|Q.||What is the AOC? |
|A.||The Administrative Office of the Courts was created when the courts were unified in 1963. The primary functions of the AOC include providing support to court officials statewide, administering the budget for the entire judicial branch of government, and providing public information about the court system.
|Q.||Where can I find North Carolina Law, particularly statutes? |
|A.||The law of North Carolina can be found primarily in the North Carolina General Statutes and the Appellate Reports of the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
Those laws are available in most public libraries, all the North Carolina law schools, and the North Carolina Supreme Court Library.
The Supreme Court Library also has an extensive list of websites, which have North Carolina, other states and federal law.
Also, the North Carolina General Statutes can be read on line through the North Carolina General Assembly’s website.
|Q.||What is the difference between District Court and Superior Court? |
|A.||District Courts are the entry level trial court, and the proper division for civil cases involving less than $10,000, all juvenile matters, and criminal cases involving infractions or misdemeanors. If the parties involved in the case do not object, District Court can conduct civil jury trials, or hear civil matters with more than $10,000 in controversy. However, Superior Court is the proper division for civil cases involving more than $10,000, as well as all felony criminal cases. Both courts have jurisdiction over cases regardless of the amount of money in controversy. |
|Q.||Where do I find information about the requirements for a marriage license, and how do I get copies of marriage licenses and birth certificates? |
|A.||Contact the Register of Deeds' offices of county in which the license or certificate was issued. |
|Q.||How can I become a foreign language interpreter for the court system? |
|A.||For information on state certification and court interpretation in North Carolina see the Language Access Services portion of the web site. |
|Q.||How can I obtain a copy of a Criminal Calendar? |
|A.||Criminal Calendars are set by the District Attorney's office in each district. Copies are distributed by the Clerk of Superior Court in each county. It is possible to conduct a search of criminal calendars for some districts at the following AOC web site: County Map.
|Q.||How can I conduct a criminal record check? |
|A.||For information on criminal record check see "Criminal Background Checks" under Going to Court. |
|Q.||What kind of document do I need to file, or when to file, or where to file, in a particular case?|
|A.||The Administrative Office of the Courts cannot give legal advice to the public. You should contact an attorney. If you need an attorney referral, you can contact the North Carolina Bar Association Lawyer Referral at 1-800-662-7660. Or, you may contact the local legal services office. To find the local legal services office in your area contact Legal Services of North Carolina (LSNC) at (919) 856-2564. |
|Q.||Where can I find information on legal rights for the developmentally disabled? |
|A.||Information on the legal rights for the developmentally disabled can be found by calling Carolina Legal Assistance at (919) 856-2195. |
|Q.||How can I find out if someone owns a piece of real estate?|
|A.||Real estate records are not kept in the Clerk’s office. The Register of Deeds maintains those records. If, however, a person “inherited” the property, that is received the land from a relative or from a will, then some information may be available in the estate file of the person who owned the property at the time he or she died. |
|Q.||How can I take action against an attorney who has acted improperly or unethically? |
|A.||The North Carolina State Bar handles attorney complaints and, in appropriate cases, will pursue grievances against attorneys. The number is (919) 828-4620.|
**Note: The law imposes time limits within which you must take certain actions. You therefore should contact an attorney immediately if you have any questions concerning your legal rights and remedies. If your complaint is about a public defender, you should first contact the Public Defender in your district.
|Q.||How can I take action against a judge that has acted improperly or unethically? |
|A.||Contact the Judicial Standards Commission. The Commission handles complaints regarding judges and, in appropriate cases, will pursue grievances against judges. The number is 919-831-3630. The mailing address is Post Office Box 1122, Raleigh, NC 27602.|
If the problem is not a violation of the Code of Judicial Standards, but is still a concern of ethics, you may contact the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism at 919-715-6055. The mailing address is Suite 100, 505 Oberlin Road, Raleigh, N.C. 27605.
**Note: The law imposes time limits within which you must take certain actions. You therefore should contact an attorney immediately if you have any questions concerning your legal rights and remedies.
|Q.||How do I file a complaint against a magistrate? |
|A.||A complaint may be filed with the chief District Court judge in the district where the magistrate works. |
|Q.||How do I file a complaint about the conditions of the local jail? |
|A.||Local jails are managed by the individual county and not the State of NC; a complaint should be filed with the sheriff and the county manager of the particular county. |
|Q.||Are electronic versions of forms available? |
|A.||Yes, some AOC forms are currently available for download at www.nccourts.com/Forms/FormSearch.asp |