Justice Beasley Extends Emergency Directive 18 Relating to Evictions in North Carolina

Eviction actions commenced for nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges are subject to Emergency Directive 18, which was extended on September 15, 2020 for an additional thirty (30) days. Under this Emergency Directive, no writ of possession for real property shall be issued in summary ejectment actions commenced on or after March 27, 2020, unless the magistrate or judge concludes that either: (1) the property is not a “covered dwelling” as defined by Section 4024(a)(1) of the CARES Act or (2) the property is a “covered dwelling” and the tenant had 30 days of notice to vacate as … Continue reading

CDC Moratorium on Evictions

President Trump has issued a directive authorizing the CDC to stop the eviction of some renters effective immediately through the end of 2020, citing public health threats during the pandemic. Under the CDC Agency Order, a landlord “shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to which this Order applies during the effective period of the Order.” In order to qualify as a “covered person”, the tenant, lessee or resident of a residential property must provide a declaration under penalty of perjury to their landlord, the owner of the residential property, or other person with … Continue reading

North Carolina Extends Moratorium on Residential and Commercial Evictions

Governor Cooper and Justice Beasley signed Orders over the weekend which place an additional 21 day moratorium on residential and commercial evictions, effective May 30, 2020. While tenants are still encouraged to timely pay rent as it becomes due, the Orders place restrictions on the steps that landlords may take to remove a tenant from the property, at least from May 30, 2020 through June 20, 2020 (the “Effective Period”). Below is an overview of the Orders as they apply to residential and commercial property. Residential: -All evictions pending in the trial divisions, whether summary ejectment or otherwise, are stayed … Continue reading

Stimulus Funds Could Be Accessed by Creditors

Starting this week, many North Carolinians will be receiving emergency stimulus payments authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). For many individuals, that payment will be directly deposited into their bank account. Our Attorney General joined with several other state attorneys general on April 13, 2020 to request that the U.S. Department of the Treasury take immediate action to protect these funds from being accessible to creditors and instead ensure that the money goes to individuals to use for housing, food and other urgent needs. Right now, however, unlike Social Security, disability, and veterans’ payments, … Continue reading

CARES Act Imposes 120 Day Moratorium on Some Residential Evictions

The Federal CARES Act that was signed into law on March 27, 2020 includes a 120-day moratorium on evictions of tenants in federally financed housing based solely on nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges. The CARES Act further prohibits a lessor/landlord of a covered property from charging any tenant fees, penalties or other charges for nonpayment of rent during this time. During the moratorium period, the landlord of a covered property also cannot “require a tenant to vacate a dwelling unit before the date that is 30 days after the date on which the lessor provides the tenant … Continue reading

Landlord/Tenant Issues In the Midst of COVID-19

In an effort to reduce courthouse traffic and slow the spread of COVID-19, Chief Justice Beasley has halted all eviction hearings through April 17, 2020. Below is some clarification of what this means for landlords and tenants in North Carolina. Keep in mind that each lease is different, so it is important that you carefully read the terms of your lease to determine exactly what your rights and obligations are. If you are in doubt, the attorneys at Black, Slaughter & Black can assist you with offices in Greensboro, Charlotte, Wilmington and the Triangle. *Be aware that this information is … Continue reading

Can I Enforce an Out-Of-State Judgment in North Carolina?

We live in a country where individuals and corporations transact business, enter into agreements, make purchases, and travel or move from state to state on a regular basis. Sometimes, these out-of-state interactions go south – a company or individual breaches a contract or a driver causes a collision and injures another person – and a lawsuit is filed. What happens if a defendant lives in or moves to North Carolina, but the judgment was entered in another state? Or, if the defendant has real property or other assets in North Carolina? Can a judgment obtained in another state be enforced … Continue reading

Be Careful Driving, Especially This Thanksgiving Weekend

Between November 21 and November 25, North Carolina state troopers in North Carolina will be placed every 20 miles along I-40 in an effort to encourage safe travel. The “Thanksgiving I-40 Challenge” is a joint operation with seven other states along the Interstate 40 corridor. While it is always important to exercise safe driving, here are a couple of important reminders, especially during this holiday season. Here are a few reminders as you get behind the wheel: Expect increased traffic and delays, so allocate additional time for traveling to your destination so that you do not feel the need to … Continue reading

You’ve Been Served! But, What Does That Mean?

