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Struggling families return to court as evictions resume in Mecklenburg County

A court spokesperson told WCNC Charlotte that magistrates were hearing 30 cases per hour.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Many struggling families are returning to court Monday as evictions resume in Mecklenburg County.

There’s a significant backlog of cases, after evictions were put on hold during the pandemic. 

A court spokesperson told WCNC Charlotte that magistrates were hearing 30 cases per hour.

Most of the cases that have been heard today are cases that were pending even prior to COVID-19. 

Liana Humphrey is with Crisis Assistance Ministry, which helps provides rent assistance for those in need.

"A lot of families have suffered a loss of income or disruption in employment as a result of COVID-19 and they are unable to pay their rent," Humphrey said. 

In fact, a court spokesperson told WCNC Charlotte that there was a backlog of 870 cases, and 530 new cases with the magistrates as of June 24th.

And on Monday, magistrates heard about 30 cases per hour.

"It’s just the tip of the iceberg really and we’ll see over the coming weeks as more landlords file for eviction what those numbers really look like," Humphrey said. 

Humphrey said they work with legal aid, which can potentially represent people in need. They also work with landlords to try to keep cases out of court altogether.

"If you have received some kind of formal notice from the courts, first of all, don’t panic," Humphrey said. 

Because there are resources that can help.

The court spokesperson said many of the cases are settled before going to court. As of last week, 255 were dismissed.

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