Judge Charlie Brown appointed to NC working group developing remote legal proceedings

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ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) – Rowan County District Court Chief Justice Charlie Brown has been named a member of a new statewide task force working to develop and standardize remote legal proceedings.

According to a press release, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby appointed Brown to the Remote Proceedings Working Group, which aims to improve efficiency and reduce liability and costs associated with transporting people from detention centers to courthouses for hearings.

Rowan County Courthouse has successfully implemented remote procedures for inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brown will bring his expertise and experience in remote procedures to the statewide task force.

“The threat to public health demanded that we steer away from typical in-person appearances during the pandemic,” Brown said. “By developing and using remote court proceedings, we have demonstrated that technology enables trial courts to fulfill their constitutional due process mandate while improving security and reducing transportation costs. Remote procedures are win-win.

The new working group aims to create a standard state-wide process for using audiovisual technology to conduct remote court proceedings for certain types of hearings. The task force will work to establish a pilot program between county courthouses and detention centers, as well as implement a planning system to coordinate hearings. The mission also includes the implementation of a process allowing lawyers to communicate effectively and confidentially with clients accommodated in a detention center.

Members of the task force are expected to complete their work within a year, according to the NC Courts Administrative Office.

“I look forward to contributing to this effort to improve the efficiency of courts across the state,” Brown said.

Brown has over 29 years of experience in the North Carolina court system and was first elected to the District Court bench in 1998. He has served as Chief Justice of the Rowan County District Court since then. 2001. Brown also chairs the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission, which assesses the implementation of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Reform Initiative and serves on the Governor’s Crime Commission.

Previously, Brown served on the North Carolina Youth Liability Task Force, created by state lawmakers to craft a plan to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction.

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