Congratulations to Newly Certified Magistrates

Magistrates are often referred to as the “first face” of the judicial system for most citizens. They serve the public with professionalism, all while keeping abreast of the rapidly changing civil and criminal laws. In 2021, their training requirements were increased by the legislature from 12 hours every two years to 12 hours every year. … Read more

May a Magistrate Conduct an Initial Appearance at a Hospital?

Sometimes a defendant is injured prior to or during arrest. When the injury is serious, the defendant may need to go directly to the hospital. May a judicial official, such as a magistrate, come to the hospital to conduct the defendant’s initial appearance? A federal magistrate judge did just that for Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber, and I’m told that some North Carolina magistrates have occasionally done the same.

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May a Magistrate Impose Conditions on a Defendant’s Conduct While in Pretrial Detention?

This question in the title of this post came up in a recent class. The specific context involved a domestic violence defendant who was in jail waiting for a judge to set conditions of release pursuant to the 48 hour rule established in G.S. 15A-534.1. But a similar issue arises whenever a magistrate sets conditions of release for a defendant who is unable to make bond and so remains in pretrial detention. An example of a common condition is that the defendant not contact the alleged victim.

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