions and Routes of Appeal in the Present Court System 8 Principal Administrative Authorities for North Carolina Trial Courts 11 The Supreme Court of North Carolina 12 Supreme Court. Caseload Inventory 14 Supreme Court. Appeals Filed 15 Supreme Court. Petitions Filed 15 Supreme Court. Caseload Types 16 Supreme Court, Submission of Cases to Decision Stage 17 Supreme Court, Disposition of Petitions and Other Proceedings 17 Supreme Court, Disposition of Appeals 18 Supreme Court, Manner of Disposition of Appeals 19 Supreme Court, Type of Disposition of Petitions 19 Supreme Court, Pending Cases 20 Supreme Court, Appeals Docketed and Disposed of, 1980-81—1986-87 21 Supreme Court, Petitions Docketed and Allowed, 1980-81 —1986-87 22 Supreme Court, Processing Time for Disposed Cases 23 The Court of Appeals of North Carolina 24 Court of Appeals, Filings and Dispositions 26 Court of Appeals, Inventory of Cases Appealed 27 Court of Appeals, Manner of Disposition of Cases 28 Court of Appeals, Inventory of Motions and Petitions 29 Court of Appeals, Filings and Dispositions, 1981—1986-87 30 Map of Judicial Divisions and Districts 31 Judges of Superior Court 32 District Court Judges 35 District Attorneys 38 Clerks of Superior Court 41 Chief Court Counselors 44 Public Defenders 45 Appellate Defenders 46 The N.C. Courts Commission 47 The Judicial Standards Commission 49 Part III Court Resources in 1986-87 General Fund Appropriations, All State Agencies and Judicial Department 53 General Fund Appropriations, All State Agencies and Judicial Department 54 Tables, Charts and Graphs General Fund Appropriations for Operating Expenses of All State Agencies and Judicial Department 55 General Fund Expenditures for Judicial Department Operations 56 Judicial Department Receipts 58 Distribution of Judicial Department Receipts 59 Amounts of Fees, Fines, and Forfeitures Collected by the Courts and Distributed to Counties and Municipalities 60 Cost and Case Data on Representation of Indigents 63 Mental Hospital Commitment Hearings 64 Assigned Counsel, Cases and Expenditures 65 Judicial Department Personnel 70 Part IV Trial Courts Caseflow Data in 1986-87 Caseload Trends 78 Caseload 79 Median Ages of Cases 80 Civil Cases Trends 81 Civil Case Filings By Case-Type 82 Civil Cases Inventory 83 Civil Cases, Manner of Disposition 87 Civil Cases, Manner of Disposition, By County 88 Ages of Civil Cases Pending 92 Ages of Civil Cases Disposed 96 Trends in Estates and Special Proceedings 100 Filings and Dispositions For Estates and Special Proceedings 101 Trends in Criminal Cases 105 Criminal Case Filings By Case-Type 106 Inventory of Criminal Cases 107 Manner of Disposition of Felonies Ill Manner of Disposition of Felonies, By County 112 Manner of Disposition of Misdemeanors 116 Manner of Disposition of Misdemeanors, By County 117 Ages of Criminal Cases Pending 121 Ages of Criminal Cases Disposed 128 District Courts, Filings and Dispositions 139 District Courts, Filing and Disposition Trends of All Cases 140 District Courts, Filing and Disposition Trends of Civil Cases 141 District Courts, Civil Non-Magistrate Cases 142 District Courts, Civil Non-Magistrate Filings By Case-Type 143 District Courts, Civil Caseload Inventory 144 District Courts, Manner of Disposition of Civil Cases 148 District Courts, Manner of Disposition of Civil Cases, By County 149 District Courts, Ages of Domestic Relations Cases Pending 156 District Courts, Ages of Domestic Relations Cases Disposed 160 District Courts, Ages of General Civil and Magistrate Appeal/ Transfer Cases Pending 164 District Courts, Ages of General Civil and Magistrate Appeal/ Transfer Cases Disposed 168 District Courts, Civil Magistrate Filings and Dispositions 172 Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts Superior Courts in Tables, Charts and Graphs District Courts. Matters Alleged in Juvenile Petitions 174 District Courts, Adjudicatory Hearings For Juvenile Matters 178 District Courts, Trends of Criminal Cases 183 District Courts. Motor Vehicle Criminal Case Filings and Dispositions 184 District Courts. Non-Motor Vehicle Criminal Cases, Caseload Inventory 188 District Courts, Non-Motor Vehicle Criminal Cases, Manner of Disposition 192 District Courts, Non-Motor Vehicle Criminal Cases, Manner of Disposition, By County 193 District Courts, Ages of Non-Motor Vehicle Criminal Cases Pending 197 District Courts. Ages of Non-Motor Vehicle Criminal Cases Disposed 201 District Courts. Infraction Case Filings and Dispositions 205 IV PARTI THE 1986-1987 JUDICIAL YEAR IN REVIEW THE 1986-87 JUDICIAL YEAR IN REVIEW This Annual Report on the work of North Carolina's Judicial Department is for the fiscal year which began July 1, 1986 and ended June 30, 1987. The Workload of the Courts Case filings in the Supreme Court totaled 196 com-pared with 209 filed during 1985-86. A total of 674 peti-tions were filed in the Supreme Court, compared with 733 in 1985-86; and 99 petitions were allowed, compared with 129 in 1985-86. For the Court of Appeals for 1986-87, case filings were 1,288 compared with 1,381 for the 1985-86 year. Petitions filed in 1986-87 totaled 458, compared with 546 during the 1985-86 year. More detailed data on the appellate courts is included in Part II of this Annual Report. In the superior courts, case filings (civil and criminal) increased by 8.3% to a total of 98,886 in 1986-87, com-pared with 91,336 cases in 1985-86. Superior court case dispositions also increased, to a total of 96,308, compared with 88,089 in 1985-86. As case filings during the year exceeded case dispositions, the total number of cases pending at the end of the year increased by 2,578. Not including juvenile proceedings and mental hospital commitment hearings, the statewide total of district court filings (civil and criminal) during 1986-87 was 1,868,985, an increase of 186,664 (11.1%) from 1985-86 filings of 1 ,682,32 1 cases. This total includes a new case category in the district courts: infractions. Effective September 1, 1986, many minor traffic offenses were decriminalized and thereafter prosecuted as infractions. Infractions are defined as non-criminal violations of law, not punishable by imprisonment. Nearly all infraction offenses were clas-sified as criminal motor vehicle cases in prior years. Dur-ing 1986-87, a total of 486,994 infraction cases were filed along with a total of 488,494 criminal motor vehicle cases, for a combined total of 975,488 cases. This combined total is an increase of 136,320 cases (16.2%) above the 839,168 criminal motor vehicle cases filed during 1985-86. During 1986-87, filings of criminal non-motor vehicle cases in the district courts increased by 22,292 (5.0%) to 468,131, compared with 445,839 during 1985-86. Filings of civil magistrate cases in the district courts increased by 21,41 1 (9.5%), to 247,455 during 1986-87 compared with 226,044 during 1985-86. Operations of the superior and district courts are sum-marized in Part II of this Report, and detailed informa-tion on the caseloads in the 100 counties and 34 judicial districts is presented in Part IV. 1987 Legislative Highlights Superior Court Redisricting Chapter 509 of the 1987 Session Laws rewrote G.S.. 7A-41 pertaining to judicial districts for the superior courts. The new legislation is effective January 1 , 1 989 for administrative purposes and effective in 1988 for pur-poses of electing superior court judges. The result is to increase superior court judge districts from 34 to 60 for election purposes, and from 34 to 44 for administrative purposes only. Current superior court districts, 3, 4, 6, 8, 16, 19 A, 20, 25, and 30 were divided into two districts each for court administration and election purposes; district 7 was divided into two districts for administration purposes and into three districts for election purposes; district 12 was divided into three districts for election purposes; and current single county districts 10, 14, 18, 21, and 26 were divided into two or more districts each for election pur-poses only. The existing eight special judge positions (appointed by the Governor for four year terms) were phased out, effective January 1, 1989, being replaced by regular superior court positions to be filled by election during 1988. (Two additional special judge positions were created by Chapter 509, but these are apparently to be replaced by regular resident judge positions in January 1991.) The 1987 legislation on superior court redistricting is subject to review under the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the act was precleared by the United States Department of Justice on September 25, 1987. Judicial Selection Study Commission The 1987 General Assembly in Chapter 873 established the Judicial Selection Study Commission to "study the method of selecting judges in North Carolina and recom-mend any changes needed to improve the system." The Commission will have 20 members: four appointed by the Governor, four appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, four appointed by the Speaker of the House of Represen-tatives, four appointed by the Chief Justice, and four appointed by the Attorney General. The Lieutenant Gov-ernor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives each designates a cochairman of the Commission. The legislation further provides that the Commission is to report its findings and recommendations to the Gover-nor, the General Assembly, the Chief Justice, and the Attorney General by February 15, 1989. AOC Studies The 1987 General Assembly in Chapter 19 directed the Administrative Office of the Courts to conduct a study concerning the use of presentence reports by judges, addressing the following issues: ( 1 ) current use of present-ence reports; (2) when the reports should be prepared; (3) who should prepare them; (4) their contents; and (5) whether the presentence reports should be mandatory for any, or all, offenses. The Administrative Office of the Courts is to submit a written report to the General Assembly prior to the convening of the 1988 Session of the 1987 General Assembly. Chapter 738 directed the Administrative Office of the Courts to study the potential for receiving federal reim-bursement for the costs of administration of child support enforcement services. The results of this study are to be reported to the Joint Appropriations Committees on Jus-tice and Public Safety by May 1, 1988. THE 1986-87 JUDICIAL YEAR IN REVIEW Life Sentence Appeals G.S. 7A-27 was amended by Chapter 679 of the 1987 Session Laws to provide that only persons sentenced to death or life imprisonment for first-degree murder are entitled to an automatic review of their conviction by the North Carolina Supreme Court. Appeals of life sentences in second-degree murder, rape and sex offense cases will now go to the Court of Appeals, and any further review of such cases by the Supreme Court will be discretionary rather than a matter of right. Appellate Reports Chapter 404 of the 1987 Session Laws amended G.S. 7A-6 to authorize the Supreme Court to designate a commercial law publisher's reports and advance sheets as the official reports of the Appellate Division, and to authorize the Administrative Officer of the Courts to contract with a commercial law publisher to print and sell appellate reports and advance sheets. These author-izations are in addition to present statutory provisions in G.S. 7A-6 pertaining to publication of the appellate reports. Community Penalties Program Chapter 862 of the 1987 Session Laws transferred the Buncombe County Community Penalties Program and funds previously allocated to it to the Administrative Office of the Courts. (The Buncombe County program had been funded by grants from the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety and from local funds. Other community penalties programs will continue to be so funded.) The Buncombe program will now be under the supervision of the chief district judge for the 28th District, and its employees will be state employees. Emergency Judges Chapter 738 of the 1987 Session Laws provides that trial judges with eight (instead of 12) years of service may become emergency judges. Worthless Check Jurisdiction Chapter 355 provides that the jurisdiction of magis-trates and clerks to accept written appearances, waiver of trial and plea of guilty in worthless check cases is increased to cases involving checks up to $1,000 (pre-viously S500); and magistrates may now hear and decide not guilty pleas in worthless check cases involving checks up to SI. 000. Jurors Chapter 702 enacted G.S. 9-2 to prohibit an employer from firing or demoting an employee because the employee was called for either petit or grand jury duty. The employee has the right to a court action for rein-statement and reasonable damage in the event an employer violates the new statute. Incompetence and Guardianship Laws Rewritten The product of over two years' work by a committee established jointly by the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Division of Social Services, a thorough rewrite of North Carolina's guardianship laws was enacted by the 1987 General Asembly. The new law (Chapter 550), codified in the General Statutes as Chapter 35A, entitled "Incompetence and Guardian-ship," replaces Chapters 33 and 35, and consolidates all statutory provisions for adjudicating a person to be incompetent, appointing and establishing the powers of guardians of incompetent persons and of minors, ac-counting by guardians, and managing the estates of wards. Salaries Funds were appropriated by the 1987 General As-sembly for a 10% pay raise for district court judges, and a 5% pay increase for other officials and employees of the Judicial Department. No funding for merit increases was provided. New Positions Judicial Department appropriations for fiscal year 1987-88 provide the following new positions: two spe-cial superior court judgeships (effective August 1, 1987); five assistant district attorneys (one each for Districts 11, 25, 27A, 27B, and 29); ten victim-witness coordina-tors and three secretaries for district attorneys; three assistant public defenders; two assistant appellate de-fenders; two magistrates; seven district court secretaries; 30 deputy clerks of superior court; one trial court administrator; and 26 positions in the juvenile court counselor program. For the 1988-89 fiscal year, appropriations were pro-vided for the following new positions: eleven district court judgeships (to be filled in the 1988 general elec-tion for Districts 3, 5, 7, 10, 1 1, 16, 18, 19B, 21, 25, and 26); one superior court judgeship to be filled in the 1988 general election; five assistant district attorneys, three secretaries and ten victim-witness coordinators for dis-trict attorney offices; five magistrates; one court repor-ter; one deputy clerk; and ten secretarial positions. Total Appropriations The 1987 Session of the General Assembly approp-riated a total of $158,596,135 to the Judicial Depart-ment for the 1987-88 fiscal year. For the 1988-89 fiscal year, the total appropriated is $165,653,510, which is subject to revision by the 1988 legislative session. PART II COURT SYSTEM ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS • Historical Development of Court System • Present Court System • Organization and Operations in 1986-87 HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE NORTH CAROLINA COURT SYSTEM From its early colonial period North Carolina's judicial system has been the focus of periodic attention and adjust-ment. Through the years, there has been a repeated