TO: Bar Members
FROM: J. Calvin Hill, Chief District Court Judge
DATE: May 27, 2014
RE: Comprehensive Domestic Violence Plan
Thank you for your questions and concerns about the District Courts involvement in the implementation of the “Comprehensive Domestic Violence Plan”.
Let me start by saying that under NCGS §7A-146 Administrative authority and duties of the Chief District Judge. “The chief district judge, subject to the general supervision of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, has the administrative supervision and authority over the operation of the district courts and magistrates in his district. These powers and duties include, but are not limited to in relevant part, (1) Arranging schedules and assigning district judges for sessions of district courts. (7) Arranging sessions, to the extent practicable for the trial of specialized cases, including traffic, domestic relations, and other types of cases, and assigning district judges to preside over these sessions so as to permit maximum practicable specialization by individual judges.” The Court does not delegate these authorities.
At this point I have not received any proposal with regards to the implementation of this plan as it relates to the District Courts. The plan at this point continues to be a discussion in the community about domestic violence. Any truly comprehensive plan clearly should include full inclusion and participation of Court officials.
Our Court system remains steadfast in its commitment along with our Law Enforcement agencies to the protection of any and all Domestic Violence victims regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Our Court system remains “neutral and detached” in terms of its administration of Justice. The Courts remain grounded in the basic constitutional principles of fair play and substantial justice and with the singular mission of protecting the rights and dignities of all who appear in the Courts of Buncombe County.
Any and all significant policy changes, procedures and programs affecting our District Courts will be properly and thoroughly vetted by the District Courts along with the appropriate Court system personnel and appropriate stake holders before implementation. This personnel will include but is not limited to Judges, District Attorney, District Attorney-Elect and the Clerk of Court.
Again, thank you for your concern and support with regard to our Courts.
cc: Chief Justice Sarah E. Parker, NC Supreme Court
The Honorable John W. Smith, Director AOC
The Honorable Alan Z. Thornburg, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge
The Honorable Marvin P. Pope, Jr., Resident Superior Court Judge
The Honorable Patricia K. Young, Julie M. Kepple, Andrea F. Dray, Ward D. Scott, Edwin D. Clontz, and Susan M. Dotson-Smith, District Court Judges
Ron L. Moore, District Attorney
Todd M. Williams, District Attorney-Elect
Steven D. Cogburn, Clerk of Superior Court
M. LeAnn Melton, Chief Public Defender