On April 23rd, local news outlet WBTV reported that Mecklenburg County’s Chief District Court Judge had been changed. According to anonymous sources who spoke to WBTV, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby had appointed Judge Roy Wiggins to replace Elizabeth Trosch as Chief District Court Judge, effective May 1st.

Trosch had served as Chief District Court Judge for Mecklenburg County for the past four years. In a statement to WBTV, Trosch said leading the district had been both a “privilege and honor.” However, she acknowledged that Chief Justice Newby had decided a change in leadership direction was needed. While the reason for Newby’s decision is unclear, Trosch expressed pride in accomplishments achieved during her time as Chief.

Under Trosch’s direction, strategies were implemented to help address case backlogs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This included reducing pending caseloads to pre-pandemic levels for most case types. Trosch also oversaw the successful implementation of the new electronic case management system in Mecklenburg County, known as e-Courts, despite challenges experienced with the statewide rollout.

In her statement, Trosch highlighted key achievements like lowering criminal and civil caseloads while increasing trial dispositions. She noted feeling confident in leaving the district court system in a stronger position than when she began. While Trosch will remain on the bench as a district court judge, Wiggins will now take over leadership responsibilities as the new Chief District Court Judge.

Wiggins, described by anonymous sources as a “moderate Democrat,” previously lost a bid for Superior Court. His appointment came amid ongoing issues with the transition to the e-Courts case management system in Mecklenburg County. Speculation suggested the change in leadership could be related to Trosch’s past advocacy on issues of racial equity in the legal system. However, the exact reasons for Newby’s decision remain unclear.

A spokesperson with the state Administrative Office of the Courts declined to provide immediate comment on the leadership transition when contacted by WBTV. Trosch’s replacement of Wiggins represents an unusual midterm change for the top judicial role in Mecklenburg County.



Source: WBTV