North Carolina Statutes

Chapter 7A Judicial Department

Article 1 - Judicial Power and Organization

  • § 7A-1   Short title
    This Chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Judicial Department Act of 1965." (1965, c. 310, s. 1.)
  • § 7A-2   Purpose of Chapter
    This Chapter is intended to implement Article IV of the Constitution of North Carolina and promote the just and prompt disposition of litigation by: (1)...
  • § 7A-3   Judicial power; transition provisions
    Except for the judicial power vested in the court for the trial of impeachments, and except for such judicial power as may from time to...
  • § 7A-4   Composition and organization
    The General Court of Justice constitutes a unified judicial system for purposes of jurisdiction, operation and administration, and consists of an appellate division, a superior...

Article 1A - Reserved

Article 1B - Age Limits for Service as Justice or Judge.

Article 2 - Appellate Division Organization.

Article 3 - The Supreme Court.

Article 4 - Court of Appeals.

Article 5 - Jurisdiction.

Article 6 - Retirement of Justices and Judges of the Appellate Division; Retirement Compensation; Recall to Emergency Service; Disability Retirement.

Article 7 - Organization.

Article 8 - Retirement of Judges of the Superior Court; Retirement Compensation for Superior Court Judges; Recall to Emergency Service of Judges of the District and Superior Court; Disability Retirement for Judges of the Superior Court.

Article 9 - District Attorneys and Judicial Districts.

Article 10 - Reserved

Article 11 - Special Regulations.

Article 12 - Clerk of Superior Court.

Article 13 - Creation and Organization of the District Court Division.

Article 14 - District Judges.

Article 15 - District Prosecutors.

Article 16 - Magistrates.

Article 17 - Clerical Functions in the District Court.

Article 18 - District Court Practice and Procedure Generally.

Article 19 - Small Claim Actions in District Court.

Article 20 - Original Civil Jurisdiction of the Trial Divisions.

Article 21 - Institution, Docketing, and Transferring Civil Causes in the Trial Divisions.

Article 22 - Jurisdiction of the Trial Divisions in Criminal Actions.

Article 22A - Prohibited Orders.

Article 23 - Jurisdiction and Procedure Applicable to Children.

Article 24 - Juvenile Services.

Article 24A - Delinquency Prevention and Youth Services.

Article 24B - Termination of Parental Rights.

Article 25 - Jurisdiction and Procedure in Criminal Appeals from District Courts.

Article 26 - Additional Powers of District Court Judges and Magistrates.

Article 27 - Expenses of the Judicial Department.

Article 28 - Uniform Costs and Fees in the Trial Divisions.

Article 29 - Administrative Office of the Courts.

Article 29A - Trial Court Administrators.

  • § 7A-355   Trial court administrators
    The following districts or sets of districts as defined in G.S. 7A‑41.1(a) shall have trial court administrators: Set of districts 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D; District...
  • § 7A-356   Duties
    The duties of each trial court administrator shall be to assist in managing civil dockets, to improve jury utilization and to perform such duties as...
  • § 7A-357 through 7A-374   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 30 - Judicial Standards Commission.

  • § 7A-374.1   Purpose
    The purpose of this Article is to provide for the investigation and resolution of inquiries concerning the qualification or conduct of any judge or justice...
  • § 7A-374.2   Definitions
    Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section shall apply throughout this Article: (1) "Censure" means a finding by the Supreme Court,...
  • § 7A-375   Judicial Standards Commission
    (a) The Judicial Standards Commission shall consist of the following residents of North Carolina: one Court of Appeals judge, two superior court judges, and two...
  • § 7A-376   Grounds for discipline by Commission; censure, suspension, or removal by the Supreme Court
    (a) The Commission, upon a determination that any judge has engaged in conduct that violates the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct as adopted by...
  • § 7A-377   Procedures
    (a) Any citizen of the State may file a written complaint with the Commission concerning the qualifications or conduct of any justice or judge of...
  • § 7A-378   Censure, suspension, or removal of justice of Supreme Court
    (a) The recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission for censure, suspension, or removal of any justice of the Supreme Court for any grounds provided by...
  • § 7A-379 through 7A-399   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 31 - Judicial Council.

