Courtroom 1-D will now hear cases on abuse, neglect and dependency

Courtroom 1-D will now hear cases on abuse, neglect and dependency
February 01
10:10 2018

In anticipation of North Carolina raising the age limit of the juvenile-criminal justice system, last week the Forsyth County Hall of Justice officially opened a new courtroom. 

As listed in the 2017 state budget, and noted in the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act, on Dec. 1 2019, most 16 and 17 year olds will be prosecuted in juvenile court. 

Before signed into law last year, NC was the only state in the country that still charged 16-year-olds as adults. 

Before cutting the ribbon on the door of courtroom 1-D, Judge Denise Hartsfield said the new courtroom will hear cases on abuse, neglect, and dependency. 

Juvenile cases were heard in courtroom 4-J before it was moved to the first floor.

“It is my belief that this is the most important courtroom in this courthouse. It is the courtroom that takes care of our families, it’s the courtroom that takes care of our children,” Hartsfield said. 

Fredrick Evans, attorney for Guardian Ad Litems, echoed Judge Hartsfield’s statement when he spoke with The Chronicle outside the courtroom. He also mentioned the need for more space.  

He said, “This courtroom probably reaches and touches more people than my other courtroom. 

“This is where it all begins. We can see problems developing at this stage and we can prevent our youth from reaching adult courts,” he continued. “We have a lot of cases and a lot of people involved and we needed more space. And this gives us that.”

John Thacker, a program manager with Forsyth County Adoption & Foster Care said, having the additional space will reduce the wait time for cases on adoption and help them stay on schedule. 

“With a number of cases we have having the space to have all the participants sit in was very important to us,” Thacker said. “This is a welcome addition to the county and we’re looking forward to using this space.” 

Courtroom 1-D is located on the ground floor of the Forsyth County Hall of Justice on North Main Street. As of last Thursday, Jan. 25 courtroom 1-D was not listed with others on a list in the main lobby of the courthouse. For more information visit, 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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