sequence of critical examination, proposals for reform, and finally the enactment of some reform measures. Colonial Period Around 1700 the royal governor established a General (or Supreme) Court for the colony and a dispute developed over the appointment of associate justices. The Assembly conceded to the King the right to name the chiefjustice but unsuccessfully tried to win for itself the power to appoint the associate justices. Other controversies developed con-cerning the creation and jurisdiction of the courts and the tenure of judges. As for the latter, the Assembly's position was that judge appointments should be for good behavior as against the royal governor's decision for life appoint-ment. State historians have noted that "the Assembly won its fight to establish courts and the judicial structure in the province was grounded on laws enacted by the legislature," which was more familiar with local conditions and needs (Lefler and Newsome, 142). Nevertheless, North Carolina alternated between periods under legislatively enacted reforms (like good behavior tenure and the Court Bill of 1746, which contained the seeds of the post-Revolutionary court system) and periods of stalemate and anarchy after such enactments were nullified by royal authority. A more elaborate system was framed by legislation in 1767 to last five years. It was not renewed because of persisting dis-agreement between local and royal partisans. As a result, North Carolina was without higher courts until after Inde-pendence (Battle, 847). At the lower court level during the colonial period, judi-cial and county government administrative functions were combined in the authority of the justices of the peace, who were appointed by the royal governor. After the Revolution When North Carolina became a state in 1 776, the colon-ial structure of the court system was retained largely intact. The Courts of Pleas and Quarter Sessions — the county court which continued in use from about 1670 to 1868 —were still held by the assembled justices of the peace in each county. The justices were appointed by the governor on the recommendation of the General Assembly, and they were paid out of fees charged litigants. On the lowest level of the judicial system, magistrate courts of limited jurisdic-tion were held by justices of the peace, singly or in pairs, while the county court was out of term. The new Constitution of 1776 empowered the General Assembly to appoint judges of the Supreme Court of Law and Equity. A court law enacted a year later authorized three superior court judges and created judicial districts. Sessions were supposed to be held in the court towns of each district twice a year, under a system much like the one that had expired in 1772. Just as there had been little distinction in terminology between General Court and Supreme Court prior to the Revolution, the terms Supreme Court and Superior Court were also interchangeable dur-ing the period immediately following the Revolution. One of the most vexing governmental problems con-fronting the new State of North Carolina was its judiciary. "From its inception in 1777 the state's judiciary caused complaint and demands for reform. "(Lefler and Newsome, 291, 292). Infrequency of sessions, conflicting judge opin-ions, and insufficient number of judges, and lack of means for appeal were all cited as problems, although the greatest weakness was considered to be the lack of a real Supreme Court. In 1779, the legislature required the Superior Court judges to meet together in Raleigh as a Court of Conference to resolve cases which were disagreed on in the districts. This court was continued and made permanent by subse-quent laws. The justices were required to put their opinions in writing to be delivered orally in court. The Court of Conference was changed in name to the Supreme Court in 1 805 and authorized to hear appeals in 1810. Because of the influence of the English legal system, however, there was still no conception of an alternative to judges sitting together to hear appeals from cases which they had them-selves heard in the districts in panels of as few as two judges (Battle, 848). In 1818, though, an independent three-judge Supreme Court was created for review of cases decided at the Superior Court level. Meanwhile, semi-annual superior court sessions in each county were made mandatory in 1806, and the State was divided into six circuits, or ridings, where the six judges were to sit in rotation, two judges constituting a quorum as before. The County Court of justices of the peace continued during this period as the lowest court and as the agency of local government. After the Civil War Major changes to modernize the judiciary and make it more democratic were made in 1868. A primary holdover from the English legal arrangement - the distinction between law and equity proceedings — was abolished. The County Court's control of local government was abolished. Capital offenses were limited to murder, arson, burglary and rape, and the Constitution stated that the aim of punishment was "not only to satisfy justice, but also to reform the offender, and thus prevent crime". The member-ship of the Supreme Court was raised to five, and the selection of the justices (including the designation of the chiefjustice) and superior court judges (raised in number to 12) was taken from the legislature and given to the voters, although vacancies were to be filled by the governor until the next election. The Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions - The County Court of which three justices of the peace constituted a quorum - - was eliminated. Its judicial responsibilities were divided between the Superior Courts and the individual justices of the peace, who were retained as separate judicial officers with limited jurisdiction. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE NORTH CAROLINA COURT SYSTEM Conservatively oriented amendments to the 1868 Constitution in 1875 reduced the number of Supreme Court justices to three and the Superior Court judges to nine. The General Assembly was given the power to appoint justices of the peace, instead of the governor. Most of the modernizing changes in the post-Civil War Constitution, however, were left, and the judicial struc-ture it had established continued without systematic modification through more than half of the 20th cen-tury. (A further constitutional amendment approved by the voters in November, 1888, returned the Supreme Court membership to five, and the number of superior court judges to twelve.) Before Reorganization A multitude of legislative enactments to meet rising demands and to respond to changing needs had heavily encumbered the 1868 judicial structure by the time sys-tematic court reforms were proposed in the 1950's. This accrual of piecemeal change and addition to the court system was most evident at the lower, local court level, where hundreds of courts specially created by statute operated with widely dissimilar structure and jurisdiction. By 1965, when the implementation of the most recent major reforms was begun, the court system in North Carolina consisted of four levels: (a) the Supreme Court, with appellate jurisdiction; (b) the superior court, with general trial jurisdiction; (c) the local statutory courts of limited jurisdiction, and (d) justices of the peace and mayor's courts, with petty jurisdiction. At the superior court level, the State had been divided into 30 judicial districts and 21 solicitorial districts. The 38 superior court judges (who rotated among the coun-ties) and the district solicitors were paid by the State. The clerk of superior court, who was judge of probate and often also a juvenile judge, was a county official. There were specialized branches of superior court in some counties for matters like domestic relations and juvenile offenses. The lower two levels were local courts. At the higher of these local court levels were more than 180 recorder-type courts. Among these were the county recorder's courts, municipal recorder's courts and township re-corder's courts; the general county courts, county crim-inal courts and special county courts; the domestic rela-tions courts and the juvenile courts. Some of these had been established individually by special legislative acts more than a half-century earlier. Others had been created by general law across the State since 1919. About half were county courts and half were city or township courts. Jurisdiction included misdemeanors (mostly traffic offenses), preliminary hearings and sometimes civil matters. The judges, who were usually part-time, were variously elected or appointed locally. At the lowest level were about 90 mayor's courts and some 925 justices of the peace. These officers had sim-ilar criminal jurisdiction over minor cases with penalties up to a S50 fine or 30 days in jail. The justices of the peace also had civil jurisdiction of minor cases. These court officials were compensated by the fees they exacted, and they provided their own facilities. Court Reorganization The need for a comprehensive evaluation and revi-sion of the court system received the attention and sup-port of Governor Luther H. Hodges in 1957, who encouraged the leadership of the North Carolina Bar Association to pursue the matter. A Court Study Com-mittee was established as an agency of the North Carol-ina Bar Association, and that Committee issued its report, calling for reorganization, at the end of 1958. A legislative Constitutional Commission, which worked with the Court Study Committee, finished its report early the next year. Both groups called for the structur-ing of an all-inclusive court system which would be directly state-operated, uniform in its organization throughout the State and centralized in its administra-tion. The plan was for a simplified, streamlined and unified structure. A particularly important part of the proposal was the elimination of the local satutory courts and their replacement by a single District Court; the office of justice of the peace was to be abolished, and the newly fashioned position of magistrate would func-tion within the District Court as a subordinate judicial office. Constitutional amendments were introduced in the legislature in 1959 but these failed to gain the required three-fifths vote of each house. The proposals were reintroduced and approved at the 1961 session. The Constitutional amendments were approved by popular vote in 1962, and three years later the General Assem-bly enacted statutes to put the system into effect by stages. By the end of 1970 all of the counties and their courts had been incorporated into the new system, whose unitary nature was symbolized by the name, General Court of Justice. The designation of the entire 20th century judicial system as a single, statewide "court," with components for various types and levels of caseload, was adapted from North Carolina's earlier General Court, whose full venue extended to all of the 17th century counties. After Reorganization Notwithstanding the comprehensive reorganization adopted in 1962, the impetus for changes has con-tinued. In 1965, the Constitution was amended to pro-vide for the creation of an intermediate Court of Appeals. It was amended again in 1972 to allow for the Supreme Court to censure or remove judges upon the recommendation of a Judicial Standards Commission. As for the selection of judges, persistent efforts were made in the 1970's to obtain legislative approval of amendments to the State Constitution, to appoint judges according to "merit" instead of electing them by popu-lar, partisan vote. The proposed amendments received HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE NORTH CAROLINA COURT SYSTEM the backing of a majority of the members of each Hinsdale, C. E., County Government in North Carolina. 1965 house, but not the three-fifths required to submit con- Edition. . . r i i t Lefler, Hugh Talmage and Albert Ray Newsome, North Carolina: stitutional amendments to a vote of the people. It seems The History ofa Southern State, , 963 Edition . likely that this significant issue will be before the Sanders, John L., Constitutional Revision and Court Reform: A General Assembly again for consideration. Legislative History. 1959 Special Report of the N.C. Institute of Government. Major Sources Stevenson, George and Ruby D. Arnold, North Carolina Courts of Battle, Kemp P., An Address on the History of the Supreme Court Law and Equity Prior to 1868. N.C. Archives Information Circular (Delivered in 1888). 1 North Carolina Reports 835-876. 1973. THE PRESENT COURT SYSTEM Original Jurisdiction and Routes of Appeal Recommendations from Judicial Standards Commission Original Jurisdiction All felony cases; civil cases in excess of SI 0.000* SUPERIOR COURTS 72 Judges Final Order of i Utilities Commission in General Rate Case COURT OF APPEALS / 2 Judges Decisions of Most Administrative Agencies Original Jurisdiction Probate and estates, special proceedings 'condemnations, adoptions, partitions, foreclosures, etcj \2) \l criminal cases (for trial de novo) civil cases I DISTRICT COURTS 151 Judges Clerks of Superior Court (100) Magistrates (637) Decisions of Industrial Commission, State Bar, Property Tax Commission, Commissioner of Insurance, Bd. of State Contract Appeals Original Jurisdiction Misdemeanor cases not assigned to magistrates; probable cause hearings; civil cases $10,000* or less; juvenile proceedings; domestic relations; involuntary commitments Original Jurisdiction Accept certain misdemeanor guilty pleas: worthless check misdemeanors $1,000** or less; small claims $1,500 or less ( 1 ) Appeals from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court are by right in Utilities Commission general rate cases, cases involving comstitutional questions, and cases in which there has been dissent in the Court of Appeals. In its discretion, the Supreme Court may review Court of Appeals decisions in cases of significant public interest or cases involving legal principles of major significance. (2) Appeals from these agencies lie directly to the Court of Appeals. (3; As a matter of right, appeals go directly to the Supreme Court in criminal cases in which the defendent has been sentenced to death or life imprisonment, and in civil cases involving the involuntary annexation of territory by a municipality of 5,000 or more population. In all other cases appeal as of right is to the Court of Appeals. In its discretion, the Supreme Court may hear appeals directly from the trial courts in cases where delay would cause substantial harm or the Court of Appeals docket is unusually full. (Under G.S. 7A-27, effective July 24, 1987, appeals in criminal cases as a matter of right are limited to first degree murder cases in which there is a sentence of death or life imprisonment.) *The district and superiorcourts have concurrent original jurisdiction in civil actions (G.S. 7A-242). However, the district court division is \Mt proper division for the trial of civil actions in which the amount in controversy is $10,000 or less; and the superior court division is the proper division for the trial of civil actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $10,000 (G.S. 7A-243). "Magistrate jurisdiction in worthless check cases increased from $500 to $1,000 effective October I, 1987 THE PRESENT COURT SYSTEM Article IV of the North Carolina Constitution estab-lishes the General Court of Justice which "shall constitute a unified judicial system for purposes of jurisdiction, operation, and