We’ve all seen a movie where someone is handed a piece of paper and told, “You’ve been served.” But, what exactly does that mean? In North Carolina, lawsuits are started when a complaint is filed and a summons is issued. Before the lawsuit can be heard by a Judge or Magistrate, the person sued must be properly notified of the pending lawsuit. That’s the simple explanation of “service.” However, the process of serving someone with the paperwork is more complicated than just merely saying that the lawsuit exists. Our rules provide different methods of service, which can also vary depending … Continue reading

Do Judgments Ever Expire?

Suppose you were awarded a money judgment against an opposing party but, not surprisingly, the defendant didn’t immediately write you a check to satisfy the debt. How long is your judgment valid? In North Carolina, a judgment is valid for ten years from the date it was awarded by the Court. The judgment can be renewed for another ten years, giving a judgment creditor additional time to try to collect the money owed. A judgment is renewed by filing a second lawsuit for the remaining amount due on the original judgment. This second lawsuit must be filed within ten years … Continue reading

Be Wary of Talking to Any Insurance Company After an Automobile Collision

Being involved in an automobile collision can be scary and overwhelming. Immediately after the collision, people want you to tell them what happened. You likely will be contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or even your own insurance company, wanting you to sign paperwork or give a recorded statement. The next thing you know, they are denying your claim and you’re trying to figure out what went wrong. If you are involved in a car accident, the insurance companies are looking for any detail they can find to deny your claim or reduce the amount of money they have … Continue reading

Tenant’s Rights: What is the Implied Warranty of Habitability?

Renting residential property can have great perks for a tenant. Typically, you’re not responsible for home maintenance and costs of repairs. If something happens, like an appliance stops working, the toilet backs up, or some other repair is needed, all you have to do is call your landlord. In fact, once a landlord has received notice of an “imminently dangerous condition”, the landlord is required to repair the condition within a reasonable time, based upon the severity of the condition. Imminently dangerous conditions include, but are not limited to: – unsafe wiring; – unsafe flooring or steps; – unsafe ceilings … Continue reading

The Doctrine of Necessaries – The True Meaning of “In Sickness and in Health”

On your wedding day, you and your spouse promised to care for each other “in sickness and in health.” Like most newlyweds, you probably didn’t truly understand what those words would mean. North Carolina recognizes the Doctrine of Necessaries, which provides that a spouse is liable for the other’s necessary expenses incurred during their marriage. This legal responsibility exists even when the spouse did not sign as a guarantor or request that their spouse receive the services. What constitutes a “necessary”? A “necessary” is something which is essential to one spouse’s health and comfort. Most often, this doctrine is applied … Continue reading

So You Have A Judgment…Now What?

Congratulations on successfully winning your case and obtaining a money judgment against the opposing party! But a money judgment alone is just a piece of paper and won’t necessarily result in money in your pocket, so what now? Most likely, the defendant/judgment debtor isn’t going to show up at your house with a check to satisfy the debt. How do you transform that piece of paper into actual money? If you have obtained a judgment in either District or Superior Court, your ability to do anything is often limited for thirty (30) days after the judgment is entered. One step … Continue reading

You’re Ready to File A Lawsuit … But Where Do You Begin?

Once you have decided you want or need to file a lawsuit, one of the most important decisions you must make is where to file your case.  This decision will have a significant impact on the type of relief you may be able to obtain (including how much money you may recover), who hears your case, the type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) required, and how quickly your case is likely to be resolved. In North Carolina, most civil cases are handled in one of three courts: Small Claims (a special part of District Court), District Court and Superior Court.  … Continue reading

Residential Evictions: Taking Back Your Leased Property . . .The Right Way [UPDATED]

[This blog replaces a previous post from September 2013, due to several changes to the North Carolina summary ejectment statutes effective October 1, 2013.]         You are a landlord and you enter into a residential lease agreement with a seemingly good tenant. Everything is going along fine until . . . the tenant stops paying rent, or the tenant fails to leave when the term of the lease expires, or the tenant breaches the lease agreement in some other way.  How do you get your property back and get the tenant out?  Can you simply change the locks?  NO! North Carolina has a very … Continue reading

Facebook: For Friendly Eyes Only?

Just how private is your Facebook account? Is limiting your privacy settings enough to keep your Facebook status updates, messages, pictures and other activity from the eyes of an opposing party in a civil or criminal case? You may be surprised to learn that the answer is likely “No.” When you activated your Facebook account, you may have adjusted your privacy settings to limit access to your content to only specific “friends.”  You may or may not have read the company’s disclosures regarding the content and use of your account information. Facebook takes the position that it is covered by … Continue reading