Criminal District Court Operations

The following plan was designed to balance the need to reduce the amount of people coming into the Forsyth County Hall of Justice and the desire to resume operations of courthouse functions.  The current pandemic is constantly evolving so this plan is subject to change at any time if modifications are deemed necessary to maintain public health and the effective administration of justice.

  • Advise Court
  • Courtroom 1A – Traffic Court
  • Courtroom 1C – Criminal Court
  • Courtroom 3A – Preliminary Court | Thursdays and Fridays
  • Courtroom 3C – Domestic Violence
  • Kernersville Court
  • Infractions Court – Courtroom 1B

ADVISE COURT

The pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to reassess certain court procedures and to evolve so that we can safely continue the Court’s important work. As a result, starting Monday, February 8, 2021, there will be a new ADVISE court. This court will be in what used to be Child Support public windows on the 2nd floor for the Forsyth County Hall of Justice. The purpose of this court is to have an efficient, quick process, for defendants to be advised of their rights, request court appointed counsel or waive their right to court appointed counsel. All defendants summoned to court to be advised will be directed to this courtroom. This also reduces the number of defendants that will be sitting in court waiting to be heard or waiting in the public hallways. By implementing this change, it also gives the courts an opportunity to increase the amount of substantive cases that are heard each day on a schedule and through trial lists that will be prioritized by case age.

For misdemeanor cases scheduled in 1C or 1A, if a defendant summoned to advised chooses to represent themselves and would like to enter a plea or conditional discharge, their case will be scheduled for disposition at 2:00 pm in the assigned courtroom. If a member of the private bar is retained for a case scheduled for ADVISE court, please notify the assigned prosecutor of your general appearance and you will be provided a continuance date. Your client will not need to appear if you are entering a general appearance on their behalf.

COURTROOM 1A – TRAFFIC COURT

  1. Unrepresented defendants will be summoned to court to be advised. If an attorney files a general appearance on behalf of a client, the ADA will give the attorney a continuance date and the defendant does not have to come to Court.
  2. The District Attorney’s Office will prepare a daily trial order of 12 cases. The cases that will be selected for the trial order will be chosen based on case age.  The pending DWIs with the oldest dates of offense will be set on the trial list first. These cases will be scheduled for pre-determined times. If there is a motion for a continuance, that cannot be agreed upon by both parties, (for one of these 12 cases that are set on the trial priority list) the motion to continue must be heard in advance by the presiding judge.  The request for a continuance from the trial priority list can be submitted to the presiding judge via email with a copy to all parties, by scheduling a WebEx hearing or in chambers. Attorneys are encouraged to communicate with the prosecutor in advance of the court date so that any contested motions can be heard in a timely manner.
  3. Pleas for any case that appears on the docket can be scheduled in coordination with the prosecutor; time slots are encouraged in order to control the amount of people in the courtroom and to avoid interference with trials. Pleas can be handled in person or via WebEx.  Speak to the assigned prosecutor for details.
  4. A represented defendant does not need to be in court on their court date unless:
    • The case is on the trial schedule
    • Defense counsel and the prosecutor have scheduled the case for an in-person disposition
    • DWI discovery will be made available; please contact VWLA Arielle Lindley: Arielle.E.Lindley@nccourts.org