administration, and shall consist of an Appellate Division, a Superior Court Division, and a District Court Division." The Appellate Division is comprised of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. The Superior Court Division is comprised of the super-ior courts which hold sessions in the county seats of the 100 counties of the State. The counties are grouped into judicial districts (34 at the present time), and one or more superior court judges are elected for each of the judicial districts. A clerk of the superior court for each county is elected by the voters of the county. The District Court Division is comprised of the district courts. The General Assembly is authorized to divide the State into a convenient number of local court districts and prescribe where the district courts shall sit, but district court must sit in at least one place in each county. The General Assembly has provided that districts for pur-poses of the district court are coterminous with superior court judicial districts. The Constitution also provides for one or more magistrates to be appointed in each county "who shall be officers of the district court." The State Constitution (Art. IV, Sec. 1) also contains the term, "judicial department," stating that "The General Assembly shall have no power to deprive the judicial department of any power or jurisdiction that rightfully pertains to it as a co-ordinate department of the govern-ment, nor shall it establish or authorize any courts other than as permitted by this Article." The terms, "General Court of Justice" and "Judicial Department" are almost, but not quite, synonymous. It may be said that the Judi-cial Department encompasses all of the levels of court designated as the General Court of Justice plus all admin-istrative and ancillary services within the Judicial Depart-ment. The original jurisdictions and routes of appeal between the several levels of court in North Carolina's system of courts are illustrated in the chart on the opposite page. Criminal Cases Trial of misdemeanor cases is within the original juris-diction of the district courts. Some misdemeanor offenses are tried by magistrates, who are also empowered to accept pleas of guilty to certain offenses and impose fines in accordance with a schedule set by the Conference of Chief District Court Judges. Most trials of misdemeanors are by district court judges, who also hold preliminary, "probable cause" hearings in felony cases. Trial of felony cases is within the jurisdiction of the superior courts. Decisions of magistrates may be appealed to the district court judge. In criminal cases there is no trial by jury available at the district court level; appeal from the dis-trict courts' judgments in criminal cases is to the superior courts for trial de novo before a jury. Except in life-imprisonment or death sentence cases (which are appealed to the Supreme Court), appeal from the superior courts is to the Court of Appeals. Civil Cases The 100 clerks of superior court are ex officio judges of probate and have original jurisdiction in probate and estates matters. The clerks also have jurisdiction over such special proceedings as adoptions, partitions, con-demnations under the authority of eminent domain, and foreclosures. Rulings of the clerk may be appealed to the superior court. The district courts have original jurisdiction in juvenile proceedings, domestic relations cases, petitions for invol-untary commitment to a mental hospital, and are the "proper" courts for general civil cases where the amount in controversy is $10,000 or less. If the amount in con-troversy is $1,500 or less and the plaintiff in the case so requests, the chief district court judge may assign the case for initial hearing by a magistrate. Magistrates' decisions may be appealed to the district court. Trial by jury for civil cases is available in the district courts; appeal from the judgment of a district court in a civil case is to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The superior courts are the proper courts for trial of general civil cases where the amount in controversy is more than $10,000. Appeals from decisions of most administrative agencies are first within the jurisdiction of the superior courts. Appeal from the superior courts in civil cases is to the Court of Appeals. Administration The North Carolina Supreme Court has the "general power to supervise and control the proceedings of any of the other courts of the General Court of Justice." (G.S. 7A-32(b)). In addition to this grant of general supervisory power, the North Carolina General Statutes provide certain Judicial Department officials with specific powers and responsibilities for the operation of the court system. The Supreme Court has the responsibility for prescribing rules of practice and procedures for the appellate courts and for prescribing rules for the trial courts to supplement those prescribed by statute. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court designates one of the judges of the Court of Appeals to be its Chief Judge, who in turn is responsi-ble for scheduling the sessions of the Court of Appeals. The chart on page 1 1 illustrates specific responsibilities for administration of the trial courts vested in Judicial Department officials by statute. The Chief Justice appoints the Director and an Assistant Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts; this Assistant Direc-tor also serves as the Chief Justice's administrative assist-ant. The schedule of sessions of superior court in the 100 counties is set by the Supreme Court; assignment of the State's rotating superior court judges is the responsibility of the Chief Justice. Finally, the Chief Justice designates a chief district court judge for each of the State's 34 judicial THE PRESENT COURT SYSTEM districts from among the elected district court judges of the respective districts. These judges have responsibilities for the scheduling of the district courts and magistrates' courts within their respective districts, along with other administrative responsibilities. The Administrative Office of the Courts is responsible for direction of non-judicial, administrative and business affairs of the Judicial Department. Included among its functions are fiscal management, personnel services, information and statistical services, supervision of record keeping in the trial court clerks' offices, liaison with the legislative and executive departments of government, court facility evaluation, purchase and contract, educa-tion and training, coordination of the program for provi-sion of legal counsel to indigent persons, juvenile proba-tion and after-care, trial court administrator services, planning, and general administrative services. The clerk of superior court in each county acts as clerk for both the superior and district courts. Until 1980, the clerk also served as chairman of the county's calendar committee, which set the civil case calendars. Effective July 1, 1980, these committees were eliminated; day-to-day calendaring of civil cases is now done by the clerk of superior court or by a "trial court administrator" in some districts, under the supervision of the senior resident superior court judge and chief district court judge. The criminal case calendars in both superior and district courts are set by the district attorney of the respective district. 10 THE PRESENT COURT SYSTEM Principal Administrative Authorities for North Carolina Trial Courts (34) Senior Resident Judges; (100) Clerks of Superior Court SUPERIOR COURTS CHIEF JUSTICE and SUPREME COURT 2 i Administrative Office of the Courts (35) District Attorneys (34) Chief District Court Judges DISTRICT COURTS 'The Supreme Court has general supervisory authority over the operations of the superior courts (as well as other trial courts). The schedule of superior courts is approved by the Supreme Court; assignments of superior court judges, who rotate from district to district, are the responsibility of the Chief Justice. 2The Director and an Assistant Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Chief Justice. 3 The Supreme Court has general supervisory authority over the operations of the district courts (as well as other trial courts). The Chief Justice appoints a chief district court judge in each of the 34judicial districts from thejudges elected in the respective districts. 4The Administrative Office of the Courts is empowered to prescribe a variety of rules governing the operation of the offices of the 100 clerks of superior court, and to obtain statistical data and other information from officials in the Judicial Department. 5The district attorney sets the criminal-case trial calendars. In each district, the senior resident superior court judge and the chief district court judge are empowered to supervise the calendaring procedures for civil cases in their respective courts. 6 In addition to certain judicial functions, the clerk of superior court performs administrative, fiscal and record-keeping functions for both the superior court and district court of his county. Magistrates, who serve under the supervision of the chief district court judge, are appointed by the senior resident superior court judge from nominees submitted by the clerk of superior court. 11 THE SUPREME COURT OF NORTH CAROLINA* Chief Justice JAMES G. EXUM, JR. LOUIS B. MEYER BURLEY B. MITCHELL, JR. HARRY C. MARTIN Associate Justices HENRY E. FRYE JOHN WEBB WILLIS P. WHICHARD Retired Chief Justices WILLIAM H. BOBBITT SUSIE SHARP JOSEPH BRANCH Retired Justices I. BEVERLY LAKE J. FRANK HUSKINS DAVID M. BRITT J. WILLIAM COPELAND Clerk J. Gregory Wallace Librarian Frances H. Hall *Asof30 June 1987. 12 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 The Supreme Court At the apex of the North Carolina court system is the seven-member Supreme Court, which sits in Raleigh to consider and decide questions of law presented in civil and criminal cases on appeal. The Chief Justice and six associate justices are elected to eight-year terms by the voters of the State. There are two terms of the Supreme Court each year: a Spring Term commencing on the first Tuesday in February and a Fall Term commencing on the first Tuesday in September. The Court does not sit in panels. It sits only en banc, that is, all members sitting on each case. Jurisdiction The only original case jurisdiction exercised by the Supreme Court is in the censure and removal of judges upon the (non-binding) recommendations of the Judicial Standards Commission. The Court's appellate jurisdic-tion includes: - cases on appeal by right from the Court of Appeals (cases involving substantial constitutional ques-tions and cases in which there has been dissent in the Court of Appeals); - cases on appeal by right from the Utilities Commis-sion (cases involving final order or decision in a general rate matter); - criminal cases on appeal by right from the superior courts (cases in which the defendant has been sen-tenced to death or life imprisonment); and - cases in which review has been granted in the Supreme Court's discretion. Discretionary review by the Supreme Court directly from the trial courts may be granted when delay would likely cause subsantial harm or when the workload of the Appellate Division is such that the expeditious adminis-tration of justice requires it. However, most appeals are heard only after review by the Court of Appeals. Administration The Supreme Court has general power to supervise and control the proceedings of the other courts of the General Court of Justice. The Court has specific power to pre-scribe the rules of practice and procedure for the trial court divisions, consistent with any rules enacted by the General Assembly. The schedule of superior court ses-sions in the 100 counties is approved yearly, by the Supreme Court. The Clerk of the Supreme Court, the Librarian of the Supreme Court Library, and the Appel-late Division Reporter are appointed by the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appoints the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts and an Assistant Director, who serve at the pleasure of the Chief Justice. He also designates a Chief Judge from among the judges of the Court of Appeals and a Chief District Court Judge from among the district judges in each of the State's 34judicial districts. He assigns superior court judges, who regularly rotate from district to district, to the scheduled sessions of superior court in the 100 counties, and he is also empowered to transfer district court judges to other districts for temporary or special-ized duty. The Chief Justice appoints three of the seven members of the Judicial Standards Commission—a judge of the Court of Appeals who serves as the Commission's chairman, one superior court judge and one district court judge. The Chief Justice also appoints six of the 24 voting members of the N.C. Courts Commission: one associate justice of the Supreme Court; one Court of Appeals judge; two superior court judges; and two district court judges. The Chief Justice also appoints the Appellate Defender, and the Chief Hearing Officer of the Office of Administrative Hearings. Expenses of the Court, 1986-87 Operating expenses of the Supreme Court during the 1986-87 fiscal year amounted to $2, 28 1,1 61, an increase of 10.6% over total 1985-86 expenditures of $2,063,229. Expenditures for the Supreme Court during 1986-87 con-stituted 1.5% of all General Fund expenditures for the operation of the entire Judicial Department during the fiscal year. Case Data, 1986-87 A total of 364 appealed cases were before the Supreme Court during the fiscal year, 168 that were pending on July 1, 1986 plus 196 cases filed through June 30, 1987. A total of 200 of these cases were disposed of, leaving 164 cases pending on June 30, 1987. A total of 80 1 petitions (requests to appeal) were before the Court during the 1986-87 year, with 635 disposed during the year and 166 pending as of June 30, 1987. The Court granted 99 petitions for review during 1986-87 compared to 129 for 1985-86. More detailed data on the Court's workload is pres-ented on the following pages. 13 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 Supreme Court Caseload Inventory July 1, 1986-June 30, 1987 Petitions for Review Civil domestic Juvenile Other civil Criminal Postconviction remedy Administrative agency decision Total Petitions for Review Pending Pending 7/1/86 Filed Disposed 6/30/87 3 24 22 5 2 4 5 1 63 269 269 63 39 316 277 78 14 29 33 10 6 32 29 9 127 674 635 166 Appeals Civil domestic Petitions for review granted that became civil domestic appeals Juvenile Petitions for review granted that became juvenile appeals Other civil Petitions for review granted that became other civil appeals Criminal, defendant sentenced to death Criminal, defendant sentenced to life imprisonment Other criminal Petitions for review granted that became other criminal appeals Petitions for review granted that became postconviction remedy cases Administrative agency decision Petitions for review granted that became appeals of administrative agency decision Total Appeals Other Proceedings Rule 16(b) additional issues re dissent Extraordinary writs Requests for advisory opinion Rule amendments Motions Rule 31 Petitions to Rehear Total Other Proceedings 2 2 1 3 2 2 1 2 3 23 29 30 22 20 31 29 22 14 17 7 24 65 78 74 69 17 8 20 5 12 17 18 11 X 6 8 6 5 5 7 3 168 196 200 164 6 6 7 44 51 2 2 395 395 14 13 1 461 467 14 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN FISCAL YEAR 1986-87 APPEALS FILED IN THE SUPREME COURT JULY 1, 1986 - JUNE 30, 1987 CRIMINAL-DEATH CRIMINAL LIFE OTHER CIVIL JUVENILE 1%(2) DOMESTIC RELATIONS 2% (3) OTHER CRIMINAL ADMIN. AGENCY PETITIONS FILED IN THE SUPREME COURT JULY 1, 1986 - JUNE 30, 1987 OTHER CIVIL JUVENILE 1%(4) CRIMINAL ADMIN. AGENCY DOMESTIC RELATIONS 3% (24) POST-CONVICTION 15 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 Supreme Court Caseload Types by Judicial District and Division July 1, 1986-June 30, 1987 Judicial Judicial Total Death Life Other Civil Other Cases Division District Cases Cases Cases Criminal Cases Cases Disposed 1 1 7 3 2 2 5 2 4 2 2 1 3A 6 1 2 1 2 2 3B 4 1 1 2 3 4 8 2 4 1 1 2 5 7 1 3 2 1 4 6 V 3 3 2 1 3 7 5 1 2 1 1 3 s 11 7 2 2 4 SUBTOTAL 61 8 27 13 11 2 27 II 9 8 1 4 2 1 5 10 63 3 7 6 26 21 32 ll 3 1 2 1 12 20 1 13 4 2 9 13 5 2 1 1 1 2 14 17 I 6 3 3 4 7 15A 8 1 3 2 1 1 4 15B 11 8 1 2 5 16 18 8 6 3 1 8 SUBTOTAL 153 17 48 23 39 26 73 III 17A 7 2 2 2 1 5 17B 6 1 1 2 2 3 18 21 1 9 2 8 1 II 19A 8 1 6 1 6 19B 2 1 1 2 20 10 1 3 1 5 6 21 16 1 X 7 9 22 15 4 7 1 3 3 23 n 1 5 1 4 7 SUBTOTAL 96 13 42 7 32 2 52 IV 24 3 2 1 2 25 7 1 5 1 5 26 15 4 2 8 1 11 27A 12 1 6 3 2 7 27B 4 3 1 2 28 14 1 7 1 4 1 7 2') 16 3 II 1 1 9 30 10 4 3 3 5 SUBTOTAL 81 6 42 11 20 2 48 TOTALS 391 44 159 54 102 32 200 NOTE: Above includes life and death sentence cases awaiting Record on Appeal and not yet formally docketed. 