North Carolina State Court System

Understanding how the system of North Carolina state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.

North Carolina Courts Overview

The trial court system of Florida State consists of Business Court, District Courts and Superior Courts.

Superior Courts

North Carolina Superior Courts have general jurisdiction to handle all types of cases, but generally handle only those cases that District Courts have no jurisdiction over.

Typical criminal cases that these courts handle include lesser-included offenses, all felonies, and some misdemeanors. Typical civil cases include civil general civil claims for more than $10,000, exclusive of costs and interest. They also handle civil case without financial thresholds, including constitutional rights, adoptions, eminent domain, complex business issues, most decisions by administrative agencies, and certain types of requests and injunctions for declaratory relief.

Superior Courts have limited jurisdiction to hold proceedings in probate as well as the administration of properties or estates for decedents. They have original jurisdiction to handle most guardianship cases. However, the Family Court usually hears most guardianship cases provided the Family Court program is available in the county.

Superior Courts clerks handle records for both District Courts and Superior Courts.

District Courts

North Carolina District Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases. Typical criminal cases that these courts hear include municipal ordinance violations, most infractions, and most misdemeanors. They can also receive guilty pleas in certain felony cases and also hold preliminary hearings for all criminal case.

Typical civil cases District courts hear include general civil claims with less than $10,000 in dispute, exclusive of costs and interest. They also handle cases related to domestic violence protection, requests for civil no-contact orders, and appeals of decisions made by county game commission.

District Courts have s Small Claims Court division for handling majority of general civil claims with less than $5000 in dispute, exclusive of costs and interest. Small Claims Court divisions also handle claims for summary ejectment, the recovery of private property, and the recovery of money.

District Courts hear domestic relations cases, including annulment, divorce, child support, child custody, domestic violence protection, alimony, equitable distribution of property, paternity, and cases connected to property settlement or separation agreements between spouses. They also handle juvenile matters including child neglect, juvenile dependency, emancipation, child abuse, foster care, juvenile delinquency, termination of parental rights, juvenile consent for abortion, and juveniles considered to be undisciplined.

Business Court

This is a specialized court division that handles complex business cases with complicated or significant issues of commercial or corporate law. Superior Court judges are the ones who sit at the Business Court. Typical cases that Business Court handles include antitrust law, intellectual property, State trademark law, biotechnology, the Internet, majority of unfair competition laws, electronic commerce, and cases of securities of law. The Business Court is located in Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Raleigh, and handles cases for the whole state from these locations.

Family Courts

North Carolina Family Courts are dedicated court programs within Some District Courts. They handle mental health, domestic relations, and most juvenile cases which would otherwise be handled in the right division of District or Superior Court.

Typically, these courts handle juvenile and domestic relations cases, including child support, divorce, visitation, child custody, domestic violence protection, child protection, juvenile delinquency, abortion consent waivers, involuntary commitments, paternity, guardianships, and termination of parental rights.

Court Notes

District Courts and Superior Courts may have some specialized programs for Youth Treatment Court, Family Drug Treatment Court, and Adult Drug Treatment Court. Family Drug Treatment Courts often work with any eligible parent who risks losing custody of his or her child due to neglect or abuse. Adult Drug Treatment Courts are designed to work together with repeat offenders. Some Youth Treatment Courts are designed to work with eligible youths who are in North Carolina juvenile justice system.