COURTROOM 1C – CRIMINAL COURT

  1. Unrepresented defendants will be summoned to court to be advised. If an attorney files a general appearance on behalf of a client, the ADA will give the attorney a continuance date and the defendant does not have to come to Court.
  2. Probation Violation hearings will be scheduled to be heard on Mondays, and certain Tuesdays in Courtroom 1C. There will be a group of 30 defendants summoned to address their pending probation violations in the morning session of court and a second group will be summoned to report at 2:00 pm. The purpose of these two dockets is to minimize the amount of people coming into the building. A list of probationers that are being called for hearing on probation violation days will be published on this website.
  3. The State also intends to publish trial lists for Class 1 and A1 misdemeanors. These trial lists will have a maximum of 30 defendants. The cases will be prioritized by case age and will also seek to consolidate cases by charging officer or LPO in order to reduce the amount of people in the courtrooms. If there is a motion for a continuance, that cannot be agreed upon by both parties, (for one of these cases that are set on the trial priority list) the motion to continue must be heard in advance by the presiding judge.  The request for a continuance from the trial priority list can be submitted to the presiding judge via email with a copy to all parties, by scheduling a WebEx hearing or in chambers. Attorneys are encouraged to communicate with the prosecutor in advance of the court date so that any contested motions can be heard in a timely manner.
  4. A represented defendant does notneed to be in court on their court date unless the defense counsel and the prosecutor have scheduled the case for an in-person disposition or the defendant is listed on a probation violation docket or on a 1C trial list.
  5. Any defendant that is being held in custody for a 1C case can be scheduled for trial. If your client is held in custody and you would like a trial, please contact ADA Lizmar Bosques and a trial date will be scheduled. Lizmar.Bosques@nccourts.org
  6. Deferred Prosecution cases that are in full compliance can be reviewed and dismissed off docket. Please reach out to ADA Kevin Olsen. Kevin.R.Olsen@nccourts.org
  7. Conditional Discharge cases that are in full compliance can be reviewed and submitted for the court’s review off docket. Please reach out to ADA Eboni Thompson.  Eboni.N.Thompson@nccourts.org
  8. Subject to staffing limitations, the District Attorney’s Office will provide discovery for Class A1 and Class 1 misdemeanors upon request.  Contact the prosecutor assigned to make a request.  Email requests are preferred and encouraged.
  9. If you have a matter that you would like to move up for resolution you can contact the assigned prosecutor to add the off-docket matter to the 1C docket. A schedule with prosecutor assignments can be found HERE.

COURTROOM 3A – PRELIMINARY COURT THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS

  1. Unrepresented defendants will be summoned to court to be advised. If an attorney files a general appearance on behalf of a client, the ADA will give the attorney a continuance date and the defendant does not have to come to Court.
  2. A represented defendant does not need to be in court on their court date unless the defense counsel and the prosecutor have scheduled the case for an in-person disposition.  Or unless the prosecutor has made a plea offer and the defense attorney is unable to advise whether their client wishes to accept the plea offer.
  3. If the prosecutor has made a misdemeanor plea offer and the defense attorney wishes to accept that offer, the case will be scheduled at a predetermined time.  Contact the ADA. These plea slots will start at 11:00 am.
  4. Negotiated Felony Conditional Discharges can be heard on a schedule.
  5. Out of custody felony pleas can be heard on a schedule. In custody felony pleas will be heard in Superior Court during administrative settings or other Superior Court sessions.  There are multiple opportunities to handle felony pleas in Superior Court.  Contact the prosecutor about scheduling your case for disposition.

COURTROOM 3C – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

  1. Unrepresented defendants will be summoned to court to be advised. If an attorney files a general appearance on behalf of a client, the ADA will give the attorney a continuance date and the defendant does not have to come to Court.
  2. Victims and witnesses are only required to be in court if their case is listed on the TRIAL LIST.
  3. Advisements and any pleas will begin at 9:30 am. If a case is on the trial docket but is actually for plea, an attorney may contact the ADA before the day of court and arrange to come in at 9:30 for that plea instead of the later trial time, if desired.
  4. The District Attorney’s Office will prepare a reduced trial docket for Courtroom 3C of 10 cases per day. The cases that will be selected for the docket are cases that were previously scheduled for the court date with priority given to defendants that are in custody as well as cases based on case age.  The pending cases with the oldest dates of offense will be placed on the docket first and the rest of the matters previously scheduled will be given a continuance date.
  5. In order to maintain safe social distancing and avoid larger groups of people waiting for trials in the lobby, the trial docket is greatly reduced. To reduce further the wait time in the lobby, the District Attorney’s Office will also schedule trials, in order of age and jail status, at set times throughout the day.  Please review the TRIAL LIST for Courtroom 3C to find the time for your case.  A small group of cases will be set at each time slot.  You do not need to appear before your time slot.  The ADA will do their best to handle your case during the assigned time slot, although as trial length is unpredictable, some flexibility may be required.
  6. If there is a motion for a continuance, that cannot be agreed upon by both parties for one of these cases that are set on the trial priority list, the motion to continue must be heard in advance by the presiding judge.  The request for a continuance from the priority list can be submitted to the presiding judge via email with a copy to all parties, by scheduling a WebEx hearing or in chambers. Attorneys are encouraged to communicate with the prosecutor in advance of the court date so that any contested motions can be heard in a timely manner.
  7. Discovery for DV cases is available for review at the District Attorney’s Office. Contact the DV Unit legal assistants to set up a time to view your discovery.

                    DV Victim Witness Legal Assistants