Article 31A - State Judicial Council.

  • § 7A-409   Composition of State Judicial Council
    (a) The State Judicial Council shall consist of 18 members as follows: (1) The Chief Justice, who chairs the Council; (2) The Chief Judge of...
  • § 7A-409.1   Duties of the State Judicial Council
    (a) The State Judicial Council shall: (1) Study the judicial system and report periodically to the Chief Justice on its findings; (2) Advise the Chief...
  • § 7A-409.2   Compensation of the State Judicial Council
    Members of the State Judicial Council who are not officers or employees of the State shall receive compensation and reimbursement for travel and subsistence expenses...

Article 31B - Declaration of Vacancy, Suspension of Salary.

  • § 7A-410   Vacancy exists on disbarment
    When a judge of the district court, judge of the superior court, judge of the Court of Appeals, justice of the Supreme Court, or a...
  • § 7A-410.1   Suspension of salary
    When a justice, judge, or district attorney has been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law under G.S. 84‑28 but the office has not...

Article 32 - Conference of District Attorneys.

  • § 7A-411   Establishment and purpose
    There is created the Conference of District Attorneys of North Carolina, of which every district attorney in North Carolina is a member. The purpose of...
  • § 7A-412   Annual meetings; organization; election of officers
    (a) Annual Meetings. The Conference shall meet annually at a time and place selected by the President of the Conference. (b) Election of Officers. Officers...
  • § 7A-413   Powers of Conference
    (a) The Conference may: (1) Cooperate with citizens and other public and private agencies to promote the effective administration of criminal justice. (2) Assist prosecutors...
  • § 7A-414   Executive Secretary; clerical support
    The Conference may employ an executive secretary and any necessary supporting staff to assist it in carrying out its duties. (1983, c. 761, s. 152.)

Article 33 to 35 - Reserved

Article 36 - Entitlement of Indigent Persons Generally.

Article 37 - The Public Defender.

Article 37A - Access to Civil Justice Act.

  • § 7A-474.1   Legislative findings and purpose
    The General Assembly of North Carolina declares it to be its purpose to provide access to legal representation for indigent persons in certain kinds of...
  • § 7A-474.2   Definitions
    The following definitions shall apply throughout this Article, unless the context otherwise requires: (1) "Eligible client" means a resident of North Carolina financially eligible for...
  • § 7A-474.3   Eligible activities and limitations
    (a) Eligible Activities. Funds appropriated under this Article shall be used only for the following purposes: (1) To provide legal assistance to eligible clients; (2)...
  • § 7A-474.4   Funds
    Funds to provide representation pursuant to this Article shall be provided to the North Carolina State Bar for provision of direct services by and support...
  • § 7A-474.5   Records and reports
    The established legal services programs shall keep appropriate records and make periodic reports, as requested, to the North Carolina State Bar. (1989, c. 795, s....
  • § 7A-474.6 through 7A-474.15   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 37B - Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Act.

  • § 7A-474.16   Legislative findings and purpose
    The General Assembly of North Carolina declares it to be its purpose to provide access to legal representation for domestic violence victims in certain kinds...
  • § 7A-474.17   Definitions
    The following definitions shall apply throughout this Article, unless the context otherwise requires: (1) "Domestic violence victim" means a resident of North Carolina that has...
  • § 7A-474.18   Eligible activities and limitations
    (a) Eligible Activities. Funds appropriated under this Article shall be used only for the following purposes: (1) To provide legal assistance to domestic violence victims....
  • § 7A-474.19   Funds
    Funds to provide representation pursuant to this Article shall be provided to the North Carolina State Bar for provision of direct services by and support...
  • § 7A-474.20   Records and reports
    The established legal services programs shall keep appropriate records and make periodic reports, as requested, to the North Carolina State Bar. The North Carolina State...

Article 38 - Appellate Defender Office.

  • § 7A-475 through 7A-485   Expired

Article 38A - Appellate Defender Office.

Article 39 - Guardian Ad Litem Program.

Article 39A - Custody and Visitation Mediation Program.