The Official Website of North Carolina County

Charlotte City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Official Government Website
Raleigh Raleigh
Greensboro Greensboro, NC
Durham Durham, NC | Official Website
Winston-Salem City of Winston-Salem
Fayetteville Fayetteville, NC
Cary Town of Cary
Wilmington City of Wilmington, NC
High Point High Point, NC | Official Website
Greenville Greenville, NC
Asheville Asheville, NC
Concord City of Concord
Gastonia City of Gastonia
Jacksonville Jacksonville, NC – Official Website
Chapel Hill Town of Chapel Hill, NC
Forsyth County Forsyth County, North Carolina
Cumberland County Cumberland County Cumberland County NC is celebrating its past and embracing its future progressing from its beginnings as a riverfront distribution center to a highly commercialized area offering a variety of services to its citizens.
Durham County Durham County
Buncombe County Buncombe County Government
Gaston County Welcome to Gaston County Welcome to Gaston County, North Carolina Local Government.
New Hanover County New Hanover County | The Model of Good Governance | North Carolina New Hanover County's official website providing services, departments, news, emergency information and government services.
Union County Union County
Cabarrus County Cabarrus County, NC
Onslow County Welcome to Catron County, NM
Johnston County Johnston County North Carolina
Pitt County Pitt County, NC | Official Website
Davidson County Davidson County, NC | Official Website
Iredell County Iredell County, NC | Official Website
Catawba County Catawba County – Catawba County Government – Catawba County North Carolina Catawba County, North Carolina, is located in the western part of the state in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Alamance County Welcome to Alamance County, North Carolina!
Randolph County Randolph County, NC – Local Government elcome to the Official Website for Randolph County, NC Local Government, Main Number – 336.318.6300
Rowan County Rowan County | Official Website
Orange County Orange County, NC | Official Website
Robeson County Robeson County | NC
Wayne County Wayne County, NC | Official Website
Brunswick County Brunswick County Government Welcome to Brunswick County! We offer helpful resources and information for visitors, residents and businesses, and you can learn more about our government.
Henderson County Henderson County North Carolina
Craven County Craven County | Official Website
Cleveland County Cleveland County North Carolina
Nash County Nash County, NC – Official Website
Rockingham County Rockingham County NC – Official Website
Burke County Burke County, NC | Official Website
Moore County County of Moore | North Carolina Official Homepage of the County of Moore Government North Carolina
Caldwell County Caldwell County, NC Connect with vital government services, contacts and employment opportunities, local news and community events and find links to learn more about life in western NC’s Caldwell County.
Wilson County Wilson County
Lincoln County County of Lincoln, NC – Official Website
Wilkes County Wilkes County, NC | Official Website
Rutherford County Welcome to Rutherford County, NC
Carteret County Carteret County, NC – Official Website

North Carolina Arrests and Inmate Search

Anson County Sheriff Jail Anson County Sheriff’s Inmate Search
Inmate Search | Brunswick County Sheriff's Office Brunswick County Jail Inmate Search
Inmate Inquiry – Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office P2C Buncombe County Inmate Lookup
Cabarrus Sheriff Office P2C – provided by OSSI Cabarrus County Jail Inmate Search
Caldwell County Detention Caldwell County Inmate List
Who’s In Jail Catawba County Who’s in Jail
Active Inmate Lookup | Cumberland County Jail Inmate Lookup
Inmate Population Search | Durham County Sheriff Durham County Jail Inmate Lookup
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office P2C Forsyth County Inmate Inquiry
Gaston County Inmate Inquiry Gaston County Sheriff’s Inmate Roster
Guilford County, NC Sheriff’s Office P2C Guilford County Inmate Search
Inmate Population Reports // Harnett County, North Carolina Inmate Population Reports
Henderson County Inmate Search Henderson County Sheriff Inmate Search
JCSO Johnston County Jail Inmate Search
Lee County Jail Lee County Jail Inmate Lookup
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office P2C – provided by OSSI Lincoln County Sheriff’s Inmate Roster
MCSO Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Arrest Inmate Warrant Inquiry
New Hanover Sheriff’s Office P2C New Hanover County Inmate List
Inmate Lookup | Pender County Sheriff’s Office Pender County Jail Inmate Lookup
Rowan County Sheriff’s Office P2C Rowan County Jail Inmates
Inmate Search – Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Find Inmates At The Detention Center
Union County Sheriff Office P2C Union County Jail Inmate Search
Wake County Sheriff’s Office P2C Wake County Jail Inmate List
Detention Center | Wayne County, NC Wayne County Jail Inmate Locator
NC DPS: Criminal Offender Searches Offender Public Information Search / Inmate Locator –  Search by name or inmate ID for up-to-date information on North Carolina state prison inmates, probationers, and parolees.  This database from the NC Department of Public Safety and the former NC Department of Correction contains historical information back to 1972.  Does not include county jail information.
Criminal Background Check | North Carolina Judicial Branch Learn how to obtain a criminal background check for yourself or others.
The North Carolina Judicial Branch North Carolina Court System Records Search
North Carolina Offender Registry North Carolina Sex Offender Registry