16 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 Submission of Cases Reaching Decision Stage in Supreme Court July 1, 1986-June 30, 1987 Cases Argued Civil Criminal Total cases argued 76 110 186 Submissions Without Argument By motion of the parties (Appellate Rule 30 (d)) By order of the Court (Appellate Rule 30 (f)) Total submissions without argument Total Cases Reaching Decision Stage I I 2 188 Disposition of Petitions and Other Proceedings by the Supreme Court July 1, 1986-June 30, 1987 Petitions for Review Civil Domestic Juvenile Other Civil Criminal Postconviction Remedy Administrative Agency Decision Total Petitions for Review Dismissed/ Total Granted* Denied Withdrawn Disposed 3 19 22 1 3 1 5 38 221 10 269 49 219 9 277 22 11 33 8 20 1 29 99 504 32 635 Other Proceedings Rule 16(b) — Additional Issues Extraordinary Writs Advisory Opinion Rule Amendments Motions Total Other Proceedings *"GRANTED" includes orders allowing relief without accepting the case as a full appeal 3 3 6 13 M 4 51 2 395 467 17 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 Disposition of Supreme Court Appeals With Signed Opinions Reversed Total Case Types Affirmed Modified Reversed Remanded Remanded Disposed Civil domestic 3 3 Juvenile 1 1 2 Other civil 15 4 5 15 39 Criminal (death sentence) 2 1 1 3 7 Criminal (life sentence) 52 2 14 6 74 Other criminal 8 2 4 10 24 Postconviction remedy Administrative agency decision 5 3 3 11 Totals 82 16 47 160 Disposition of Supreme Court Appeals with Per Curiam Decision Reversed Total Case Types Affirmed Modified Reversed Remanded Remanded Disposed Civil domestic 1 1 Juvenile 1 1 Other civil 18 1 19 Criminal (death sentence) Criminal (life sentence) Other criminal 8 1 1 10 Postconviction remedy Administrative agency decision 3 1 4 Totals 30 35 Disposition of Supreme Court Appeals by Dismissal or Withdrawal Case Types Dismissed or Withdrawn Civil domestic Juvenile Other civil Criminal (death sentence) Criminal (life sentence) Other criminal Post-conviction remedy Administrative agency decision Totals IX ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN FISCAL YEAR 1986-87 MANNER OF DISPOSITION OF APPEALS IN THE SUPREME COURT JULY 1, 1986-JUNE 30, 1987 OPINIONS DISMISSED/WITHDRAWN 3% (5) PER CURIAM DECISIONS TYPE OF DISPOSITION OF PETITIONS FOR REVIEW IN THE SUPREME COURT JULY 1, 1986-JUNE 30, 1987 GRANTED DENIED DISMISSED/ WITHDRAWN SX — _ B Eft s 01 't-i y c RI ~ 01 a. u c .- *> T3 4) 3 - ex u 81 01 X 41 2 J? "a a. q < c i Zc- PS o u C 3 tu < C y 3— s. s „, 7Z <*^ B JS L. 01 *- £ b" 3 7! .»-. sx -a L. E 8) •*! c 01 L. 0j <— U < IX c Z -3 c = - 0* < —-— -< = z u < a U E OS -a-s. — Oi s«— ^* '3 — 01 — ^ < o ex a = ex'— "K i. Q.QQ "O < o ,-k 0) ex u C B •= « .S "g .2 -= R U 3 o i £ £ 2 <* RI u « > at ;> O) U U o o — ; sC tT SO OO — I o o o o ro m CM -H O rn so sC oin o O—N 3O u uE T u so SO 3 t/5 o oo so nj <L> O-D. cd ou © i- »m X) -t o o o o o o o o o o o o o <N m o> <* O o o s co 'C E rj q — q o q ,r i rn iri ir-i sd cs a^ «~j m <N in «m 1— O 4) sO n x^ CO o e -a o oc E q <r> sG q o q i/j 'S: m en ri T' o\ ir. E» t o ITj rt oc E d c -t ON , 0> — o i— i sO — 1 1 CO r-- o o — sG o 90 sO O sO x: o '-E c - = 3 o> fi a. g >-. o H -a ?3 J sc B S u o >1 C cj u -a >. uc <D 60 r3 B -a n. ca a u Oj (L» .S3 ed u T3 _ O i_ U OJ <u c CJJ _ c S • H O TO (/) u-i & '2 o o "5 D. a m O < 3 oi "5 to .a w tft -ti H < S * p 20 NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT Appeals Docketed and Disposed of During the Years, 1980-81—1986-87 400 Appeals Docketed Appeals Disposed of 300 NUM B E R O F C A S E S 200 100 192 200 1980-81 1981-82 1982-83 1983-84 1984-85 1985-86 1986-87 21 SOD hi Hi N IM B h R O F C \ s E S 400 200 NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT Petitions Docketed and Allowed During the Years, 1980-81—1986-87 Petitions Docketed Petitions Allowed 1980-81 1981-82 1982-83 1983-84 1984-85 1985-86 1986-87 22 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 Supreme Court Processing Time for Disposed Cases (Total time in days from docketing to decision) July 1, 1986-June 30, 1987 Civil domestic Petitions for review granted that became civil domestic appeals Juvenile Petitions for review granted that became juvenile appeals Other civil Petitions for review granted that became other civil appeals Criminal, defendant sentenced to death Criminal, defendant sentenced to life imprisonment Other criminal Petitions for review granted that became other criminal appeals Petitions for review granted that became postconviction remedy cases Administrative agency decision Petitions for review granted that became appeals of administrative agency decision Total appeals Number (Days) (Days) of Cases Median Mean 2 — 232.0 2 — 198.5 3 182 184.7 30 217 245.5 29 225 235.6 7 606 663.0 74 290 315.5 20 200 205.7 18 182 209.8 8 190 270.8 7 262 278.3 200 250 278.3 23 THE COURT OF APPEALS OF NORTH CAROLINA* Chief Judge R.A. HEDRICK GERALD ARNOLD HUGH A. WELLS CHARLES L. BECTON CLIFTON E. JOHNSON EUGENE H. PHILLIPS SIDNEYS. EAGLES, JR. Judges JOHN C. MARTIN SARAH PARKER JACK COZORT ROBERT F. ORR K. EDWARD GREENE HUGH B. CAMPBELL FRANK M. PARKER EDWARD B. CLARK Retired Judges ROBERT M. MARTIN CECIL J. HILL E. MAURICE BRASWELL Clerk FRANCIS E. DAIL *Asof 30 June 1987 24 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 The Court of Appeals The 12-judge Court of Appeals is North Carolina's intermediate appellate court; it hears a majority of the appeals originating from the State's trial courts. The Court regularly sits in Raleigh, and it may sit in other locations in the State as authorized by the Supreme Court. Sessions outside of Raleigh have not been regular or frequent. Judges of the Court of Appeals are elected by popular vote for eight-year terms. A Chief Judge for the Court is designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and serves in that capacity at the pleasure of the Chief Justice. Cases are heard by panels of three judges, with the Chief Judge responsible for assigning members of the Court to the four panels. Insofar as practicable, each judge is to be assigned to sit a substantially equal number of times with each other judge. The Chief Judge presides over the panel of which he or she is a member and desig-nates a presiding judge for the other panels. One member of the Court of Appeals, designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, serves as chairman of the Judicial Standards Commission. In the event of a recommendation from the Judicial Standards Commission to censure or remove from office a justice of the Supreme Court, the (non-binding) recom-mendation would be considered by the Chief Judge and the six judges next senior in service on the Court of Appeals (excluding the judge who serves as the Commis-sion's chairman). Such seven-member panel would have sole jurisdiction to act upon the Commission's recom-mendation. Expenses of the Court, 1986-87 Operating expenses of the Court of Appeals during the 1986-87 fiscal year totalled $2,947,010, an increase of 6.7% over 1985-86 expenditures of $2,763,224. Expendi-tures for the Court of Appeals during 1986-87 amounted to 2.0% of all General Fund expenditures for operation of the entire Judicial Department during the fiscal year. This percentage share of the total is the same as the Court of Appeals percentage share of the Judicial Department total in the 1985-86 fiscal year. Jurisdiction The bulk of the caseload of the Court of Appeals con-sists of cases appealed from the trial courts. The Court also hears appeals directly from the Industrial Commis-sion; certain final orders or decisions of the North Caro-lina State Bar; and the Commissioner of Insurance; the State Board of Contract Appeals; and appeals from cer-tain final orders or decisions of the Property Tax Com-mission. (Appeals from the decisions of other administra-tive agencies lie first within the jurisdiction of the superior courts.) Case Data, 1986-87 A total of 1,288 appealed cases were filed before the Court of Appeals during the period July 1, 1986 - June 30, 1987. A total of 1,352 cases were disposed of during the same period. During 1986-87, a total of 458 petitions and 1 ,480 motions were filed before the Court of Appeals. Further detail on the workload of the Court of Appeals is shown in the tables and graphs on the following pages. 25 FILINGS AND DISPOSITIONS IN THE COURT OF APPEALS July 1, 1986-June 30, 1987 Cases on Appeal Civil cases appealed from district courts Civil cases appealed from superior courts Civil cases appealed from administrative agencies Criminal cases appealed from superior courts Total Filings Dispositions 261 498 77 452 1,288 1,352 Petitions Allowed Denied Remanded Total 458 91 367 458 Motions Allowed Denied Remanded Total 1,480 987 493 1,480 Total Cases on Appeal, Petitions and Motions 3,226 3,316 26 Totals INVENTORY OF CASES APPEALED TO THE COURT OF APPEALS July 1, 1986-June 30, 1987 Judicial Cases Filed Other Total Cases Total Judicial Appeals from Appeals from Superior Court Cases Division District District Courts Civil Criminal Appeals Filed Disposed 1 i 3 7 1 1 21 26 2 4 4 8 16 23 3 6 20 28 54 57 4 6 14 24 44 33 5 6 1 1 19 36 30 6 3 10 13 19 7 3 11 10 24 25 8 6 12 8 26 28 II 9 5 4 9 18 15 10 18 77 19 77 191 191 11 6 14 8 28 25 12 13 8 25 46 43 13 5 9 11 25 21 14 16 18 8 42 54 15A/B* 13 23 IS 54 53 16 3 7 16 26 32 III 17A/B* 4 6 13 23 39 18 11 40 21 72 7S 19A/B* 10 11 17 38 49 20 II 19 11 31 47 21 IS 31 18 67 70 22 9 15 13 37 34 23 10 6 6 22 26 IV 24 6 7 8 21 18 25 14 13 20 47 42 26 22 38 47 107 118 27A/B* 5 19 20 44 49 28 11 23 7 41 42 29 10 13 11 34 31 30 7 15 s 30 23 261 498 452 77 1,288 1,352 *Combined totals for Districts 15A and 15B, Districts 17A and 17B, Districts 19A and 19B, and Districts 27A and 27B are shown. Separate figures for these districts were not available. 27 MANNER OF DISPOSITION OF CASES BEFORE THE COURT OF APPEALS July 1, 1986-June 30, 1987 Cases Disposed by Written Opinion Cases Affirmed Total Cases Judicial Judi cial Cases Cases in Part, Reversed by Written Other Cases Total Cases Division District Affirmed Reversed in Part Opinion Disposed Disposed 1 1 17 6 1 24 2 26 : 19 2 4X 2 23 3 40 8 6 54 3 57 4 29 4 33 33 5 32 7 39 2 41 6 13 3 1 17 2 19 7 17 2 1 20 5 25 s 22 4 1 27 1 28 11 9 10 2 12 3 15 Mi 103 53 12 168 23 191 II 17 5 2 24 1 25 12 28 9 4 41 2 43 13 19 1 20 1 21 14 31 9 7 47 7 54 15A, B* 32 1 1 4 47 6 53 16 22 6 2 30 2 32 III 17 A/ B* 24 12 2 38 1 39 18 51 IX 4 73 5 78 19A/B* 37 5 2 44 5 49 20 36 6 2 44 3 47 21 43 12 X 63 7 70 22 24 6 2 32 2 34 23 IX 5 1 24 2 26 [\ 24 X 8 16 2 18 25 27 x 35 7 42 26 87 13 5 105 13 118 27A, B* 2X 14 3 45 4 49 28 29 9 4 42 42 29 17 9 1 23 2 25 30 8 10 2 20 3 23 Totals 888 267 79 1,234 118 1,352 Combined totals for Districts 15A and 15B, Districts 17A and 17B, Districts 19A and 19B, and Districts 27A and 27B are shown. Separate figures for these districts were not available. 28 _ 4i o a H .22 Q CifNCsimtNOsr^Tf 00 r-~ -rt IT) ro O Tf ^- rn vD in CO iai (N OO ^ vO ^ O * (N eg in m in so m •rf 00 c, Os C/3 -J <W a, On oH a: ouwXHw PEi o » Zo Hw On Qz zoHO u. O © z > z r- © a» C3 1-5 s© 00 ON ^4 "3 oooooooo oooooooo o o o o o o o o o o o o o o "2 o ss H to "^ I/) 5 5 3 § .Si '3 ^5 iri-<0\OnMV10\ 0(NfOiTiiO-H-H(N OOOOOOOO oot^i^'tmvD^ooN oo-rt—< — (N-rfin oo oo os r^ oo <n o t— o «—( — (N <n ^ (N —i <n _ _« so ci (N\ON-«O ln^(N nnhH (N m O O C) tJ- 00 <N O <N »* OOOOOOOO OOOOOOO ooooooo © (NONO^OiTiTtin 0O 't VO - "jTfOvO r~ —h ci —< — m m CI OO d O <—i <N Ci (N in cj — O—iO—-m^iri-Hin < tJ- <N c> —< c> (N •Hf<iooin\0(NinTf «in(Ninooo\*0« c\)oci<Noomo o—orOsir^voci-^-iooo CN — Tf Tj- <N ci O—ciOsmci—i<N — >n — (N —i — <Nr- — ci — r-voc-i csi in c> m so c> so <N r-~ fN CN ci CN — i os —h o r~ >n * os oo r-~ >* >n o o '^r rj- o so m oo in cn ——< r-- oo cn Tt r- CN CN —' CN — c, O so ci Os m Os —> ci ^- in o — < oo ft ci tT O Os rsi cn in ci in so c> -^ oo —i ci in o cn cn O ci rn Os O t*» O cn Tt o ci in cn o C) Os T t- 00 Os oo Ci Os oe IT; © oo T —'(NciTfinsOt^OO # OQ O •—i CN O "sT m so CQ CQ r- oo os o —< <N c> — -h — (N (N (S| (N * CQ Tt in so r- oo os O (N (N (N M (N (N f-i t/3 -J < HOH 3 u c c CD -a c ITS < CN Q 03 OS T> C cd < 03 ^3 a Q c- Q 3 o T3 aj D r -C £> ;t) s U "c5 > Kl 29 FILINGS AND DISPOSITIONS IN THE COURT OF APPEALS FISCAL YEARS 1981 THROUGH 1986-87 3000 2500 \ IM B E R () r C \ s K S 2000 1500 1000 500 L H Filings Dispositions 1994 2186 1926 1927 1810 1981 1981-82 1982-83 1983-84 1984-85 1985-86 1986-87 Filings and dispositions in this graph include appealed cases and petitions (not motions) in the Court of Appeals. Dispositions exceeded filings for the past four years. 30 1/3 c 1/3 s > w H CO o !* 03 CO 1/3 +* H as P 1/3 o Q u __ si H *o Zw 33 CO l-S w 05 "o 05 H ux: *-> k< oZ 31 JUDGES OF SUPERIOR COURT* (As of June 30, 1987) District 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 FIRST DIVISION J. Herbert Small, Elizabeth City Thomas S. Watts. Elizabeth City William C. Griffin. Jr., Williamston David E. Reid, Jr.. Greenville Herbert O. Phillips, III, Morehead City Henry L. Stevens, III, Kenansville James R. Strickland, Jacksonville Bradford Tillery, Wilmington Napoleon B. Barefoot, Wilmington Richard B. Allsbrook, Roanoke Rapids Franklin R. Brown, Tarboro Charles B. Winberry, Rocky Mount James D. Llewellyn, Kinston Paul M. Wright, Goldsboro SECOND DIVISION Robert H. Hobgood, Louisburg Henry W. Hight, Jr., Henderson Edwin S. Preston, Jr., Raleigh Henry V. Barnette, Jr., Raleigh Robert L. Farmer, Raleigh Donald W. Stephens, Raleigh 1 1 Wiley F. Bowen, Dunn 12 Darius B. Herring, Jr., Fayetteville Coy E. Brewer, Jr., Fayetteville Edwin L. Johnson, Fayetteville 13 Giles R. Clark, Elizabethtown 14 Thomas H. Lee, Durham Anthony M. Brannon, Durham James M. Read, Durham 15A Jasper B. Allen, Jr., Burlington 15B F. Gordon Battle, Hillsboro 16 B. Craig Ellis, Laurinburg THIRD DIVISION District 17A Melzer A. Morgan, Jr., Wentworth 17B James M. Long, Pilot Mountain 18 W. Douglas Albright, Greensboro Edward K. Washington, High Point Thomas W. Ross, Greensboro Joseph John, Greensboro 19A Thomas W. Seay, Jr., Spencer James C. Davis, Concord 19B Russell G. Walker, Jr., Asheboro 20 F. Fetzer Mills, Wadesboro William H. Helms, Wingate 21 William Z. Wood, Winston-Salem Judson D. DeRamus, Jr., Winston-Salem William H. Freeman, Winston-Salem 22 Robert A. Collier, Jr., Statesville C. Preston Cornelius, Morresville 23 Julius A. Rousseau, Jr., North Wilkesboro FOURTH DIVISION 24 Charles C. Lamm, Jr., Boone 25 Forrest A. Ferrell, Hickory Claude S. Sitton, Morganton 26 Frank W. Snepp, Jr., Charlotte Robert M. Burroughs, Charlotte Kenneth A. Griffin, Charlotte Chase B. Saunders, Charlotte W. Terry Sherrill, Charlotte 27A Robert W. Kirby, Cherryville Robert E. Gaines, Gastonia 27B John M. Gardner, Shelby 28 Robert D. Lewis, Asheville C. Walter Allen, Asheville 29 Hollis M. Owens, Jr., Rutherfordton 30 James U. Downs, Franklin Janet M. Hyatt, Waynesville *In districts with more than one resident judge, the senior resident judge is listed first. 