The Superior Court is the proper division for the trial of civil actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $10,000. It is also the proper division, without regard to the amount in controversy, for certain special proceedings, condemnation actions and proceedings, corporate receiverships, review of decisions of administrative agencies, and where the principal relief sought is injunctive or declaratory to establish the validity of a statute, ordinance or regulation, or enforcement or declaration of any claim of constitutional right.
The North Carolina Constitution requires Superior Court judges to rotate between districts, or "ride circuit." Each Superior Court judge holds court for at least six months in a Superior Court district. The rotation method was developed to avoid any favoritism that might result from always having the same judges hold court where they live, where they might be personally familiar with and interested in the cases brought before the court. The Senior Resident Superior Court judge is responsible for court operations within the district. By statute, the Senior Resident Superior Court judge is the most senior judge in the district and is responsible for carrying out various administrative duties and appointing magistrates and some other court officials.
In Superior Civil Court, cases are monitored by the Caseflow Management Administrator from the point of filing to the entry of the final disposition. Each case is placed on an active calendar for a future date to monitor for progression. First, the case is monitored for service of the complaint on all defendants. Next, the case is tracked for filing of all answers with the Clerk of Court. Once all the answers have been filed, or the time to do so has expired, the Caseflow Management Division will issue a scheduling order. The scheduling order will assign a trial date and all discovery deadlines to the case. The scheduling order does not assign the ADR deadline, the ADR deadline is assigned by a separate order issued from the ADR Coordinator. The scheduling orders are usually issued approximately seven months in advance of the trial date.
A published calendar with the cases appearing for trial during that session will be completed approximately 30 to 40 days in advance of the trial date. The published calendars are sent to the Clerk of Court's Office for distribution and posted on the State website. A final calendar is published each week for the next week's session. The final calendar is posted to the website no later than 2:00 p.m. the last business day prior to the start of the session.
The Superior Court Motion's and Clean-Up calendars follow the same pattern of publication as the trial calendars. To schedule a motion in Superior Court, parties/attorneys must call the Superior Court Civil Coordinator with the case number, type of motion, estimated time needed for the motion to be heard and the requesting party's name. The motion will be placed on the next published calendar and the setting party must complete a notice of hearing within 48 hours of getting the date for the motion to be heard.
Clean-Up calendars are used to bring disposition to cases that are in violation of the local rules or need other judicial review. All matters on the Clean-Up calendar should be addressed prior to the session date. Further detail is provided in the Local Rules.