District Court Judges
District Court judges are attorneys elected for each district for four-year terms and must reside in the district in which they are elected. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina designates one of the judges as Chief District Court Judge, and this judge has administrative duties, including assigning the judges to sessions of court.

Both civil and criminal cases are heard in District Court. The civil district court handles matters dealing with domestic issues such as custody, child support, equitable distribution and divorce actions. For the trial of all civil actions in which the amount in controversy is $25,000 or less district court would be the proper division. Domestic relations cases involving alimony, child support, child custody, divorce, equitable distribution, and juvenile matters are also heard in this court. In criminal cases, District Court has exclusive original jurisdiction over misdemeanor cases and most traffic offenses.

District Court Judges and Court Staff The Honorable John W. Davis was born and raised in Louisburg, N.C. He became a District Court Judge in December of 2004. He graduated from Louisburg High School in 1987, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991 with a degree in Business Administration and the Wake Forest University School of Law with a Juris Doctor in 1994. He practiced law with the firm of Davis, Sturges & Tomlinson in Louisburg from 1994 until 2004 and served as Board Attorney for the Franklin County Board of Education for five years. He is a member of Louisburg United Methodist Church, Phi Beta Kappa, Beta Gamma Sigma, the Louisburg Fire Department and the North Carolina District Court Judges Association. He lives with his three children in Louisburg. He was appointed Chief District Court Judge effective February 1, 2017.

The Honorable Carolyn J. Thompson, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia where she majored in sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice. Judge Thompson obtained her Juris Doctorate from North Carolina Central University School of Law. She was elected District Court Judge in 2008. Prior to becoming a judge, she practiced law for 13 years as a solo practitioner, contract attorney for Warren and Vance County Departments of Social Services, and contract attorney for Vance County Child Support Enforcement Agency. Judge Thompson is a licensed and ordained minister. She serves as an associate minister at her family’s church, Cornerstone Christian Community Church. Judge Thompson is the founder and author of Abigail’s Veil ministry which provides domestic violence training for church leadership. Judge Thompson is a recipient of the 2014 Women of Justice Award issued by Lawyer’s Weekly; the 2015 Power of One Community Service Award issued by the Vance County Women of Economic Enrichment Program; and a host of community service recognitions.

The Honorable Amanda E. Stevenson is a Granville County native and a graduate of South Granville High School. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1984) and a Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of Law (1988). After receiving her law license, Amanda Stevenson engaged in private law practice for 24 years within Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren Counties. She has been legal counsel for the State of North Carolina Jaycees, President of the Henderson Jaycee Chapter, volunteer for Legal Aid, and life-long member of Geneva Presbyterian Church. She is married with 2 children and still resides in Granville County. She was elected District Court Judge in 2012. Judge Stevenson became a Certified Juvenile Court Judge for District 9 in December, 2015.

The Honorable Adam S. Keith was born and raised in Louisburg, N.C. and attended the local public schools. He graduated from Louisburg High School in 2002. In 2006, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from North Carolina Central University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Political Science and History. In 2009, Judge Keith graduated from North Carolina Central University – School of Law with his Juris Doctor. In 2010, he practiced law as an Associate Attorney in the Law Office of Thomas H. Clifton, PLLC. From December 2010 through August 2013, he was an Assistant County Attorney in the Cabarrus County Legal Department. From August 2013 through December 2013, he engaged in the private practice of law. In January of 2014, he became a partner in Clifton and Keith, PLLC located in Louisburg, N. C. He engaged in the private practice of law from 2014-2015. In December of 2015, he was appointed by the Honorable Governor Pat McCrory as a District Court Judge for the Ninth Judicial District.

The Honorable Caroline Slater Burnette was born in South Williamson, KY and raised in Williamson, WV. She graduated from Belfry High School in 1995 and graduated cum laude from Transylvania University with a B. A. in Philosophy in 1999. After graduation from college, she was accepted into the Teach for America Program and was placed in Louisburg, North Carolina where she taught middle school for two years. Caroline graduated magna cum laude from the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University in 2004. Caroline was engaged in private practice for twelve years and spent most of her career as the attorney for the Vance and Warren County Department of Social Services. Caroline resides in Henderson with her husband and two children. She is a member of the Church of the Holy Innocents.

The Honorable Benjamin S. Hunter was raised in Warrenton, N.C. He was appointed District Court Judge in June of 2017. Hunter graduated from Warren County High School in 2002. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Appalachian State University, where he majored in English and Secondary Education, graduating magna cum laude. Following graduation, he taught high school English. He spent two years teaching in New Bern before returning home to teach in Warrenton. In 2010, he began law school at North Carolina Central University. While there he served on the Law Review and graduated cum laude in 2013. After graduation he was hired by the District Attorney for the Ninth Prosecutorial District. He regularly prosecuted the District Court docket in Warren, Vance, Franklin and Granville counties. He prosecuted a felony case load in Vance County and then in Franklin County. He is an active member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, where he serves on the Pastor/Parrish Committee. Hunter also serves on the Warren County Memorial Library Board of Trustees. In 2014, he married his wonderful wife Meredith. They live in Warrenton with their beautiful daughter Ellen.

Custody Mediator: Zena Fletcher

District Court Trial Court Coordinator: Ruth B. Roberts

District Court Trial Court Coordinator: Mary Ann Parrott

District Court Judicial Assistant II: Tericia W. Parrish