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Many Americans might think of North Carolina as a bucolic Southern state. But with nearly 8.9 million residents – and growing metropolitan areas including Charlotte, the Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) and the “Triad” of Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point, the state is a diverse tapestry of rural, suburban and urban regions that requires a flexible court system to match.

North Carolina Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of North Carolina is the state’s highest court; there is no further appeal in the state beyond its decisions.

The court features a chief justice, presently Sarah Parker, and six associate justices who gather as a panel at 2 East Morgan St. in the capital city of Raleigh. The Supreme Court has no jury and makes no determination of fact; rather, it considers potential error in legal procedures or in judicial interpretations of the law.

The court’s docket, calendars of oral argument and opinions are searchable online. The Supreme Court’s library includes a searchable online catalog and links to other legal research aids.

North Carolina Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals of North Carolina is the state’s only intermediate appellate court. Fifteen judges sit in rotating panels of three at the court’s chambers at 1 West Morgan St. in Raleigh, deciding only questions of law and not questions of fact on every case appealed from the superior and district courts, with the exception of death penalty cases. Appeals can originate from any case – be it a minor traffic incident or a murder trial.

The current chief judge of the Court of Appeals is John C. Martin.

During fiscal year 2003-04, more than 1,750 cases were filed with the Court of Appeals. Cases in which there is a dissent among the three judges are automatically advanced to the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

The North Carolina Supreme Court has also empowered the Court of Appeals to offer mediation services outside the courtroom setting. Appellate mediation offers participants a chance to voluntarily submit their appeal to the Court of Appeals for evaluation by an informed, neutral party, in a confidential setting. The focus is on encouraging a settlement and agreeable disposition of the appeal without going to trial. All civil cases except the termination of parental rights and juvenile cases can be settled through such mediation, but only if all parties agree to participate.

To contact the appeals court about mediation, email

Online resources for the Court of Appeals include its calendars of argument, dockets and opinions. Electronic filing of appeals court cases is also available.

North Carolina Superior Court

All felony criminal cases, civil cases involving more than $10,000 and misdemeanor and infractions appeals from District Court are tried in North Carolina’s superior courts. A jury of 12 hears criminal cases. In civil cases, a jury trial is often waived.

The Superior Court system is split into eight divisions and 46 districts across the state. Every six months, Superior Court judges rotate among the districts within their division. The intent of the rotation is to avoid favoritism that might result from having a permanent judge in each district.

Locating the appropriate county’s Superior Court is made easy through a clickable state map available online. Other online queries for Superior Court include searches by both county and defendant name and defendant name alone, impaired driving trial court dates, dates specific officers are to appear in court, searches by citation number, criminal and civil court calendars, and a list of contacts by county.

A map of Superior Court districts is available in PDF format.

North Carolina District Court

North Carolina’s primary trial courts are the District Court venues. These are divided into four categories: civil, criminal, juvenile and magistrate. District courts convene in the county seat, but might also be permitted to meet in other cities and towns if authorized by the General Assembly.

Civil cases such as divorce, child custody, child support, and cases involving less than $10,000 are heard in District Court. The courts also handle misdemeanor criminal cases, always without a jury, and juvenile cases involving defendants under age 16 who are delinquent, or those under 18 and considered “undisciplined, dependent, neglected or abused.” A magistrate can accept guilty pleas for minor misdemeanors and traffic violations, and can accept waivers of trial for worthless-check cases. In civil cases, a magistrate is authorized to try small claims cases involving up to $5,000, including landlord eviction cases.

Finding the appropriate District Court is easy with the state’s clickable court map. Also available are PDF-format maps of the District Court districts and prosecutorial districts.

Online queries for the District Court system are the same as those for Superior Courts, including: searches by both county and defendant name and defendant name alone, impaired driving trial court dates, dates specific officers are to appear in court, searches by citation number, criminal and civil court calendars, and a list of contacts by county. The state cautions, however, that not all counties have sufficient staff to keep all of these records updated. That is particularly true for the civil court records.

North Carolina Small Claims Court

North Carolina’s Small Claims Court is a division of the District Court system. It is empowered to hear civil cases where a plaintiff requests assignment to a magistrate and the amount in controversy is $5,000 or less. The principal relief sought in small claims courts are monetary damages, the recovery of specific personal property, or summary eviction of a tenant.

