RJA COURTROOM OBSERVER GUIDE

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Thanks for your interest in attending the historic RJA hearings on August 26th and 27th. To help you prepare for your visit, we’ve answered a few frequently asked questions below.

 

Know before you visit:

  • A government issued photo identification is required for entry into the courthouse
  • Business casual dress is preferred.
  • Talking is not permitted inside the courtroom.
  • Do not approach or walk to the front of the courtroom.
  • Cell phones must be turned off or placed on silent only.
  • Electronic devices cannot be used to take photographs or to make audio or video recordings of

    court proceedings. Violations may result in the confiscation of your electronic device.

  • No food or drinks of any kind is allowed inside the courtroom. Eating, drinking, and sleeping while

    in the courtroom is not permitted.

 

Parking and timing: The Supreme Court is located at Two East Morgan Street in downtown Raleigh. Several parking lots and decks open to the public are nearby, including parking lots and decks at:

 

  • 120 South Wilmington St.
  • 1 South Wilmington St.
  • 201 West Morgan St.
  • 222 West Hargett St.

 

We recommend an earlier arrival. On the day of the argument, you should arrive at the Court in plenty of time to pass through security, find the courtroom, and settle into your seat before the session begins. The Justice Building opens at 8:00 a.m. The courtroom, located on the third floor, opens at 8:30 a.m. Oral arguments begin at 9:30 a.m.

 

What is the North Carolina Supreme Court (NCSC): The North Carolina Supreme Court is the highest court in the state and has the final say as to issues arising under the NC Constitution, NC General Statutes, and NC common law. Where a decision of the NCSC implicates a question arising under a federal statute or the federal Constitution, the US Supreme Court may elect to grant certiorari and hear an appeal on those issues.

 

Who serves on the North Carolina Supreme Court: The North Carolina Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. All seven Justices are elected in statewide non-partisan races and serve staggered eight-year terms. More info on the justices can be found here.

 

What is the role of The North Carolina Supreme Court? The NCSC hears:

  • death penalty appeals directly from the North Carolina Superior Courts,
  • appeals from divided panels of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and
  • certain discretionary appeals from unanimous panels of the North Carolina Court of Appeals

All cases before the Supreme Court are orally argued.

 

What can be expected when hearing a case at the NCSC: An opinion deciding the appeal typically follows about six months after the oral arguments, though it may take shorter or longer.