Article 39B - Indigent Defense Services Act

  • § 7A-498   Title
    This Article shall be known and may be cited as the "Indigent Defense Services Act of 2000". (2000‑144, s. 1.)
  • § 7A-498.1   Purpose
    Whenever a person is determined to be indigent and entitled to counsel, it is the responsibility of the State under the federal and state constitutions...
  • § 7A-498.2   Establishment of Office of Indigent Defense Services
    (a) The Office of Indigent Defense Services, which is administered by the Director of Indigent Defense Services and includes the Commission on Indigent Defense Services...
  • § 7A-498.3   Responsibilities of Office of Indigent Defense Services
    (a) The Office of Indigent Defense Services shall be responsible for establishing, supervising, and maintaining a system for providing legal representation and related services in...
  • § 7A-498.4   Establishment of Commission on Indigent Defense Services
    (a) The Commission on Indigent Defense Services is created within the Office of Indigent Defense Services and shall consist of 13 members. To create an...
  • § 7A-498.5   Responsibilities of Commission
    (a) The Commission shall have as its principal purpose the development and improvement of programs by which the Office of Indigent Defense Services provides legal...
  • § 7A-498.6   Director of Indigent Defense Services
    (a) The Director of Indigent Defense Services shall be appointed by the Commission for a term of four years. The Director may be removed during...
  • § 7A-498.7   Public Defender Offices
    (a) The following counties of the State are organized into the defender districts listed below, and in each of those defender districts an office of...
  • § 7A-498.8   Appellate Defender
    (a) The appellate defender shall be appointed by the Commission on Indigent Defense Services for a term of four years. A vacancy in the office...
  • § 7A-499   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 40 - North Carolina Courts Commission.

Article 40A - North Carolina Courts Commission.

  • § 7A-506   Creation; members; terms; qualifications; vacancies
    (a) The North Carolina Courts Commission is created. Effective July 1, 1993, it shall consist of 28 members, seven to be appointed by the Governor,...
  • § 7A-507   Ex officio members
    The following additional members shall serve ex officio: the Administrative Officer of the Courts; a representative of the N.C. State Bar appointed by the Council...
  • § 7A-508   Duties
    It shall be the duty of the Commission to make continuing studies of the structure, organization, jurisdiction, procedures and personnel of the Judicial Department and...
  • § 7A-509   Chair; meetings; compensation of members
    The Governor, after consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, shall appoint a chair from the legislative members of the Commission. The term...
  • § 7A-510   Supporting services
    The Commission is authorized to contract for such professional and clerical services as are necessary in the proper performance of its duties. (1979, c. 1077,...
  • § 7A-511 through 7A-515   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 41 - Purpose; Definitions.

Article 42 - Jurisdiction.

Article 43 - Screening of Delinquency and Undisciplined Petitions.

Article 44 - Screening of Abuse and Neglect Complaints.

Article 45 - Venue; Petition; Summons.

Article 46 - Temporary Custody; Secure and Nonsecure Custody; Custody Hearings.

Article 47 - Basic Rights.

Article 48 - Law-Enforcement Procedures in Delinquency Proceedings.

Article 49 - Transfer to Superior Court.

Article 50 - Discovery.

Article 51 - Hearing Procedures.

Article 52 - Dispositions.

Article 53 - Modification and Enforcement of Dispositional Orders; Appeals.

Article 54 - Juvenile Records and Social Reports.

Article 55 - Interstate Compact on Juveniles.

Article 56 - Emancipation.

Article 57 - Judicial Consent for Emergency Surgical or Medical Treatment.

Article 58 - Juvenile Law Study Commission.

Article 59 - Repealed

Article 60 - Office of Administrative Hearings.

Article 61 - Sentencing Services Program.

