Frequently Asked Questions for Civil Division:

1. What types of cases are civil cases?

Domestic: Divorce, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, and Division of Marital Property and Domestic Violence.

Contracts: Disputes over an agreement, usually for the payment of money for services or goods.

Personal injury: Action to recover damages (money) for injuries sustained due to the fault of someone else.

2. Where do I file a civil case?

Small Claims: Actions for less than $5000.00 and landlord tenant disputes.

District Court: Actions for less than $10,000.00 and all domestic cases.

Superior Court: Actions for over $10,000.00.

3. What does it cost to file a case?

• Small Claims: $96.00
• Civil District: $150.00
• Superior Civil: $200.00
• Divorce: $225.00
• Motions: $20.00
• Alias & Pluries/ Endorsement $15.00
• Service Fees - $15 after August 1, 2011 - $30

4. Does the court appoint a lawyer to represent me?

No. Only in criminal cases are you guaranteed a right to a Court-appointed attorney. In civil court you hire your own attorney.

5. How can I find an attorney to represent me?

If you do not know of an attorney in your area, you can contact The Lawyer Referral Service of the North Carolina Bar Association.

The Lawyer Referral Service maintains a list of attorneys in your area who will provide an initial consultation at a reduced cost. Call 1-800-662-7407.

6. What happens if I do not go to court on my court date?

If you are the plaintiff, your case may be dismissed.

If you are the defendant, the judge may enter a judgment against you if you are not present or the judge may continue the case.

7. If I win my case, what am I entitled to?

It depends upon the type of case you filed and what type of relief you asked for (i.e. divorce or money).

8. If I lose my case, is there anything I can do?

You may have the right to appeal the judge or jury's decision. Most appeals will go to the appellate courts, which are the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

9. I have just recently separated from my spouse, when can I get a divorce?

Most divorces can occur after the parties have been separated and lived apart for one year.

10. How can I get a copy of a divorce or child support order?

Those documents may be found in the county in which the divorce or child support action was filed. You will be charged for copying costs.

11. I just recently got a divorce, what do I need to do to change my name?

To return to your maiden or a previously married name you can complete the Application/Notice of Resumption of Prior Name Form (AOC-SP-600), which can be obtained form the Clerk of Superior Courts Office. There is a fee for this and the Clerk will not accept a check, so you may want to contact the clerk's office beforehand to determine the procedure and how much money you will need to bring with you.

12. How can I get child support from my child's parent?

Assuming the parent does not voluntarily pay support, you can hire a lawyer to assist you in obtaining support or you can seek the assistance of your local child support enforcement agency.

13. I haven't received my most recent child support payment, what can I do?

If the Centralized Collection Unit is processing your payments then you should call 1-800-992-9497 for more information. If you child's other parent has paid
You directly, and now no longer can or will pay you child support, you may have to file a child support action. In order to do this you should contact a lawyer or your child support enforcement agency (see above).

14. When is child support court held?

It is held on the second Monday of each month.

15. What is a 50 B Restraining Order?

The commission of any of the following acts upon an aggrieved party (victim) or upon a minor child residing with the victim by a person who has or had a "personal relationship" with the victim:

Causing or attempting to cause bodily injury
Placing a victim or member of the victim's family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment
Committing any sex offense

16. What is a 50 C No Contact Order?

The commission of one or more of the following acts by a person 16 years of age or older upon a person, but does not include acts of self-defense or defense of others:

• Non-consensual sexual conduct, including single incidences of non-consensual sexual conduct.

• Stalking. (On more than one occasion, following or otherwise harassing another person without legal purpose with the intent of 1) placing the person in fear or 2) causing the person to suffer substantial emotional distress).

17. What is the fee for filing a 50 B or 50 C?

There is no fee for these filings.