A magistrate presides over Small Claims Court. There is no jury and usually are no lawyers. A person who loses in Small Claims Court may appeal for a trial by jury or judge in District Court.

For assistance in preparing a Small Claims Court case, the “Guide to Small Claims Court” maintained by Legal Aid of North Carolina is a valuable tool.

North Carolina Special Courts

Several new courts are being utilized in North Carolina. They include business courts, family courts and drug treatment courts.

The intent of these venues is to deal with problems in a way different from the typical, adversarial courtroom setting. Often the court will act as a problem-solver in addition to being a decider of the facts.

Online resources for these courts include: business court dockets and opinions; family court eligibility information and frequently asked questions; and drug treatment court links for adults, youth, families and those in need of mental health services.

North Carolina Online Access to State & County Court Web Sites

North Carolina Judicial Branch of Government

North Carolina Trial Courts- Judicial District 12 - Cumberland County

North Carolina Trial Courts - Gaston County District 27A

United States Bankruptcy Court - Eastern District of North Carolina

United States District Court - Eastern District of North Carolina

United States Bankruptcy Court - Middle District of North Carolina

United States District Court - Middle District of North Carolina

United States Bankruptcy Court - Western District of North Carolina

United States District Court - Western District of North Carolina

North Carolina Supreme Court Opinions - Search the North Carolina Supreme Court opinions by year and keywords.  You may also search the Court of Appeals opinions by year as well.

The North Carolina Court System - Search for citations by citation number and pay for citations online.

North Carolina Courts - Search criminal court calendars by county and browse upcoming court dates.

North Carolina Supreme Court Library - The library is physically located on the 5th floor of the Justice Building in Raleigh, NC.  You may search rules of the court, opinions and publications online.

NC County Courthouses Phone Numbers and Addresses

Alamance County
212 W. Elm St.
Graham, NC 27253-2802

Telephone: (910) 570-6867

Alexander County
201 1st St. SW, Suite 1
Taylorsville, NC 28681-2504

Telephone: (828) 632-3152

Alleghany County
Main St., P.O. Box 186
Sparta, NC 28675-0186

Telephone: (910) 372-4342

Anson County
P.O. Box 352
Wadesboro, NC 28170-0352

Telephone: (704) 694-3212

Ashe County
P.O. Box 367
Jefferson, NC 28640-0367

Telephone: (910) 246-1841

Avery County
P.O. Box 87
Newland, NC 28657-0087

Telephone: (828) 733-8260

Beaufort County
P.O. Box 514
Washington, NC 27889

Telephone: (252) 946-2323

Bertie County
P.O. Box 370
Windsor, NC 27983

Telephone: (252) 794-3039

Bladen County
P.O. Box 247
Elizabethtown, NC 28337-0247

Telephone: (910) 862-6710

Brunswick County
P.O. Box 127
Bolivia, NC 28422

Telephone: (910) 253-8502

Buncombe County
60 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801-3563

Telephone: (828) 250-4300

Burke County
P.O. Box 796
Morganton, NC 28680
Telephone: (828) 432-2281

Cabarrus County
P.O. Box 707
Concord, NC 28026-0707

Telephone: (704) 788-8112

Caldwell County
905 W. Ave. NW
Lenoir, NC 28645

Telephone: (828) 757-1310

Camden County
P.O. Box 190
Camden, NC 27921

Telephone: (252) 335-4077

Carteret County
Courthouse Square
Beaufort, NC 28516-1898

Telephone: (252) 728-8474

Caswell County
P.O. Box 98
Yanceyville, NC 27379

Telephone: (910) 694-4193

Catawba County
P.O. Box 65
Newton, NC 28658-0065

Telephone: (828) 465-1573

Chatham County
P.O. Box 369
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Telephone: (919) 542-3240

