Judicial Responsibilities

Survey  responses from Judicial Candidates can be found at ​ Judicial Voter Guide 2018 NC Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement

N.C. SUPREME COURT  JUSTICE

The Supreme Court of North Carolina is the state’s highest court, and there is no further appeal from its decisions on matters of state law. It is made up of the Chief Justice, who also serves as head of the Judicial Branch, and six associate justices. Each justice serves an eight-year term. The Supreme Court has no jury and makes no determinations of fact, but it considers whether error occurred at trial or in judicial interpretation of the law.

More information is available at the North Carolina Judicial Branch website.

NC SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE 

Superior courts hear civil and criminal cases. Superior court is divided into eight divisions and 50 districts across the state. Every six months, superior court judges rotate among the districts within their divisions. The rotation system is provided for by the state constitution and designed to minimize conflicts of interest that might result from having a permanent judge in one district. Each administrative superior court district has a senior resident superior court judge who manages the administrative duties of the court. A clerk of superior court is elected in each county and is responsible for all clerical and record-keeping functions.

More information is available at  the North Carolina Judicial Branch website.

NC  DISTRICT COURT 

​District courts hear cases involving civil, criminal, juvenile, and magistrate matters.   They hear cases involving civil, criminal, juvenile, and magistrate matters. District courts are divided into 43 districts across the state and sit in the county seat of each county. They may also preside in certain other cities and towns specifically authorized by the General Assembly.  Each administrative district court district has a chief district court judge who manages the administrative duties of the court..

More information is available at  the North Carolina Judicial Branch website.



NC COURT OF APPEALS​

The North Carolina Court of Appeals is the state's intermediate appellate court. Currently 15 judges hear cases in panels of three. The Court of Appeals reviews the proceedings that occurred in the trial courts for errors of law or legal procedure; it decides only questions of law – not questions of fact. The role of the Court of Appeals is to decide if the trial court correctly applied the law, or if there was prejudicial error in the conduct of the trial.

The majority of cases appealed from the Superior and District courts in civil and criminal cases are heard by the Court of Appeals. One major exception is capital murder appeals in which the death penalty was imposed; these appeals go directly to the Supreme Court of North Carolina. In addition, direct appeals from certain of the state’s administrative agencies are heard by the Court of Appeals.


More information is available at the North Carolina Judicial Branch website.