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North Carolina Judicial System

by Roni G.

North Carolina Judicial System, Judicial System

North Carolina Judicial System and Court System: How does it Work?

The constitution of North Carolina segregates the government of the state into three different branches- Legislative, Judicial, and Executive. North Carolina's judicial branch interprets the constitution of the state through its court system and also makes certain decisions on the meaning of the state's laws.

Thus, according to the constitution of North Carolina, its Judicial Branch is regarded as a branch with equal stature for Executive and Legislative branches. The court system of North Carolina is referred to as the General Court of Justice. It is a state-funded and state-operated court system.

North Carolina's judiciary system constitutes of the district court, superior court, an appellate court.

North Carolina Appellate Division

Court of Appeals: An intermediary appellate court, the Court of Appeals was formed so that the state's Supreme Court can be relieved of a chunk of its colossal workload. Similar to the Supreme Court, this court only takes decisions on questions of law. In all, there are 15 judges, and they form teams comprising of 3 members to hear the cases.

Supreme Court: It is the highest court of the state. Supreme Court comprises of 6 associate judges and a Chief Justice. These judges seat as a single body to hear cases, which are received as appeals from the lower courts and that include the Court of Appeals. It does not have any jury and does make any determination of fact. Instead, it only considers questions of law meaning to resolve the claim of a party that certain errors existed in judicial interpretation or legal procedures in the Court of Appeals or the trial court.

North Carolina Judicial System

North Carolina Superior Court Division

  • Superior Courts are meant to hear cases related to civil cases amounting to 25,000 USD or more; appeals received from district courts and felony crimes. The court holds its session twice a year at least while there is one such court in every county of North Carolina.
  • Contrary to the appellate division, which only makes decisions on the questions of law whenever party/individual appeals a case, the District and Superior Court divisions are trial court divisions that can impanel juries and hold trials to determine the facts behind the cases.

North Carolina District Court Division

  • District courts impanel juries and hold trials similar to the Supreme Court division for ascertaining the facts of particular cases. These courts take care of lower level but serious crimes, as well as, civil cases amounting in the range of 10,000 USD and 25,000 USD. There is a chief judge for every district court in the state who is entrusted with the responsibility of managing the court's administrative duties.
  • Magistrates can hold court in criminal and civil matters both in the capacity of the district court’s officers. They function under the authority of the chief judge of their district court. Concerning civil context, these officials are typically responsible for presiding over the court for the settlement of “small claims” that hear claims disputes for amounts less than 10,000 USD.
Judicial System

North Carolina kinds of court cases

1. Civil cases: 
Cases are regarded as civil cases if a party files a petition in the court requesting protection of their civil, private right or for procuring a civil remedy. Such cases entail a party filing a lawsuit against some other party demanding for a court order or money against the latter. Examples of common civil cases are personal injury claims, contract disputes, and family issues.

2. Criminal cases: The state considers a case as a criminal case if the government charges a person for violating a law. These cases can be minor infractions that may lead to the charged individual proven guilty to pay a monetary fine. They also include felonies that may lead to the convicted individual serving an imprisonment term of a minimum of 1 year.




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