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Carolina Courts Closing Doors for Hurricane Florence

By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 11, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A dozen North Carolina counties announced court closures as Hurricane Florence threatened to become the "Harvey of the East Coast."

The storm could be the strongest to ever hit the northern part of the coast, and could be followed by a "major flood event" in the middle Atlantic region. "It is likely some areas will flood that have never flooded before," meteorologist Mike Smith told USA Today.

In South Carolina, Chief Justice Donald Beatty said county judges could keep courts open -- if conditions are safe. But one thing is certain: some lawyers will need continuances and some will help the victims.

North Carolina Closures

On Monday, the North Carolina Judicial branch announced closures for the following county courts:

  • Tuesday -- Brunswick, Dare, and New Hanover
  • Wednesday -- Bladen, Columbus, and Currituck
  • Thursday -- Hyde, Pasquotank, Tyrell, and Washington

In the latest reports and official tweets, Onslow and Carteret counties are closed through Friday. Judges assigned to courts that remain open should be flexible in granting continuances to attorneys and parties facing extreme weather conditions.

South Carolina Closures

The federal courthouse in Charleston, South Carolina has closed. State government offices and schools have closed in 18 counties, according to South Carolina's emergency management division.

After Hurricane Harvey struck last year, bar associations answered the call to help victims. The Texas Bar Association reached out to almost 100,000 lawyers there in a "call to action."

The American Bar Association has also mobilized attorneys through its committee on disaster response and preparedness.

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