The Clerk of Superior Court is elected for four years and must be a resident of the county in which he or she is elected. Unlike clerks of court in other states, the Clerk of Superior Court in North Carolina has numerous judicial functions.
Every four years, the voters of each county in the State of North Carolina elect a Clerk of Superior Court. A Durham County native, the Honorable Archie L. Smith, III was elected Clerk of Superior Court for Durham County in September, 2002, and took office on December 2, 2002. Mr. Smith attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English in 1972. In 1976 he graduated from North Carolina Central University School of Law and practiced law in Durham County for more than twenty-six years.
The Office of Clerk of Superior Court is both an administrative and a judicial office. As ex officio Judge of Probate, the Clerk of Superior Court has exclusive original jurisdiction over matters relating to the probate of wills and the administration of estates of decedents, minors and incompetents. The Clerk also hears a variety of Special Proceedings such as adoptions and condemnation of private lands for public use. The Clerk of Superior Court is responsible for all clerical and record keeping functions of the District and Superior Courts and has all powers and duties conferred on the Superior Court by statute. The Clerk's role even extends to County Government as the Clerk fills a vacancy on the County Board of Commissioners when the board itself does not fill it.
The Durham County Clerk of Superior Court's office employs seventy-four Assistant and Deputy Clerks. The office is divided into nine separate divisions, each of which is administered by an Assistant Clerk. While it is a function of the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court to serve the public in connection with legal matters, employees of the Clerk's Office cannot give legal advice. Nonetheless, it is the goal of the Office of Clerk of Superior Court to be as helpful as possible to all persons seeking its services.
Criminal Filings Division
The main office for the criminal filings division is located in Room 1300 on the 1st floor of the Durham County Courthouse, 510 South Dillard Street, Durham, North Carolina. In this office you may request a criminal record check, find out a trial date for criminal trials, or get information on pending charges.
If you have questions that can be addressed by a Criminal District Court Clerk, you may call 919-808-3002.
If you have questions that can be addressed by a Criminal Superior Court Clerk, you may call 919-808-3007.
Civil Filings Division
Within this division you may file all documents related to small claims, district general civil, district domestic, and superior court civil. This office is located in Room 1500 on the 1st floor of the Durham County Courthouse, 510 South Dillard Street, Durham, North Carolina. In this office you may file all civil actions, such as divorces, small claims, and District and Superior Court civil claims.
If you have questions that can be addressed by a Civil Clerk, you may call 919-808-3003.