32 SPECIAL JUDGES OF SUPERIOR COURT James A. Beaty, Jr., Winston-Salem John B. Lewis, Jr., Farmville Richard D. Boner, Charlotte Fred J. Williams, Durham Donald L. Smith, Raleigh Marvin K. Gray, Charlotte Lamar Gudger, Asheville I. Beverly Lake, Jr., Raleigh EMERGENCY JUDGES OF SUPERIOR COURT Henry A. McKinnon, Jr., Lumberton Samuel E. Britt, Lumberton James H. Pou Bailey, Raleigh The Conference of Superior Court Judges (Officers as of June 30, 1987) Edwin S. Preston, Jr., Raleigh, President James M. Long, Pilot Mountain, President- Elect Thomas H. Lee, Durham, Vice President Edwin L. Johnson, Fayetteville, Secretary-Treasurer Charles Lamm, Boone, David Reid, Greenville Additional Executive Committee Members 33 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 The Superior Courts North Carolina's superior courts are the general juris-diction trial courts for the state. In 1986-87, there were 64 "resident"superior court judges elected to office in the 34 judicial districts for eight-year terms by Statewide ballot. In addition, eight "special" superior court judges are appointed by the Governor for four-year terms. Jurisdiction The superior court has original jurisdiction in all felony cases and in those misdemeanor cases which originate by grand jury indictment. (Most misdemeanors are tried first in the district court, from which conviction may be appealed to the superior court for trial de novo by a jury. No trial by jury is available for criminal cases in district court.) The superior court is the proper court for the trial of civil cases where the amount in controversy exceeds S 10,000, and it has jurisdiction over appeals from admin-istrative agencies except the Industrial Commission, cer-tain rulings of the Commissioner of Insurance, the Board of Bar Examiners of the North Carolina State Bar, the Board of State Contract Appeals, and the Property Tax Commission. Appeals from these agencies lie directly to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Regardless of the amount in controversy, the original civil jurisdiction of the superior court does not include domestic relations cases, which are heard in the district courts, or probate and estates matters and certain special proceedings heard first by the clerk of superior court. Rulings of the clerk are within the appellate jurisdiction of the superior court. Administration The 1 00 counties of North Carolina were grouped into 34 judicial districts during 1986-87. Each district has at least one resident superior court judge who has certain administrative responsibilities for his home district, such as providing for civil case calendaring procedures. (Crimi-nal case calendars are prepared by the district attorneys.) In districts with more than one resident superior court judge, the judge senior in service on the superior court bench exercises these supervisory powers. The judicial districts are grouped into four divisions for the rotation of superior court judges, as shown on the map on Page 3 1 . Within the division, a resident superior court judge is required to rotate among the judicial dis-tricts, holding court for at least six months in each, then moving on to his next assignment. A special superior court judge may be assigned to hold court in any of the 100 counties. Assignments of all superior court judges are made by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Under the Constitution of North Carolina, at least two sessions (a week each) of superior court are held annually in each of the 100 counties. The vast majority of counties have more than the constitutional minimum of two weeks of superior court annually. Many larger counties have superior court in session about every week in the year. Expenditures A total of $14,924,895 was expended on the operations of the superior courts during the 1986-87 fiscal year. This included the salaries and travel expenses for the 72 super-ior court judges, and salaries and expenses for court reporters and secretarial staff for superior court judges. The 1986-87 expenditures for the superior courts amount-ed to 10.1% of total General Fund expenditures for the operations of the entire Judicial Department during the 1986-87 fiscal year. Caseload Including both civil and criminal cases, a total of 98, 886 cases were filed in the superior courts during 1986-87, an increase of 7,550 cases (8.3%) from the total of 91,336 cases that were filed in 1985-86. There were increases in filings in all case categories: civil cases, felonies, and misdemeanor appeals. Superior court case dispositions increased from 88,089 in 1985-86 to 96,308 in 1986-87. There were disposition increases in all case categories. More detailed information on the flow of cases through the superior courts is included in Part IV of this Report. 34 DISTRICT COURT JUDGES* (As of June 30, 1987) District 1 John T. Chaffin, Elizabeth City Grafton G. Beaman, Elizabeth City John R. Parker, Manteo 2 Hallett S. Ward, Washington Samuel G. Grimes, Washington James W. Hardison, Wiliamston 3 E. Burt Aycock, Jr., Greenville J. Randal Hunter, New Bern Willie L. Lumpkin, III, Morehead City James E. Martin, Bethel James E. Ragan, Oriental H. Horton Rountree, Greenville 4 Kenneth W. Turner, Rose Hill William M. Cameron, Jr., Jacksonville Wayne G. Kimble, Jr., Jacksonville James N. Martin, Clinton Stephen M. Williamson, Kenansville 5 Gilbert H. Burnett, Wilmington Jacqueline Morris-Goodson, Wilmington Charles E. Rice, III, Wilmington Elton Glenn Tucker, Wilmington 6 Nicholas Long, Roanoke Rapids Harold P. McCoy, Scotland Neck Robert E. Williford, Lewiston 7 George Britt, Tarboro Allen W. Harrell, Wilson Quentin T. Sumner, Rocky Mount Albert S. Thomas, Jr., Wilson 8 J. Patrick Exum, Kinston Kenneth R. Ellis, Fremont Rodney R. Goodman, Kinston Arnold O. Jones, Goldsboro Joseph E. Setzer, Jr., Goldsboro 9 Claude W. Allen, Jr., Oxford Ben U. Allen, Jr., Henderson J. Larry Senter, Franklinton Charles W. Wilkinson, Oxford 10 George F. Bason, Raleigh Stafford G. Bullock, Raleigh William A. Creech, Raleigh George R. Greene, Raleigh Joyce A. Hamilton, Raleigh Jerry W. Leonard, Raleigh Fred M. Morelock, Raleigh Louis W. Payne, Jr., Raleigh Russell G. Sherrill, III, Raleigh District 1 1 Elton C. Pridgen, Smithfield William Christian, Sanford Edward H. McCormick, Lillington Owen H. Willis, Jr., Dunn 12 Sol. G. Cherry, Fayetteville John S. Hair, Jr., Fayetteville Lacy S. Hair, Fayetteville Anna E. Keever, Fayetteville Warren L. Pate, Raeford Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Fayetteville 13 William C. Gore, Jr., Whiteville Dewey J. Hooks, Jr., Whiteville Jerry A. Jolly, Tabor City David G. Wall, Elizabethtown 14 David Q. LaBarre, Durham Richard Chaney, Durham Orlando F. Hudson, Jr., Durham Carolyn D. Johnson, Durham Kenneth C. Titus, Durham 15A W. S. Harris, Jr., Graham Spencer B. Ennis, Burlington James K. Washburn, Burlington 15B Stanley Peele, Chapel Hill Lowry M. Betts, Pittsboro Patricia S. Hunt, Chapel Hill 16 John S. Gardner, Lumberton Adelaide G. Behan, Lumberton Charles G. McLean, Lumberton Herbert L. Richardson, Lumberton 17A Peter M. McHugh, Reidsville Robert R. Blackwell, Reidsville Philip W. Allen, Yanceyville 17B Jerry Cash Martin, Mount Airy Clarence W. Carter, King 18 Paul T. Williams, Greensboro Sherry F. Alloway, Greensboro Robert E. Bencini, Jr., High Point William L. Daisy, Greensboro Edmund Lowe, High Point Lawrence C. McSwain, Greensboro J. Bruce Morton, Greensboro William A. Vaden, Greensboro 19A Frank M. Montgomery, Salibury Robert M. Davis, Salisbury Adam C. Grant, Jr., Concord Clarence E. Horton, Jr., Kannapolis kThe Chief District Court Judge for each district is listed first. 35 DISTRICT COURT JUDGES* (As of June 30, 1987) District 19B Richard M. Toomes. Asheboro William M. Neely, Asheboro 20 Donald R. Huffman, Wadesboro Michael E. Beale, Southern Pines Ronald W. Burris, Albemarle Kenneth W. Honneycutt, Monroe Tanya T. Wallace, Carthage 21 Abner Alexander, Winston-Salem Lorretta C. Biggs, Clemmons James A. Harrill, Jr., Winston-Salem Roland H. Hayes, Winston-Salem Robert Kason Keiger, Winston-Salem William B. Reingold, Winston-Salem 22 Lester P. Martin, Jr., Mocksville Samuel A. Cathey, Statesville George T. Fuller, Lexington Kimberly T.Harbinson, Taylorsville Robert W. Johnson, Statesville 23 Samuel L. Osborne, Wilkesboro Edgar B. Gregory, Wilkesboro Michael E. Helms, Wilkesboro 24 Robert H. Lacey, Newland Charles P. Ginn, Boone R. Alexander Lyerly, Banner Elk 25 L. Oliver Noble, Jr., Hickory Ronald E. Bogle, Hickory Stewart L. Cloer, Hickory Jonathan L. Jones, Hickory Timothy S. Kincaid, Newton District 26 James E. Lanning, Charlotte Marilyn R. Bissell, Charlotte L. Stanley Brown, Charlotte Daphene L. Cantrell, Charlotte Richard A. Elkins, Charlotte Shirley L. Fulton, Charlotte Resa L. Harris, Charlotte Robert P. Johnston, Charlotte William G. Jones, Charlotte Theodore P. Matus, II, Charlotte William H. Scarborough, Charlotte 27A Lawrence B. Langson, Gastonia Berlin H. Carpenter, Jr., Gastonia Harley B. Gaston, Jr., Belmont Timothy L. Patti, Gastonia Catherine C. Stevens, Gastonia 27B George W. Hamrick, Shelby James T. Bowen, Lincolnton John K. Fonvielle, Shelby 28 Earl J. Fowler, Jr., Arden Gary S. Cash, Fletcher Robert L. Harrell, Asheville Peter L. Roda, Asheville 29 Robert T. Gash, Brevard Loto J. Greenlee, Marion Zoro J. Guice, Jr., Hendersonville Thomas N. Hix, Hendersonville 30 John J. Snow, Jr., Murphy Steven J. Bryant, Bryson City Danny E. Davis, Waynesville "The Chief District Court Judge for each district is listed first. The Association of District Court Judges (Officers as of June 30, 1987) Earl J. Fowler, Arden, President Sol G. Cherry, Fayetteville, Vice President Frank M. Montgomery, Salisbury, Secretary-Treasurer George M. Britt, Tarboro Samuel A. Cathey, Statesville W.S. Harris, Graham L. Oliver Noble, Jr., Hickory Additional Executive Committee Members 36 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 The District Courts North Carolina's district courts are trial courts with original jurisdiction of the overwhelming majority of the cases handled by the State's court system. There were 151 district court judges serving in 34 judicial districts during 1986-87. These judges are elected to four-year terms by the voters of their respective districts. A total of 637 magistrate positions were authorized as of June 30, 1987. Of this number, about 100 positions were specified as part-time. Magistrates are appointed by the senior resident superior court judge from nominations submitted by the clerk of superior court of their county, and they are supervised by the chief district court judge of their district. Jurisdiction The jurisdiction of the district court extends to virtually all misdemeanor cases, probable cause hearings in most felony cases, all juvenile proceedings, involuntary com-mitments and recommitments to mental hospitals, and domestic relations cases. Effective September 1, 1986, the General Assembly decriminalized many minor traffic offenses. Such offenses, previously charged as misdemea-nors, are now "infractions," defined as non-criminal vio-lations of law not punishable by imprisonment. The dis-trict court division has original jurisdiction for all infrac-tion cases. The district courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the superior courts in general civil cases, but the district courts are the proper courts for the trial of civil cases where the amount in controversy is $10,000 or less. Upon the plaintiffs request, a civil case in which the amount in controversy is $1,500 or less, may be desig-nated a "small claims" case and assigned by the chief district court judge to a magistrate for hearing. Magis-trates are empowered to try worthless check criminal cases when the value of the check does not exceed $500. In addition, they may accept written appearances, waivers of trial, and pleas of guilty in such worthless check cases when the amount of the check is $500 or less, the offender has made restitution, and the offender has fewer than four previous worthless check convictions. Magistrates may accept waviers of appearance and pleas of guilty in mis-demeanor or infraction cases involving traffic, alcohol, boating, hunting and fishing violation cases, for which a uniform schedule of fines has been adopted by the Con-ference of Chief District Judges. Magistrates also conduct initial hearings to fix conditions of release for arrested defendants, and they are empowered to issue arrest and search warrants. Administration A chief district judge is appointed for each judicial district by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from among the elected judges in the respective districts. Sub-ject to the Chief Justice's general supervision, each chief judge exercises administrative supervision and authority over the operation of the district courts and magistrates in his district. Each chiefjudge is responsible for: scheduling sessions of district court and assigningjudges; supervising the calendaring of noncriminal cases; assigning matters to magistrates; making arrangements for court reporting and jury trials in civil cases; and supervising the discharge of clerical functions in the district courts. The chief district court judges meet in conference at least once a year upon the call of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Among other matters, this annual con-ference adopts a uniform schedule of traffic offenses and fines for their violation for use by magistrates and clerks of court in accepting defendants' waivers of appearance and guilty pleas. The Conference of Chief District Court Judges (Officers as of June 30, 1987) George M. Britt, Tarboro, President Robert H. Lacey, Newland, Vice President Frank M. Montgomery, Salisbury, Secretary-Treasurer Expenditures Total expenditures for the operation of the district courts in 1986-87 amounted to $26,908,723. This is an increase of 11.7% over 1985-86 expenditures of $24,098,806. Included in this total are the personnel costs of court reporters and secretaries as well as the personnel costs of the 151 district court judges and approximately 637 magistrates. The 1986-87 total is 18.1% of the General Fund expenditures for the operation of the entire Judicial Department, about the same percentage share of total Judicial Department expenditures that the district courts took for the 1985-86 fiscal year. Caseload During 1986-87 the statewide total number of district court filings (civil and criminal) increased 1 86,664 (11.1%) over the total number reported for 1 985-86. Not including juvenile proceedings and mental hospital commitment hearings, the filing total in 1986-87 was 1,868,965. Most of this increase is attributable to increases in criminal motor vehicle and infraction filings. Considering criminal motor vehicle and infraction cases together (since almost all infraction cases were criminal motor vehicle cases in prior years), there was an increase of 136,320 cases (16.2%) above the number of criminal motor vehicle cases filed in 1985-86. Filings of criminal non-motor vehicle cases increased by 22,292 (5.0%), and filings of civil mag-istrate cases increased by 21,41 1 (9.5%) above the numbers of cases filed in these categories in 1985-86. More detailed information on district court civil and criminal caseloads and on juvenile case activity is con-tained in Part IV of this Report. 