Cherokee County
75 Peachtree St.
Murphy, NC 28906

Telephone: (828) 837-2522

Chowan County
P.O. Box 487
Edenton, NC 27932

Telephone: (252) 482-2619

Clay County
P.O. Box 506
Hayesville, NC 28904

Telephone: (828) 389-8334

Cleveland County
P.O. Box 1210
Shelby, NC 28151-1210

Telephone: (704) 484-4908

Columbus County
P.O. Box 1587
Whiteville, NC 28472

Telephone: (910) 641-3000

Craven County
406 Craven St.
New Bern, NC 28560

Telephone: (252) 636-6617

Cumberland County
P.O. Box 2039
Fayetteville, NC 28302

Telephone: (910) 678-7775

Currituck County
P.O. Box 71
Currituck, NC 27929

Telephone: (252) 232-3297

Dare County
P.O. Box 1849
Manteo, NC 27954

Telephone: (919) 473-1101

Davidson County
P.O. Box 1064
Lexington, NC 27293

Telephone: (704) 249-0351

Davie County
123 S. Main St.
Mocksville, NC 27028

Telephone: (704) 634-2513

Duplin County
P.O. Box 970
Kenansville, NC 28349-0448

Telephone: (910) 296-2108

Durham County
101 City Hall Plaza
Durham, NC 27701

Telephone: (919) 560-4166

Edgecombe County
PO Drawer 9
Tarboro, NC 27886-5111

Telephone: (252) 823-6161

Forsyth County
Hall of Justice
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Telephone: (910) 727-2797

Franklin County
P.O. Box 545
Louisburg, NC 27549

Telephone: (919) 496-3500

Gaston County
P.O. Box 1578
Gastonia, NC 28053

Telephone: (704) 866-3181

Gates County
P.O. Box 471
Gatesville, NC 27938

Telephone: (252) 357-0850

Graham County
P.O. Box 406
Robbinsville, NC 28771

Telephone: (704) 479-7971

Granville County
P.O. Box 427
Oxford, NC 27565

Telephone: (919) 693-6314

Greene County
P.O. Box 675
Snow Hill, NC 28580-0675

Telephone: (252) 747-3505

Guilford County
P.O. Box 3427
Greensboro, NC 27402

Telephone: (910) 373-7556

Halifax County
P.O. Box 66
Halifax, NC 27839

Telephone: (252) 583-5061

Harnett County
P.O. Box 279
Lillington, NC 27546

Telephone: (910) 893-7540

Haywood County
County Courthouse
215 N. Main
Waynesville, NC 28786

Telephone: (828) 456-3540

Henderson County
200 N. Grove St., Suite 129
Hendersonville, NC 28792

Telephone: (828) 697-4901

Hertford County
P.O. Box 86
Winton, NC 27986

Telephone: (252) 358-7845

Hoke County
304 N. Main St.
Raeford, NC 28376
Telephone: (910) 875-20351

Hyde County
P.O. Box 337
Swanquarter, NC 27885

Telephone: (252) 926-4101

Iredell County
P.O. Box 337
Statesville, NC 28687

Telephone: (704) 872-7468

Jackson County
401 Grindstaff Cove Rd.
Sylva, NC 28779

Telephone: (828) 586-7532

Johnston County
P.O. Box 118
Smithfield, NC 27577

Telephone: (919) 989-5160


Jones County
P.O. Box 189
Trenton, NC 28585

Telephone: (252) 448-2551

Lee County
P.O. Box 12040
Sanford, NC 27331-2040

Telephone: (919) 774-4821

Lenoir County
P.O. Box 3289
Kinston, NC 28502

Telephone: (252) 523-2390

Lincoln County Courthouse
P.O. Box 3289
Lincolnton, NC 28093

Telephone: (704) 736-8530

Macon County
5 W. Main St.
Franklin, NC 28734-3005

Telephone: (704) 349-2000

Madison County
P.O. Box 217
Marshall, NC 28753

Telephone: (828) 649-2531

Martin County
P.O. Box 807
Williamston, NC 27892

Telephone: (252) 792-2515

McDowell County
1 S. Main St.
Marion, NC 28752

Telephone: (704) 652-4727

Mecklenburg County
720 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC 28202

