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Does a District Court judge in NC have any legal authority in a civil case involving more than $10000?

Asheville, NC |

My wife lost a case on a technicality that the lawyer sent First Request for Admissions to the previous address so that we couldn't respond in time and then sent the Motion for Summary Judgment to the correct address. The judge didn't even hear the issues of material fact (their evidence about the specific amount in question was clearly faulty); he said we should have told the court the address, so it is LIKE she admitted to the amount.

The whole case was filed in the district court division. We realized later that in NC, District Courts hear civil cases involving less than $10000 and Superior Courts hear civil cases involving more than $10000. Are there exceptions? Did he have the legal authority to enter a judgment? Does this judgment even carry any legal weight?

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Attorney answers 1


In North Carolina, the Superior and District Courts have concurrent original jurisdiction in civil actions (NCGS 7A-240). However, the district court division is the proper division for the trial of civil actions in which the amount in controversy is $10,000 or less; and the superior court division
is the proper division for the trial of civil actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds
$10,000 (NCGS 7A-243). In your Answer to the Complaint, you should have made a motion to remove the case to the superior court and it would have been granted. Since you didn't make that motion, you are bound the decision of the district court judge. If the time for doing so has not expired, you may appeal the case to the NC Court of Appeals. Contact an appellate lawyer in your area for a consultation to see if you have the right to appeal. Hope this helps.

This answer (posting) does not, in any way ,manner, or form, establish an attorney-client relationship nor should it be construed to be "legal advice." Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information. Because I do not not have access to your documents and your specific facts, you should consult with a lawyer in your area for a specific answer to your legal issue. You and I have not entered into an attorney/client relationship, and I am not responsible for your legal rights. The only way for us to be in an attorney/client relationship is if you have signed a written retainer agreement with my law firm.



This just happened on September 17th. What is the timeframe for appeals? Also, what is a ballpark figure for a lawyer to charge for consultation and then for filing appeal papers, or does it vary too greatly to give me an idea? Thanks so much.

Markham B. Gunter

Markham B. Gunter


Article II, Rule 3(c) of the NC Rules of Appellate Procedure provides that a party must file and serve a notice of appeal within 30 days of the entry of judgment, etc. I am sure that you can get a 1-hour consultation with an appellate lawyer in your area for their hourly rate and he/she should be able to tell you what you need to know. Hope this helps.