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Chief justice visits Grove Street Courthouse on Wednesday

Chief Justice Paul Newby in front of the Cherokee County Courthouse in Murphy, North Carolina Chief Justice Paul Newby in front of the Cherokee County Courthouse in Murphy, North Carolina

Chief Justice Paul Newby began a tour of 100 counties on Monday in Western North Carolina, the first chief justice to visit all of North Carolina's courthouses.

The first phase of the tour covered Cherokee, Graham, Clay, Macon and Swain counties, followed by Jackson, Haywood, Transylvania, Henderson, Polk, and Rutherford counties as well as the Cherokee tribal court. He's scheduled to visit the Grove Street Courthouse in Hendersonville at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The tour began in Murphy and will end in Manteo. At each courthouse, Chief Justice Newby will greet judges and courthouse personnel to express his appreciation for their commitment and dedication during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism is presenting professional programs during some tours' phases.

“Our judges and courthouse personnel are the battle-tested heroes of the past year. They came to work, day-in and day-out, facing real and often undefined dangers to fulfill the 'open courts' mandate of the North Carolina Constitution,” Newby said. “Our courthouse stakeholders are doing their best to ensure that justice is administered without favor, denial, or delay. Our state needs these dedicated public servants now more than ever to help address the large backlog of cases left in the wake of this pandemic.”

After completing the far-western phase of the tour, Chief Justice Newby will soon visit other courthouses spanning the mountains, foothills, piedmont, sandhills, and eastern North Carolina. The tour is planned to be completed within the next two years.