37 DISTRICT ATTORNEYS (As of June 30, 1987) District 3A 3B 4 5 6 " s 9 10 11 12 13 14 15A 15B 16 H. P. WILLIAMS. JR.. Elizabeth City MITCHELL D. NORTON, Washington THOMAS D. HAIGWOOD, Greenville WILLIAM D. McFADYEN, New Bern WILLIAM H. ANDREWS, Jacksonville JERRY L. SPIVEY, Wilmington DAVID H. BEARD, JR., Murfreesboro HOWARD S. BONEY, JR., Tarboro DONALD JACOBS, Goldsboro DAVID R. WATERS, Oxford C. COLON WILLOUGHBY, JR., Raleigh JOHN W. TWISDALE, Smithfield EDWARD W. GRANNIS, JR., Fayetteville MICHAEL F. EASLEY, Whiteville RONALD L. STEPHENS, Durham STEVE A. BALOG, Graham CARL R. FOX, Carrboro JOE FREEMAN BRITT, Lumberton District 17A THURMAN B. HAMPTON, Wentworth 17B HAROLD D. BOWMAN, Dobson 18 HORACE M. KIMEL, JR., Greensboro 19A JAMES E. ROBERTS, Kannapolis 19B GARLAND N. YATES, Asheboro 20 CARROLL LOWDER, Monroe 21 W. WARREN SPARROW, Winston-Salem 22 H. W. ZIMMERMAN, JR., Lexington 23 MICHAEL A. ASHBURN, North Wilkesboro 24 JAMES THOMAS RUSHER, Marshall 25 ROBERT E. THOMAS, Newton 26 PETER S. GILCHRIST, Charlotte 27A CALVIN B. HAMRICK, Gastonia 27B WILLIAM C. YOUNG, Shelby 28 ROBERT W. FISHER, Asheville 29 ALAN C. LEONARD. Rutherfordton 30 ROY H. PATTON, JR., Waynesville The Conference of District Attorneys (Executive Committee as of June 30, 1987) Edv.ard W. Grannis, Presdient Michael F. Easley, President- Elect Ronald L. Stephens, Vice President Donald M. Jacobs, First Division Representative David R. Waters, Second Division Representative H.W. Zimmerman, Third Division Representative James T. Rusher, Fourth Division Representative The District Attorneys Association (Officers as of June 30, 1987) Edward W. Grannis, Fayetteville, President Michael F. Easley, Bolivia, Vice President Ronald L. Stephens, Durham, Vice President for Legislative Affairs Jean Elizabeth Powell, Fayetteville, Secretary- Treasurer W ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 The District Attorneys The State is divided into 35 prosecutorial districts which, with one exception, correspond to the 34 judicial districts. By act of the 1981 Session of the General Assembly, the 3rd Judicial District is divided into two separate prosecutorial districts. Prosecutorial Districts 3A and 3B, effective October 1, 1981. Prosecutorial Dis-trict 3A consists of Pitt County, and Prosecutorial Dis-trict 3B is comprised of Craven, Carteret, and Pamlico (G.S. 7A-60). A district attorney is elected by the voters in each of the 35 districts for four-year terms. Duties The district attorney represents the State in all criminal actions brought in the superior and district courts in his district, and is responsible for ensuring that infraction cases are prosecuted efficiently. In addition to his prosec-utorial functions, the district attorney is responsible for calendaring criminal cases for trial. Resources Each district attorney may employ on a full-time basis the number of assistant district attorneys authorized by statute for his district. As of June 30, 1987, a total of 222 assistant district attorneys were authorized for the 35 prosecutorial districts. The district attorney of District 26 (Mecklenburg County) had the largest staff ( 19 assistants) and the district attorney of eight judicial districts (15A, 15B, 17A, 17B, 19B, 23, 24, 27B) had the smallest staff (three assistants). Each district attorney is authorized to employ an administrative assistant to aid in preparing cases for trial and to expedite the criminal court docket. The district attorney in 18 of the 35 districts is authorized to employ an investigatorial assistant who aids in the investigation of cases prior to trial. All district attorneys are authorized to employ a victim and witness coordinator. Expenditures A total of $16,980,015 was expended in 1986-87 for the 35 offices of district attorney. In addition, a total of $93,520 was expended for the District Attorney's Confer-ence and its staff. 1986-1987 Caseload A total of 83,478 criminal cases were filed in the super-ior courts during 1986-87, consisting of 51,210 felony cases and 32,268 misdemeanor appeals from the district courts. The total number of filings in the superior courts (felonies and misdemeanors) in the previous year was 76,179. The increase of 7,299 cases in 1986-87 is a 9.6% increase over the 1985-86 total. Total criminal cases disposed of by the superior courts in 1986-87 amounted to 81,136. There were 48,890 felony dispositions; the number of misdemeanor cases disposed of was 32,246. Compared with 1985-86, total criminal case dispositions increased by 7,136 over the 74,000 cases disposed of in that fiscal year. The median ages of 1986-87 criminal cases at disposi-tion in the superior courts were 91 days for felony cases and 71 days for misdemeanor appeals. In 1985-86, the median age of felony cases at disposition was 86 days, and the median age at disposition for misdemeanor appeals was 67 days. Dispositions by jury trial in the superior courts, for felonies and misdemeanors, totalled 1,950 cases, or 4.0% of total criminal case dispositions in the superior courts. This was a decrease from jury dispositions of 3,306 (5.0% of total dispositions) during the 1985-86 year. As is evi-dent, a very small proportion of all criminal cases utilize the great proportion of superior court time and resources required to handle the criminal caseload. By contrast, in 1986-87 a majority (25,293 or 51.8%) of criminal case dispositions in superior courts were pro-cessed on submission of guilty pleas, not requiring a trial. This was close to the 53.5% of guilty plea dispositions reported for 1985-86. "Dismissal by district attorney" accounted for a signifi-cant percentage of all dispositions during 1986-87; a total of 14,9 19 cases, or 30.6% of all dispositions. This propor-tion is comparable to that recorded for prior years. Many of the dismissals involved the situation of two or more cases pending against the same defendant, resulting in a plea bargain agreement where the defendant pleads guilty to some charges in exchange for a dismissal of others. There was a decrease in the number of "Speedy Trial Act" dismissals in superior courts, from 54 in 1985-86 to 48 in 1986-87. The total number of criminal cases disposed of in the superior courts was 2,342 cases less than the total number of cases filed in 1986-87. Consequently, the number of pending criminal cases in superior court increased from 25,233 at the beginning of the fiscal year to a total at year's end of 27,575, an increase of 9.3%. The median age of pending felony cases in the superior courts increased from 83 days on June 30, 1986 to 88 days on June 30, 1987. Misdemeanor appeals also recorded an increase, with the median age of pending misdemeanor appeals increasing from 74 days on June 30, 1986 to 83 days on June 30, 1987. Consideration of district court criminal caseloads is affected by the existence of a new case category in the district courts, "infractions." Effective September 1, 1986, many minor traffic offenses were decriminalized and thereafter charged as infractions, defined as non-criminal violations of law not punishable by imprisonment. Although non-criminal, district attorneys are responsible for the prosecution of these cases. Nearly all infraction cases were criminal motor vehicle cases in prior years. Therefore, for purposes of comparing 39 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 current to prior year criminal caseloads, motor vehicle filings and dispositions in prior years are compared to filings and dispositions of motor vehicle cases plus infrac-tions in 1986-87. In the district courts, a total of 1,443,619 criminal cases and infractions were filed during 1986-87. This total con-sisted of 488.494 motor vehicle criminal cases, 486,994 infraction cases, and 468,131 non-motor vehicle criminal cases. A comparison of total filings in 1986-87 with total filings in 1 985-86 ( 1 .285,007) reveals an increase in district court criminal (and infraction) filing activity of 158,612 cases or 12.3%. Filings of non-motor vehicle cases rose by 22.292 cases (5.0%), from a total of 445,839 cases in 1985-86 to 468.131 cases in 1986-87. In 1985-86, 839,168 motor vehicle cases were filed, compared to 975,488 motor vehicle and infraction cases filed during 1986-87, an increase of 136,320 cases (16.2%). Total dispositions of motor vehicle and infraction cases in the district courts amounted to 925,997 cases during 1986-87 (527,344 motor vehicle dispositions and 398,653 infraction dispositions). As in prior years, a substantial portion of such cases are disposed by waiver of appear-ance and entry of pleas of guilty (or "responsibility" in infraction cases) before a clerk or magistrate. During 1986-87, 497,631 (53.7%) of motor vehicle and infraction cases were disposed by waiver. This substantial number of cases did not, of course, require action by the district attorneys' offices and should not be regarded as having been a part of the district attorneys'caseload. The remain-ing 428,366 infraction and motor vehicle cases (327,930 infraction and 1 00,436 motor vehicle cases) were disposed bv means other than waiver. This balance was 69,427 cases (or 19.3%) more than the 358,939 non-waiver motor vehicle dispositions in 1985-86. (The clerks of court do not report motor vehicle criminal cases or infractions by case file number to the Administrative Office of the Courts. Only summary total number of filings and dispo-sitions are reported. Therefore, it is not possible by computer-processing to obtain pending case data for the motor vehicle criminal case or infraction case categories.) With respect to non-motor vehicle criminal case dispo-sitions, a total of 456,699 such cases were disposed of in district courts in 1986-87. As with superior court criminal cases, the most frequent method of disposition was by entry of guilty plea; the next most frequent was dismissal by the district attorney. Some 160,024 cases, or 35.0% of the dispositions were by guilty pleas. An additional 124,879 cases, or 27.3% of the total were disposed of by prosecutor dismissal. The remaining cases were disposed of by waiver (1 1.9%), trial (9.4%), as a felony probable cause matter (9.3%), or by other means (7.1%). During 1986-87, the median age at disposition of non-motor vehicle criminal cases was 29 days, compared with 28 days at disposition for 1985-86. Total non-motor vehicle criminal dispositions were 11,432 cases less than the total of such filings during 1986-87. The number of non-motor vehicle criminal cases pending at year's end was 86,860, compared with a total of 75,428 at the beginning of the year, an increase of 1 1,432 ( 15.2%) in the number of pending cases. The median age for pending non-motor vehicle cases rose from 50 days on June 30, 1986 to 54 days on June 30, 1987. Additional information on the criminal caseloads in superior and district courts is included in Part IV of this Report. 40 CLERKS OF SUPERIOR COURT (As of June 30, 1987) COUNTY CLERK OF COURT COUNTY Alamance Louise B. Wilson Johnston Alexander Seth Chapman Jones Alleghany Rebecca J. Gambill Lee Anson R. Frank Hightower Lenoir Ashe Jerry L. Roten Lincoln Avery Robert F. Taylor Macon Beaufort Thomas S. Payne, III Madison Bertie John Tyler Martin Bladen Hilda H. Coleman McDowell Brunswick K. Gregory Bellamy Mecklenburg Buncombe J. Ray Elingburg Mitchell Burke Major A. Joines Montgomery Cabarrus Estus B. White Moore Caldwell Jeanette Turner Nash Camden Catherine W. McCoy New Hanover Carteret Darlene Leonard Northampton Caswell Janet H. Cobb Onslow Catawba Phyllis B. Hicks Orange Chatham Janice Oldham Pamlico Cherokee Rose Mary Crooke Pasquotank Chowan Marjorie H. Hollowell Pender Clay James H. McClure Perquimans Cleveland Ruth S. Dedmon Person Columbus Lacy R. Thompson Pitt Craven Dorothy Pate Polk Cumberland George T. Griffin Randolph Currituck Sheila R. Doxey Richmond Dare Betty Mann Robeson Davidson Martha S. Nicholson Rockingham Davie Delores C. Jordan Rowan Duplin John A. Johnson Rutherford Durham James Leo Carr Sampson Edgecombe Curtis Weaver Scotland Forsyth Frances P. Storey Stanly Franklin Ralph S. Knott Stokes Gaston Betty B. Jenkins Surry Gates Terry L. Riddick Swain Graham O.W. Hooper, Jr. Transylvania Granville Mary Ruth C. Nelms Tyrrell Greene Joyce L. Harrell Union Guilford Barbara G. Washington Vance Halifax Ellen C. Neathery Wake Harnett Georgia Lee Brown Warren Haywood William G. Henry Washington Henderson Thomas H. Thompson Watauga Hertford Richard T. Vann Wayne Hoke Juanita Edmund Wilkes Hyde Lenora R. Bright Wilson Iredell Angelia T. Roberts Yadkin Jackson Frank Watson, Jr. Yancey CLERK OF COURT Will R. Crocker Ronald H. Metts Lucille H. York Claude C. Davis Pamela C. Huskey Lois S. Morris James W. Cody Phyllis G. Pearson Ruth B. Williams Robert M. Blackburn Linda D. Woody Charles M. Johnson Rachel H. Comer Rachel M. Joyner Louise D. Rehder R. Jennings White, Jr. Everitte Barbee Shirley L. James Mary Jo Potter Frances W. Thompson Frances D. Basden W.J. Ward W. Thomas Humphries Sandra Gaskins Judy P. Arledge Lynda B. Skeen Catherine S. Wilson Dixie I. Barrington Frankie C. Williams Francis Glover Keith H. Melton Charlie T. McCullen C. Whitfield Gibson, Jr. David R. Fisher Pauline Kirkman David J. Beal Sara Robinson Marian M. McMahon Nathan T. Everett Nola H. McCollum Lucy Longmire John M. Kennedy Richard E. Hunter, Jr. Timothy L. Spear John T. Bingham David B. Brantly Wayne Roope Nora H. Hargrove Harold J. Long F. Warren Hughes 41 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 The Clerks of Superior Court A Clerk of Superior Court is elected for a four-year term by the voters in each of North Carolina's 100 coun-ties. The Clerk has jurisdiction to hear and decide special proceedings and is. ex officio, judge of probate, in addi-tion to performing record-keeping and administrative functions for both the superior and district courts of his county. Jurisdiction The original jurisdiction of the clerk of superior court includes the probate of wills and administration of dece-dents' estates. It also includes such "special proceedings" as adoptions, condemnations of private property under the public's right of eminent domain, proceedings to establish boundaries, foreclosures, and certain proceed-ings to administer the estates of minors and incompetent adults. The right of appeal from the clerks' judgments in such cases lies to the superior court. The clerk of superior court is also empowered to issue search warrants and arrest warrants, subpoenas, and other process necessary to execute the judgments entered in the superior and district courts of his county. For certain misdemeanor criminal offenses, the clerk is autho-rized to accept defendants' waiver of appearance and plea of guilty and to impose a fine in accordance with a sche-dule established by the Conference of Chief District Court Judges. Total expenditures for clerks' offices in 1986-87 amounted to 31.1% of the General Fund expenditures for the operations of the entire Judicial Department. 