Telephone: (704) 336-2443

Mitchell County
P.O. Box 82
Bakersville, NC 28705

Telephone: (828) 688-2139

Montgomery County
P.O. Box 695
Troy, NC 27371

Telephone: (910) 576-4271

Moore County
P.O. Box 936
Carthage, NC 28327

Telephone: (910) 947-2396

Nash County
P.O. Box 974
Nashville, NC 27856

Telephone: (252) 459-9836

New Hanover County
316 Princess St.
Wilmington, NC 28401-4027

Telephone: (910) 341-4531

Northampton County
P.O. Box 128
Jackson, NC 27845-0128

Telephone: (252) 534-2511

Onslow County
109 Old Bridge St., Room 107
Jacksonville, NC 28540

Telephone: (910) 347-3451

Orange County
P.O. Box 8181
Hillsborough, NC 27278

Telephone: (919) 732-8181

Pamlico County
P.O. Box 433
Bayboro, NC 28515-0433

Telephone: (252) 745-4421

Pasquotank County
P.O. Box 154
Elizabeth City, NC 27907

Telephone: (252) 335-4367

Pender County
P.O. Box 43
Burgaw, NC 28425-0043

Telephone: (910) 259-1225

Perquimans County
P.O. Box 74
Hertford, NC 27944

Telephone: (252) 426-5660

Person County, Register of Deeds
Courthouse Square
Roxboro, NC 27573

Telephone: (910) 597-1733

Pitt County
P.O. Box 74
Greenville, NC 27835

Telephone: (252) 830-4128

Polk County
P.O. Box 308
Columbus, NC 28722-0308

Telephone: (704) 894-8450

Randolph County
P.O. Box 1925
Asheboro, NC 27204-1925

Telephone: (910) 318-6703

Richmond County
114 E. Franklin St., Suite 101
Rockingham, NC 28379-3601

Telephone: (910) 997-8250

Robeson County
P.O. Box 1084
Lumberton, NC 28359

Telephone: (910) 671-3000

Rockingham County
P.O. Box 127
Wentworth, NC 27375

Telephone: (910) 342-8700

Rowan County
P.O. Box 2568.
Salisbury, NC 28145

Telephone: (704) 638-3102

Rutherford County
P.O. Box 551
Rutherfordton, NC 28139-2511

Telephone: (704) 287-6155

Sampson County
P.O. Box 256
Clinton, NC 28328

Telephone: (910) 592-8026

Scotland County
P.O. Box 769
Laurinburg, NC 28353

Telephone: (910) 277-2575

Stanley County
P.O. Box 97
Albemarle, NC 28002

Telephone: (704) 986-3640

Stokes County
P.O. Box 67
Danbury, NC 27016

Telephone: (910) 593-2811

Surry County
P.O. Box 303
Dobson, NC 27017-0303

Telephone: (910) 401-8150

Swain County
101 Mitchell St.
Bryson City, NC 28713

Telephone: (704) 488-9273

Transylvania County
12 E. Main St.
Brevard, NC 28712

Telephone: (828) 884-3162

Tyrrell County
P.O. Box 449
Columbia, NC 27925

Telephone: (252) 796-2901

Union County
P.O. Box 248.
Monroe, NC 28111-0248

Telephone: (704) 283-3843

Vance County
122 Young St., Suite F
Henderson, NC 27536-4268

Telephone: (252) 438-4155

Wake County
P.O. Box 550
Raleigh, NC 27601-1897

Telephone: (919) 856-5460

Warren County
P.O. Box 709
Warrenton, NC 27589

Telephone: (252) 257-3261

Washington County
P.O. Box 1007
Plymouth, NC 27962-1308

Telephone: (252) 793-2325

Watauga County
842 W. King St.
Courthouse Suite 9
Boone, NC 28607-3531

Telephone: (828) 265-8052

Wayne County
P.O. Box 267
Goldsboro, NC 27533

Telephone: (919) 731-1449

Wilkes County
Wilkesboro, NC 28697

Telephone: (910) 651-7351

Wilson County
P.O. Box 1728
Wilson, NC 27894-1728

Telephone: (252) 399-2935

Yadkin County
P.O. Box 211
Yadkinville, NC 27055-0211

Telephone: (910) 679-4225

Yancey County
County Courthouse, Room 4
Burnsville, NC 28714-2944

Telephone: (828) 682-2174

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