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Overview of the North Carolina Court System

With its four tiers of courts, the North Carolina court system is similar to many across the country. At the bottom tier are the municipal courts and the district courts, which both handle similar issues such as traffic infractions, small civil cases, preliminary criminal hearings and domestic relations. They also handle juvenile cases and mental health concerns.

The second tier of courts is made up of the superior courts, which are courts of original jurisdiction for large civil cases, felonies and serious misdemeanors. These courts also oversee probate and estate matters as well as appeals from the district and municipal courts.

Above the superior courts is the Court of Appeals, which handles initial appeals from the superior courts. The top tier is the Supreme Court, which is the final court of last resort in the state. It takes care of judiciary discipline, bar admissions and other administrative matters as well.

North Carolina Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated North Carolina attorney by location and by practice area. We have North Carolina attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

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North Carolina Legal Forms

LawInfo offers free North Carolina legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.

Property owners know that renting can be a particularly attractive option for making a few extra dollars. However, you have to do it right and use binding contractual language to prevent potentially painful situations from arising. Use a North Carolina Residential Lease Agreement from LawInfo to make a binding contract with tenants. Our lease agreements contain standard, boilerplate protections for you and your property and detail the responsibilities of the tenant, ensuring legal right to your rent money.

When you file a Last Will and Testament document, available free from LawInfo, you can gain the satisfaction of knowing that your belongings will be properly distributed upon your death. Without a will, you may die intestate, and the courts will split up your possessions according to intestate succession laws. If you want to leave items to extended family members or if you know who could most use your assets or get the most out of heirlooms, a Last Will and Testament is a vital legal document.

For those in need of a way to protect against uncertainties, a Power of Attorney document, also available for free on LawInfo, is a good place to start. If you are ever medically incapacitated and can't make decisions for yourself, a Power of Attorney gives authority to a person of your choosing to make important medical and financial decisions on your behalf. This is important for making sure that your will is followed even if you aren't able to stand up for yourself.

Starting a Business in North Carolina

North Carolina business owners can find valuable information at the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center, a large repository of information on how to find mentorship opportunities as well as resources for how to start a business. Learn from classes and Web guides about how to make a North Carolina business plan and find funding to get your ideas off the ground. Starting a business is exciting, and if you get the details right, it can feel like a solid venture.

After you've done your basic homework, you will need to choose the name and type of business you want. Look up existing names with the chamber of commerce, then figure out whether you want a corporate business structure or a less restrictive type. While a corporation may keep your personal assets protected, it will require more paperwork, more regulations and more taxes.

North Carolina Business Statistics

North Carolina saw mixed economic news in the past few years. While the unemployment rate remained about 1 percent higher than the rest of the U.S. economy at about 8.8 percent throughout 2013, the economy grew at a rate of 3.6 percent, about 1 percent faster than the rest of the country.

With about 806,000 small businesses employing 47.8 percent of the population, there is clearly a place for small business to thrive in North Carolina. Of course, with more than 3,400 large businesses, including Fortune 500 companies Bank of America Corp (BAC), Lowe's (LOW) and BB&T (BBT), there is plenty of room for major corporate interests as well.