1986-87 Caseload During 1986-87, estate case filings totalled 43,285. This was an increase over the 41,593 cases filed in 1985-86. Estate case dispositions totalled 42,070 cases in 1986-87, or 5.8% more than the previous year's total of 39,765. A total of 39,286 special proceedings was filed before the 100 clerks of superior court in 1986-87. This is an increase of 4,005 cases ( 1 1 .4%) from the 35,28 1 filings in the previous fiscal year. Special proceedings dispositions totalled 32,309 cases, or 1.8% more than the previous year's total of 31,735. The clerks of superior court are also responsible for handling the records of all case filings and dispositions in the superior and district courts. The total number of superior court case filings during the 1986-87 year was 98,886 and the total number of district court filings, not including juvenile proceedings and mental hospital com-mitment hearings, was 1,682,321. More detailed information on the estates and special proceedings caseloads is included in Part IV of this Report. Administration The clerk of superior court performs administrative duties for both the superior and district courts of his county. Among these duties are the maintenance of court records and indexes, the control and accounting of funds, and the furnishing of information to the Administrative Office of the Courts. In most counties, the clerk continues to perform certain functions related to preparation of civil case calendars, and in many counties, the clerk's staff assists the district attorney in preparing criminal case calendars as well. Policy and oversight responsibility for civil case calendar-ing is vested in the State's senior resident superior court judges and chief district court judges. However, day-to-day civil calendar preparation is the clerk's responsibility in all districts except those served by trial court ad-ministrators. Expenditures A total of S46.066.578 was expended in 1986-87 for the operation of the 100 clerk of superior court offices. In addition to the salaries and other expenses of the clerks and their staffs, this total includes expenditures for jurors' fees, and witness expenses. Association of Clerks of Superior Court (Officers as of June 30, 1987) John Johnson, Duplin County, President Frances W. Thompson, Pasquotank County First Vice President James L. Carr, Durham County Second Vice President Judy Arledge, Polk County Secretary Ray Elingburg, Buncombe County Treasurer 42 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 Juvenile Services Division The Juvenile Services Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts provides intake, probation and after-care services to juveniles who are before the District Courts for delinquent matters, i.e., violations of the crimi-nal code, including motor vehicle violations; and for undisciplined matters, such as running away from home, being truant, and being beyond the parents' disciplinary control. Intake is the screening of complaints alleging delin-quent or undisciplined behavior by children, to determine whether petitions should be filed. During the 1986-87 year a total of 27,725 complaints were brought to the attention of intake counselors. Of this number, 17,956(64.8%) were approved for filing, and 9,769 (35.2%) were not approved for filing. Probation and aftercare refer to supervision of children in their own communities. Probation is authorized by judicial order. Aftercare service is provided for juveniles after their release from a training school. (Protective supervision is also a form of court-ordered supervision within the community; and this service is combined with probation and aftercare.) In 1986-87 a total of 16,5 12 juveniles were supervised in the probation and aftercare program. Expenditures The Juvenile Services Division is State-funded. The expenditures for fiscal year 1986-87 totalled $10,513,864. This was an increase of 8.3% over the 1985-86 expendi-tures. The 1986-87 expenditures amounted to 7.2% of all General Fund expenditures for the operation of the entire Judicial Department, close to the same percentage share of total Judicial Department expenditures for the Di-vision as in the previous fiscal year. Administration The Administrator of the Juvenile Services Division is appointed by the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. A chief court counselor is appointed for each judicial district by the Administrator of the Juvenile Ser-vices Division, with the approval of the Chief District Court Judge and the Administrative Officer of the Courts. Subject to the Administrator's general supervi-sion, each chief court counselor exercises administrative supervision over the operation of the court counseling services in the respective districts. Juvenile Services Division Staff (As of June 30, 1987) Thomas A. Danek, Administrator Nancy C. Patteson, Assistant Administrator Edward F. Taylor, Assistant Administrator John T. Wilson, Assistant Administrator Rex B. Yates, Assistant Administrator Jennie E. Cannon, Education Coordinator 43 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 Judicial District Chief Court Counselors 1 Robert Hendrix 2 Joseph Paul 3 Eve C. Rogers 4 Ida Ray Miles 5 Phyllis Roebuck 6 John R. Brady Pam Honeycutt 8 Lynn C. Sasser 9 Tommy Lewis 10 Larry C. Dix 1 1 Henry C. Cox 12 PhilT. Utley 13 Jimmy Godwin 14 Fred Elkins 15A Harry Derr 15B Harold Rogerson Juvenile Services Division (As of June 30, 1987) Judicial District Chief Court Counselors 16 Robert Hughes 17A and 17B Martha Lauten 18 J. Manley Dodson 19A and 19B James Queen 20 Jimmy Craig 21 James J. Weakland 22 Carl T. Duncan 23 Wayne C. Dixon 24 Lynn Hughes 25 Lee Cox 26 James Yancey 27A Charles Reeves 27B Gloria Newman 28 Louis Parrish 29 Kenneth Lanning 30 Betty G. Alley THE COURT COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION (Officers for 1986-87) Executive Committee Members Harold Rogerson, President Carey Collins, President- Elect Pat Wolfe, Seretary Larry Dix, Treasurer Rick McCollister, Parliamentarian 1984-87 Carl Duncan Eve Rogers Board Members 1985-88 1986-89 Jane Clare Nancy Patteson Bruce Stanback Richard Alligood Marion Brewer Ann Loy 44 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 Public Defenders During 1986-87, there were seven public defender offi-ces in North Carolina, serving Judicial Districts 3,* 12, 15B, 18, 26, 27A, and 28. The public defender for each district is appointed by the senior resident superior court judge of that district from a list of not less than two and not more than three names nominated by written ballot of the attorneys resident in the district who are licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Their terms are four years. Each public defender is by statute provided a min-imum of one full-time assistant public defender and addi-tional full-time or part-time assistants as may be autho-rized by the Administrative Office of the Courts. 1986-87 Caseload The seven public defender offices disposed of cases involving a total of 23,287 defendents during 1986-87. This was an increase of 2,317 defendants, or 1 1.0%, over the 20,970 defendants represented during 1985-86. Additional information concerning the operation of these offices is found in Part III of this Annual Report. PUBLIC DEFENDERS (As of June 30, 1987) Entitlement of Indigents to Counsel A person is determined to be indigent if he is found "financially unable to secure legal representation." He is entitled to State-paid legal representation in: any pro-ceeding which may result in (or which seeks relief from) confinement; a fine of $500 or more; or extradition to another State; a proceeding alleging mental illness or incapacity which may result in hospitalization, steriliza-tion, or the loss of certain property rights; and juvenile proceedings which may result in confinement, transfer to superior court for a felony trial, or termination of paren-tal rights. Most of the cases of State-paid representation of indi-gents in the districts with public defenders are handled by the public defender's office. However, the court may in certain circumstances—such as existence of a potential conflict of interest—assign private counsel to represent an indigent defendant. In the other 28 districts, the assigned private counsel system was the only one used. Expenditures A total of $3,620,21 1 was expended for the operation of the seven public defenders' offices during 1986-87. This was an increase of $337,242 (10.3%) over the 1 985-86 total of $3,282,969. *The public defender serves only two counties of the four in Dis-trict 3: Pitt and Carteret. District 3 Robert L. Shoffner, Greenville District 12 Mary Ann Tally, Fayetteville District 15B John Kirk Osborn, Chapel Hill District 18 Wallace G. Harrelson, Greensboro District 26 Isabel S. Day, Charlotte District 27A Rowell C. Cloninger, Jr., Gastonia District 28 J. Robert Hufstader, Asheville The Association of Public Defenders (Officers as of June 30, 1987) Malcolm Ray Hunter, Jr., President Marc D. Towler, Vice President 45 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 The Office of the Appellate Defender (Staff as of June 30, 1987) Malcolm Ray Hunter, Jr., Appellate Defender Assistant Appellate Defenders Louis D. Bilionis David W. Dorey Geoffrey C. Mangum Gayle L. Moses Daniel R. Pollitt Leland Q. Towns The Appellate Defender Office began operation as a State-funded program on October 1, 1981. (Prior to that date, appellate defender services were funded by a one-year federal grant.) The 1985 General Assembly made permanent The Appellate Defender Office by repealing its expiration provision. In accord with the assignments made by trial court judges, it is the responsibility of the Appellate Defender and his staff to provide criminal defense appellate services to indigent persons who are appealing their convictions to the N. C. Supreme Court, the N. C. Court of Appeals, or to Federal courts. The Appellate Defender is appointed by, and carries out his duties under the general supervision of the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice may, consistent with the resources available to the Appellate Defender and to insure quality criminal defense services, authorize certain appeals to be assigned to a local public defender office or to private assigned counsel instead of to the Appellate Defender. 1986-87 Caseload As of July 1, 1986, the Appellate Defender had 92 cases pending in the North Carolina Supreme Court. During the 1986-87 year, a total of 53 additional appeals to the Supreme Court were assigned to the Appellate Defender's Office, and during that year a total of 63 cases in the Supreme Court were disposed of. This left 82 cases pend-ing as of June 30, 1987. During the 1986-87 year, the Appellate Defender and his staff filed a total of 47 briefs and 48 petitions in the Supreme Court. As of July 1, 1986, the Appellate Defender had 115 cases pending in the North Carolina Court of Appeals. During the 1986-87 year, a total of 1 12 additional appeals to the Court of Appeals were assigned to the Appellate Defender's Office, and during that year, a total of 114 cases in the Court of Appeals were disposed of. This left 1 13 cases pending as of June 30, 1987. During the 1986-87 year, the Appellate Defender and his staff filed a total of 120 briefs and 17 petitions in the Court of Appeals. 46 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 The North Carolina Courts Commission (Members as of June 30, 1987) Appointed by the Governor Jonathan L. Rhyne, Jr., Lincolnton, Chairman Member, N.C. House of Representatives H. Parks Helms, Charlotte Garland N. Yates, Asheboro District Attorney Warren Owen, Charlotte Harold J. Long, Yadkinville Clerk of Court Dennis J. Winner, Asheville Member, N. C. State Senate Appointed by President of the Senate (Lieutenant Governor) Anthony E. Rand, Fayetteville Member, N.C. Senate Fielding Clark, II, Hickory Henson P. Barnes, Goldsboro Member, N.C. Senate Earl F. Parker, Apex Magistrate R.C. Soles, Jr., Tabor City Member, N. C. Senate Howard F. Twiggs, Raleigh Ex-Officio (Non-Voting) O. William Faison, Raleigh N.C. Bar Association Representative A.B. Coleman, Jr., Raleigh N.C. State Bar Representative Franklin E. Freeman, Jr., Raleigh Administrative Officer of the Courts Appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Daniel T. Blue, Jr., Albemarle Member, N.C. House of Representatives Robert C. Hunter, Marion Member, N.C. House of Representatives Ralph S. Knott, Louisburg Clerk of Court Donald M. Dawkins, Rockingham Member, N.C. House of Representatives Marvin D. Musselwhite, Jr., Raleigh Dennis A. Wicker, Sanford Member, N.C. House of Representatives Appointed by the Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court Burley B. Mitchell, Jr., Raleigh Associate Justice, N.C. Supreme Court Clifton E. Johnson, Charlotte Judge, N.C. Court of Appeals Giles B. Clark, Elizabethtown Superior Court Judge Forrest A. Ferrell, Hickory Superior Court Judge Nicholas Long, Roanoke Rapids District Court Judge Samuel McD. Tate, Morganton District Court Judge The North Carolina Courts Commission was reestab-lished by the 1979 General Assembly "to make continuing studies of the structure, organization, jurisdiction, proce-dures and personnel of the Judicial Department and of the General Court of Justice and to make recommenda-tions to the General Assembly for such changes therein as will facilitate the administration of justice". Initially, the Commission was comprised of 15 voting members, with five each appointed by the Governor, the President of the Senate (Lieutenant Governor), and the Speaker of the House. The Commission also had three ex officio mem-bers as shown above. The 1981 General Assembly amended the statutes per-taining to the Courts Commission, to increase the number of voting members from 15 to 23, with the Governor to appoint seven voting members, the President of the Senate to appoint eight voting members, and the Speaker of the House to appoint eight voting members. The non-voting ex officio members remained the same: a represen-tative of the North Carolina Bar Association, a represen-tative of the North Carolina State Bar, and the Adminis-trative Officer of the Courts. 47 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 The North Carolina Courts Commission The 1983 Session of the General Assembly further amended G.S. 7A-506, to revise the voting membership of the Commission. Effective July 1. 