On April 2, 2020, Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued an Order that, among other things, directed that all superior and district court proceedings be scheduled or rescheduled for a date no sooner than June 1, 2020. Shortly thereafter, the North Carolina Industrial Commission issued the following revised/updated policies regarding Deputy Commissioner hearings and mediations:
Deputy Commissioner Hearings (Non-Medical Motion Hearings)
All Deputy Commissioner hearings scheduled to be heard in April or May of 2020 will be continued to be reset on a future docket, with the exception of hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f) or unless the parties are notified otherwise.
Deputy Commissioner Hearings on Medical Motions
Deputy Commissioner hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f), which are statutorily required to be held within 30 days of the filing of the motion or appeal, will not be continued. Through the end of May 2020, these hearings will be conducted with all parties appearing remotely. The Deputy Commissioner before whom the hearing is scheduled may excuse the parties from appearing at the G.S. §97-25(f) hearing if the parties and the Deputy Commissioner agree that no lay witnesses are needed to decide the case, based on the parties’ stipulated facts and exhibits. If the parties are excused from appearing at the hearing because no lay witnesses are needed, the parties should proceed as usual with obtaining any expert medical testimony needed to close the record.
Parties Must Appear Remotely for Mediations Conducted Prior to June 1, 2020
Consistent with Chief Justice Beasley’s April 2, 2020 Order, all mediations held in Industrial Commission cases prior to June 1, 2020 shall be conducted with all parties appearing remotely or, in the alternative, be rescheduled for a date on or after June 1, 2020. If all parties do not consent to appear remotely, then the mediation must be rescheduled for a date on or after June 1, 2020.
If you have any questions or concerns that have not been addressed by the Commission’s policy changes to date, please email me at email@example.com, and I will be happy to pass along your inquiry and seek input/guidance from the Commission.
As always, I hope you and yours remain safe and well.