Judge Brown lectures at UNC School of Government conference
Judge Brown speaks at judicial conference
Rowan County Chief District Court Judge Charlie Brown lectured on felony guilty pleas at the summer conference of the N.C. Association of District Court Judges.
The School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill invited Brown to speak at a conference in Wrightsville Beach June 16-19.
District court judges could not preside over felony cases until 1996. That year, state lawmakers voted to expand the jurisdictional authority of district court judges and allow them to hear felony guilty pleas to improve the efficiency of the court system.
Allowing district court judges to hear felony guilty pleas expedites the disposition of cases and helps alleviate jail overcrowding, Brown said.
Only 36 of North Carolina’s 100 counties take advantage of the opportunity to have district court judges adjudicate felony guilty pleas, Brown said. Rowan County was one of the first counties to establish the procedure in district court in 1996.
The conference included 261 district court judges and 64 retired, recalled and emergency judges.
Brown was elected to the district court bench in 1998 and appointed chief in 2001.