1983, the Commission is to consist of 24 voting members, six to be appointed by the Governor: six to be appointed by the Speaker of the House: six to be appointed by the President of the Senate; and six to be appointed by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. The Governor continues to appoint the Chairman of the Commission, from among its legislative members. The non-voting ex officio mem-bership of three persons remains the same. Of the six appointees of the Chief Justice, one is to be a Justice of the Supreme Court, one is to be a Judge of the Court of Appeals, two are to be judges of superior court, and two are to be judges of district court. Of the six appointees of the Governor, one is to be a district attorney, one a practicing attorney, one a clerk of superior court, and three are to be members or former members of the General Assembly and at least one of these shall not be an attorney. Of the six appointees of the Speaker of the House, at least three are to be practicing attorneys, and three are to be members or formers members of the General Assem-bly, and at least one of these three is not to be an attorney. Of the six appointees of the President of the Senate, at least three are to be practicing attorneys, three are to be members or former members of the General Assembly, and at least one is to be a magistrate. During the 1986-87 year the Courts Commission had a total of eight meetings, all of which were held in Raleigh. The following Commission proposals were approved by the 1987 Session of the General Assembly: • Statutory amendment effective October 1, 1987, increasing the jurisdiction of magistrates and clerks in worthless check cases to those cases involving checks up to $1,000 (Chapter 355, 1987 Session Laws). • Statutory amendment effective July 24, 1987, pro-viding that life sentences rendered in capital cases are still heard initially by the Supreme Court, but other life imprisonment cases will now be heard on appeal first by the Court of Appeals (Chapter 679, 1987 Session laws). In addition, the Courts Commission recommended that a special study commission be created to investigate how other states select their judges to see if any improve-ment can be borrowed from them and to determine the views of the citizens of North Carolina about how their judges should be selected. (Chapter 873 established the Judicial Selection Study Commission to "study the method of selecting judges in North Carolina and recom-mend any changes needed to improve the system.") The Commission also recommended that an agency such as the Administrative Office of the Courts or the Institute of Government prepare a grand jury handbook to provide grand jury members and foremen with guide-lines and legal instruction for performing this important civic duty. Finally, the Commission expressed in the form of a motion that "the Commission expresses its concern to the General Assembly about the level of compensation for District Court Judges in view of the duties assigned to them and their increased work loads." (The 1987 General Assembly appropriated funds for a 10% pay raise for district court judges.) 48 ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS IN 1986-87 The Judicial Standards Commission (Members as of June 30, 1987) Appointed by the Chief Justice Court of Appeals Judge Gerald Arnold, Fuquay-Varina, Chairman Superior Court Judge James M. Long, Pilot Mountain District Court Judge W. S. Harris, Jr., Graham Elected by the Council of the N.C. State Bar E. K. Powe, Durham, Vice Chairman Rivers D. Johnson, Jr., Warsaw Appointed by the Governor Veatrice C. Davis, Fayetteville, Secretary Pamela S. Gaither, Charlotte Deborah R. Carrington, Executive Secretary THE JUDICIAL STANDARDS COMMISSION July 1, 1986 — June 30, 1987 The Judicial Standards Commission was established by the General Assembly pursuant to a constitutional amendment approved by the voters at the general election in November 1972. Upon recommendation of the Commission, the Su-preme Court may censure or remove any judge for willful misconduct in office, willful and persistent failure to per-form his duties, habitual intemperance, conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute. In addition, upon recommendation of the Commission, the Supreme Court may remove any judge for mental or physical incapacity interfering with the performance of his duties, which is, or is likely to become, permanent. Where a recommendation for censure or removal involves ajustice of the Supreme Court, the recommenda-tion and supporting record is filed with the Court of Appeals which has and proceeds under the same author-ity for censure or removal of a judge. Such a proceeding would be heard by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the six judges senior in service, excluding the Court of Appeals judge who by law serves as the Chair-man of the Judicial Standards Commission. In addition to a recommendation of censure or remov-al, the Commission also utilizes a disciplinary measure known as a reprimand. The reprimand is a mechanism administratively developed for dealing with inquiries where the conduct does not warrant censure or removal, but where some action is justified. Since the establishment of the Judicial Standards Commission in 1973, repri-mands have been issued in fourteen instances covering 20 inquiries. During the July 1, 1986 -June 30, 1987 fiscal year, the Judicial Standards Commission met on November 1, 1986, and March 21, 1987. A complaint or other information against a judge, whether filed with the Commission or initiated by the Commission on its own motion, is designated as an "Inquiry Concerning a Judge." Eighteen such inquiries were pending as of July 1, 1986, and 77 inquiries were filed during the fiscal year, giving the Commission a total workload of 95 inquiries. During the fiscal year, the Commission disposed of 65 inquiries, and 30 inquiries remained pending at the end of the fiscal year. The determinations of the Commission regarding the 65 inquiries disposed of during the fiscal year were as follows: (1) fifty-two inquiries were determined to involve evi-dentiary rulings, length of sentences, or other mat-ters not within the Commission's jurisdiction rather than questions of judicial misconduct; (2) two inquiries were determined to involve allega-tions of conduct which did not rise to such a level as would warrant investigation by the Commission; (3) ten inquiries were determined to warrant no further action following completion of preliminary investi-gations; and (4) one inquiry resulted in a recommendation of censure. Of the 30 inquiries pending at the end of the fiscal year: (1) twenty-three inquiries were awaiting initial review by the Commission; and (2) seven inquiries were awaiting completion of a pre-liminary investigation or were subject to other action by the Commission. 49 PART III COURT RESOURCES • Financial • Personnel JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FINANCES Under the State Constitution the operating expenses of the Judicial Department (all North Carolina courts) "other than compensation to process servers and other locally paid non-judicial officers" are required to be paid from State funds. It is customary legislative practice for the General Assembly to include appropriations for the operating expenses of all three branches of State govern-ment in a single budget bill, for a two-year period ending on June 30 of the odd-numbered years. The budget for the second year of the biennium is generally modified during the even-year legislative session. Building facilities for the appellate courts are provided by State funds, but, by statute, the county governments are required to provide from county funds for adequate facilities for the trial courts within each of the 100 counties. Appropriations from the State's General Fund for operating expenses for all departments and agencies of State government, including the Judicial Department, totalled $5,162,655,711 for the 1986-87 fiscal year. (Appropriations from the Highway Fund and appropria-tions from the General Fund for capital improvements and debt servicing are not included in this total.) The appropriation from the General Fund for the operating expenses of the Judicial Department for 1986- 87 was $146,394,689. As illustrated in the chart below, this General Fund appropriation for the Judicial De-partment comprised 2.8% of the General Fund appropri-ations for the operating expenses of all State agencies and departments. TOTAL GENERAL FUND APPROPRIATIONS FOR OPERATING EXPENSES $5,162,655,711 JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION $146,394,689 2.8% 53 JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FINANCES Appropriation from the State's general fund for operat-ing expenses oi the Judicial Department over the past seven fiscal years are shown in the table below and in the graph at the top of the following page. For comparative purposes, appropriations from the general fund for oper-ating expenses of all State agencies and departments (including the Judicial Department) for the last seven fiscal years are also shown in the table below and in the second graph on the following page. APPROPRIATIONS FROM GENERAL FUND FOR OPERATING EXPENSES Judicial Department All State Agencies Fiscal Year % Increase over % Increase over Appropriation previous year Appropriation previous year 1980-1981 82,929,174 15.80 3,140,949,832 13.76 1981-1982 89,631,765 8.08 3,339,761,674 6.33 1982-1983 93,927,824 4.79 3,488,908,246 4.47 1983-1984 106,182,188 13.05 3,730,497,565 6.92 1984-1985 121,035,791 13.99 4,319,568,173 15.79 1985-1986 134,145,813 10.83 4,801,279,494 11.15 1986-1987 146,394,689 9.13 5,162,655.711 7.53 AVERAGE ANNUAL INCREASE, 1980-1987 10.81% 9.42% During the past decade, including the seven-year period covered by the above table, inflation has been a significant factor in the national economy. The greatest percentage increase in Judicial Depart-ment appropriations during the last six years was for the 1980-81 fiscal year. The increase for that year was due in large measure to a 10% pay increase for Judicial Branch personnel, with the same pay increase provided for per-sonnel of all State government agencies. A 10% pay increase was also provided for the 1984-85 fiscal year. Fiscal year 1982-83 shows the smallest percentage increase in Judicial Department appropriations during the seven-year period. The decline in percentage increase that year was consistent with a similar decline for all State government agencies. 54 JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FINANCES General Fund Appropriations for Operating Expenses Of the Judicial Department, 1980-81 — 1986-87 $150,000,000 140,000,000 130,000,000 120,000,000 110,000,000 100,000,000 90,000,000 80,000,000 70,000,000 60,000,000 50,000,000 40,000,000 30,000,000 20,000,000 10,000,000 689 1980-81 1981-82 1982-83 1986-87 General Fund Appropriations for Operating Expenses Of All State Agencies and Departments, 1980-81 — 1986-87 $6,000,000,000 5,000,000,000 4,750,000,000 4,500,000,000 4,250,000,000 4,000,000,000 3,750,000,000 3,500,000,000 3,250,000,000 3,000,000,000 2,750,000,000 2,500,000,000 2,250,000,000 2,000,000,000 1,750,000,000 1,500,000,000 1,250,000,000 1,000,000,000 750,000,000 500,000,000 250,000,000 1980-81 1981-82 1982-83 1983-84 1984-85 1985-86 1986-87 55 JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FINANCES Expenditures July 1, 1986 — June 30, 1987 General Fund expenditures for operating expenses of totalled $148,328,555, divided among the major budget the Judicial Department during the 1986-87 fiscal year classifications as shown below. %of Amount Total 2,281,161 1.5 2,947,010 2.0 14,924,895 10.1 26,908,723 18.1 46,066,578 31.1 10,513,864 7.1 18,392,136 12.4 Supreme Court Court o\ Appeals Superior Courts District Courts Clerks of Superior Court Juvenile Probation and Aftercare Representation for Indigents Assigned private counsel SI 2,258,375 Guardian ad litem for juveniles $183,411 Guardian ad litem—volunteer and contract program $1,117,720 Public defenders $3,620,21 1 Special counsel at mental hospitals $215,574 Support services (expert witness fees, professional examinations, transcripts) $526,739 Appellate Defender Services $470,106 District Attorney Offices 17,073,535 11.5 Office-District Attorney $16,980,015 District Attorneys' Conference $93,520 Administrative Office of the Courts 8,487,978 5.7 General Administration $3,740,108 Information Services $4,409,696 Warehouse & Printing $338,174 Judicial Standards Commission 69,625 .1 Pilot Programs 463,491 .3 Custody Mediation Pilot $75,849 Indigency Screening Pilot $302,269 Dispute Settlement Center $56,081 \rbitration Pilot Program $29,292 Special Projects 199,559 .1 Model Juvenile Court Project $15,076 Prosecution Management System $1 1,309 Victim Assistance, 21st District $23,378 Victim Assistance. 28th District $40,906 Victim Assistance. 13th District $29,942 Victim
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|Title||North Carolina courts: annual report of the Administrative Office of the Courts|
|Creator||North Carolina. Administrative Office of the Courts.|
North Carolina. Judicial Dept.--Periodicals
North Carolina. Administrative Office of the Courts--Periodicals
Court administration--North Carolina--Periodicals
Judicial statistics--North Carolina--Periodicals
|Place||North Carolina, United States|
|Time Period||(1945-1989) Post War/Cold War period|
|Description||Issued by the North Carolina Judicial Dept;|
|Publisher||Raleigh, N.C. : N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, -|
|Agency-Current||North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, Judicial Department|
|Rights||State Document see http://digital.ncdcr.gov/u?/p249901coll22,63754|
|Physical Characteristics||[a]: v. ;[c]: 28 cm.|
|Collection||North Carolina State Documents Collection. State Library of North Carolina|
|Digital Characteristics-A||11472 KB; 224 p.|
|Digital Collection||North Carolina Digital State Documents Collection|
|Title Replaces||North Carolina. Administrative Office of the Courts. North Carolina judicial branch,... annual report|
|Pres File Name-M||pubs_serial_law_nccourts1987.pdf|
|Pres Local File Path-M||\Preservation_content\StatePubs\pubs_serial_law\images_master\|
^ovt\\ (Earolma (Enurte
^mmtstrattOe Office of%(Eourts
The Cover: The Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield, North Carolina, is represen-tative
of the Neo-Classical Revival at its most monumental scale. This courthouse was
completed in 1921. The cut stone veneered structure is rectangular in shape, three stories
high, and is fronted hy a four-columned portico. The level roofline is defined by a stone
balustrade. Johnston County is located in the central region of the State. Smithfield was
established as the county seat in 1777.
NORTH CAROLINA COURTS
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
The Honorable James G. Exum, Jr., Chief Justice
The Supreme Court of North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Dear Mr. Chief Justice:
In accord with Section 7A-343 of the North Carolina General Statutes, I herewith transmit the
Twenty-first Annual Report of the Administrative Office of the Courts, relating to the fiscal year, July 1,
1986 — June 30, 1987.
Fiscal year 1986-87 marks the third consecutive year with significant increases in filings and dispositions
in both the Superior and District Courts. During 1986-87, as compared to 1985-86, total case filings
increased by 8.3% in Superior Court and by 1 1.1% in District Court; dispositions increased by 9.3% in
Superior Court and by 9.9% in District Court. Because total filings were greater than total dispositions,
more cases were pending at the end of the fiscal year than were pending at the beginning.
Appreciation is expressed to the many persons who participated in the data reporting, compilation, and
writing required to produce this annual report. Within the Administrative Office of the Courts, principal
responsibilities were shared by the Research and Planning Division and the Information Services Division.
The principal burden of reporting the great mass of trial court data rested upon the offices of the clerks of
superior court located in each of the one hundred counties of the State. The Clerk of the Supreme Court
and the Clerk of the Court of Appeals provided the case data relating to our appellate courts.
Without the responsible work of many persons across the State this report would not have been possible.