Anticipation was high Friday afternoon, October 29, when Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court Paul Martin Newby visited the NC Court House in Yanceyville. He was accompanied by his wife, Macon Newby.
Caswell is one of 100 counties in the state that will be visited by the dedicated chief justice who also paid a visit to Rockingham and Person County courts on Friday. During his address, he explained that he wants to visit all the counties and started this major project several months ago. He has visited 35 counties so far and hopes to have 50 by December. He will continue and conclude his visits in 2022.
His friendly, at-ease manner instantly bonded him with those attending the event. After talking briefly about how beautiful the Historic Court House is, he explained that he wanted to thank all of the front line officials who keep the system moving smoothly and make court dates as comfortable as possible for everyone. He noted that going to court is never easy, but having good people to work with does make it less stressful. “It’s not a fun day to go to court when you’re unfamiliar with the procedures.”
The visit was certainly appreciated by all in attendance. Clerk of Court John Satterfield had this to say Monday morning. “I greatly appreciate Chief Justice and Mrs. Newby visiting the Caswell County Courthouse and thanking our front line court officials for their hard work and dedication, especially during the peak of the pandemic. The Court System never ceased to operate at anytime during the Covid-19 pandemic, albeit it looked a little different than normal. The Court System in Caswell already had a Continuity of Operations plan in place and we deployed that plan with a few modifications to ensure our citizens had access to justice.”
Caswell County Commissioner John Dickerson was delighted to meet Justice Newby and said, “It was a privilege to be able to meet with the Chief Justice. It was so refreshing to see Caswell County be part of the statewide agenda. I felt it was important to represent the citizens of Caswell and support Justice Newby in his efforts to reach out to the whole state.”
County Manager Bryan Miller met Justice Newby when he stopped by the Historic courthouse. “The Chief Justice did visit the Historic Courthouse and I was able to meet him there. It was really great to spend a minute with him and his wife and staff. We really appreciate his time and attention to Caswell County! He seemed like a really informed and interested elected official.”
Chief Justice Newby is the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Chief Justice Newby first was elected to the Supreme Court as Associate Justice in 2004 and was elevated to the highest judicial office in North Carolina in the 2020 election. As Chief Justice, he is head of the Judicial Branch, a co-equal branch of state government with the Legislative and Executive branches. He is entrusted with leading the Judicial Branch and its more than 6,000 elected officials and employees. The mission of the Judicial Branch is to provide open courts for the administration of justice without favor, denial, or delay.In addition to his service on the Court, Chief Justice Newby is an adjunct professor at Campbell University School of Law, where he teaches courses on state constitutional law and appellate practice. He is the co-author of The North Carolina State Constitution with History and Commentary (2nd ed. 2013) with Professor John V. Orth of the University of North Carolina School of Law.
He was honored by the North Carolina Bar Association with its Citizen Lawyer Award in 2011, and in 2012 he received its John McNeill Smith Jr. Award for his work in constitutional rights and responsibilities. In 2013, Chief Justice Newby was named a Leader in the Law by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly. In recognition of his professional service, Chief Justice Newby received the James Iredell Award and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Southern Wesleyan University.Chief Justice Newby was born in Asheboro, North Carolina, on May 5, 1955, to Samuel O. and Ruth Parks Newby and raised in Jamestown where he graduated from Ragsdale High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Studies (magna cum laude) from Duke University and a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Chief Justice Newby is an Eagle Scout and is the recipient of the Heroism Award for rescuing nine people from a riptide, the God and Service Award, the Silver Beaver Award, and the Scouter of the Year Award. In 2012, he was designated a Distinguished Eagle Scout, a national honor that recognizes both his service to the Boy Scouts and his dedication to public service.Chief Justice Newby has been married to Macon Tucker Newby since 1983, and they have four children. He and his wife attend Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh, where he has served as an elder and Sunday School teacher.