  • § 7A-770   Purpose
    This Article shall be known and may be cited as the "Sentencing Services Act." The purpose of this Article is to establish a statewide sentencing...
  • § 7A-771   Definitions
    As used in this Article: (1) Recodified as subdivision (3b) by Session Laws 1999‑306, s. 1, effective January 1, 2000. (2) Recodified as subdivision (3a)...
  • § 7A-772   Allocation of funds
    (a) The Director may award grants in accordance with the policies established by this Article and in accordance with any laws made for that purpose,...
  • § 7A-773   Responsibilities of a sentencing services program
    A sentencing services program shall be responsible for: (1) Identifying offenders who: a. Are charged with or have been offered a plea by the State...
  • § 7A-773.1   Who may request plans; disposition of plans; contents of plans
    (a) A judge presiding over a case in which the offender meets the criteria set forth in G.S. 7A‑773(1) may request, at any time prior...
  • § 7A-774   Requirements for a comprehensive sentencing services program plan
    Agencies applying for grants shall prepare a comprehensive sentencing services program plan for the development, implementation, operation, and improvement of a sentencing services program for...
  • § 7A-775   Sentencing services board
    (a) Each sentencing services program shall establish a sentencing services board to provide direction and assistance to the sentencing services program in the implementation and...
  • § 7A-776   Limitation on use of funds
    Funds provided for use under the provisions of this Article shall not be used for the operating costs, construction, or any other costs associated with...
  • § 7A-777   Evaluation
    The Director shall evaluate each sentencing services program on an annual basis to determine the degree to which the program effectively meets the needs of...
  • § 7A-778 through 7A-789   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 62 - North Carolina Drug Treatment Court Act.

  • § 7A-790   Short title
    This Article shall be known and may be cited as the "North Carolina Drug Treatment Court Act of 1995". (1995, c. 507, s. 21.6(a); 1998‑23,...
  • § 7A-791   Purpose
    The General Assembly recognizes that a critical need exists in this State for judicial programs that will reduce the incidence of alcohol and other drug...
  • § 7A-792   Goals
    The goals of the drug treatment court programs funded under this Article include the following: (1) To reduce alcoholism and other drug dependencies among adult...
  • § 7A-793   Establishment of Program
    The North Carolina Drug Treatment Court Program is established in the Administrative Office of the Courts to facilitate the creation and funding of local drug...
  • § 7A-794   Fund administration
    The Drug Treatment Court Program Fund is created in the Administrative Office of the Courts and is administered by the Director of the Administrative Office...
  • § 7A-795   State Drug Treatment Court Advisory Committee
    The State Drug Treatment Court Advisory Committee is established to develop and recommend to the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts guidelines for...
  • § 7A-796   Local drug treatment court management committee
    Each judicial district choosing to establish a drug treatment court shall form a local drug treatment court management committee, which shall be comprised to assure...
  • § 7A-797   Eligible population; drug treatment court procedures
    The Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, in conjunction with the State Drug Treatment Court Advisory Committee, shall develop criteria for eligibility and...
  • § 7A-798   Repealed by Session Laws 2007-393, s. 13, effective October 1, 2007
  • § 7A-799   Treatment not guaranteed
    Nothing contained in this Article shall confer a right or an expectation of a right to treatment for a defendant or offender within the criminal...
  • § 7A-800   Payment of costs of treatment program
    Each defendant, offender, or respondent in a juvenile petition for abuse, neglect, or both, who receives treatment under a local drug treatment court program shall...
  • § 7A-801   Monitoring and annual report
    The Administrative Office of the Courts shall monitor all State‑recognized and funded local drug treatment courts, prepare an annual report on the implementation, operation, and...
  • § 7A-802   Reserved for future codification purposes
  • § 7A-803   Reserved for future codification purposes
  • § 7A-804   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 63 - Conference of Clerks of Superior Court.

  • § 7A-805   Establishment and purpose
    There is created the Conference of Clerks of Superior Court of North Carolina, of which each clerk of superior court is a member. The purpose...
  • § 7A-806   Annual meetings; organization; election of officers
    (a) Annual Meetings. The Conference shall meet each summer and winter at a time and place selected by the President of the Conference. (b) Election...
  • § 7A-807   Powers of Conference
    (a) The Conference may: (1) Cooperate with citizens and other public and private agencies to promote the effective administration of justice. (2) Develop advisory manuals...
  • § 7A-808   Executive secretary; clerical support
    The Conference may employ an executive secretary and any necessary supporting staff to assist it in carrying out its duties. (2005‑100, s. 1.)