19-3. Priority of action; evidence.

(a) The action provided for in this Chapter shall be set down for trial at the first term of the court and shall have precedence over all other cases except crimes, election contests, or injunctions.

(b) In such action, an admission or finding of guilt of any person under the criminal laws against lewdness, assignation, prostitution, gambling, breaches of the peace, the illegal possession or sale of alcoholic beverages, or the illegal possession or sale of substances proscribed by the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act, at any such place, is admissible for the purpose of proving the existence of said nuisance, and is evidence of such nuisance and of knowledge of, and of acquiescence and participation therein, on the part of the person charged with maintaining said nuisance.

(c) At all hearings upon the merits, evidence of the general reputation of the building or place constituting the alleged nuisance, of the inmates thereof, and of those resorting thereto, is admissible for the purpose of proving the existence of such nuisance. (Pub. Loc. 1913, c. 761, s. 27; 1919, c. 288; C.S., s. 3182; 1971, c. 528, s. 6; 1973, c. 47, s. 2; 1977, c. 819, s. 5; 1981, c. 412, s. 4; c. 747, s. 66; 1999-371, s. 8.)