North Carolina Public Records

North Carolina government and citizens believe that the information contained in the public records belong to the people as it is their property. The information is easily accessible.

The North Carolina Public Records Law gives individuals the constitutional right to see and copy most of the state’s public records. The law states that the public, through a request, can access any record of a public government agency. Falling within the definition of a public agency include public offices, councils, bureaus, institutions, boards, commissions and departments that serve the state government.

The materials that are defined as public records include any map, document, photograph, paper, book, letter, electronic data or film received or made by a government agency in regards to public business. You can request any of these items, and the agency may not grant you access in case an exception is applicable. Among the exemptions include information about government lawsuit settlements, custody of criminal investigation records and so on.

North Carolina Criminal Records

The North Carolina Division of Adults Correction maintains and distributes all North Carolina Criminal Records. Only Criminal Justice staff may request to get information kept in the offender information online database which has been protected by a password. Such precautions exist to ensure that the information is accessed only by authorized personnel.

There is also a public name-based search database that may be used when searching for offenders by name, age, gender, race, age range, birth data, ethnic group, and offender number. The public online database is available on the website of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

North Carolina arrest records and inmate and jail records may be found on the North Carolina Department of Public Safety official website by using name-based search database. You can conduct searches for jail and inmate records using the inmate’s name, birth date, ethnic group, gender, race, or offender number. The information you will get from a search can include the name of the offender, incarceration stats, sentence history, current location, gender, race, and ethic group. You can find further information about jail and inmate records in North Carolina within the North Carolina’s Victim Notification Service Profile.

North Carolina Court Records

Most South Carolina Court Records are available to public access. While the right to access and copy court documents is not actually absolute, contacting the court clerk before applying for documents can greatly help the search to be more successful.

For cases within the borders of the Eastern District of North Carolina, you can make online requests through the website of the Eastern District of North Carolina United States District Court.

North Carolina Vital Records

North Carolina Vital Records are maintained and distributed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. These records include marriage, birth, divorce, and death certificates.

  • Birth records: Statewide registration of births in North Carolina began in 1913 but was fully complied with by around 1920. However, some cities had been keeping birth records earlier before this time. For example, Raleigh started recording for births at around 1890. Counties are required to record any death that occurs within their borders and send copies of such records to the state office but keep a duplicate copy.
  • Death records: Statewide registration of deaths in North Carolina began in 1913, but compliance in all counties was reached by around 1917. Original death records for most counties for 1913-1979 are kept at the North Carolina State Archives. You can request for a death certificate from the North Carolina State Archives and the county Register of Deeds.
  • Marriage records: Marriages from 1669 to 1742 were recorded in the county records and were performed by civil authorities of the clergy. Most of these records are not available apart from those from Perquimans FHL Films 370662 and Pasquotank FHL Film 19496 counties. You can request for any records of marriages from 1868 to 1962 from the register of deeds in every county. Statewide registration for marriages in North Carolina began in 1962. Microfilms of marriage records for most South Carolina counties in 1950s are available at the Family History Library.
  • Divorce records: The Family History Library keeps microfilms of divorce records for most counties especially the records of 1950s. All divorce records are maintained by North Carolina Vital Records.

When it comes to application and access to public records, North Carolina is one of the friendliest states. By following the right procedure, you should be able to access the information you seek without any difficulty.

North Carolina State Court System

Understanding how the system of North Carolina state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.

North Carolina Courts Overview

The trial court system of Florida State consists of Business Court, District Courts and Superior Courts.

Superior Courts

North Carolina Superior Courts have general jurisdiction to handle all types of cases, but generally handle only those cases that District Courts have no jurisdiction over.

Typical criminal cases that these courts handle include lesser-included offenses, all felonies, and some misdemeanors. Typical civil cases include civil general civil claims for more than $10,000, exclusive of costs and interest. They also handle civil case without financial thresholds, including constitutional rights, adoptions, eminent domain, complex business issues, most decisions by administrative agencies, and certain types of requests and injunctions for declaratory relief.

Superior Courts have limited jurisdiction to hold proceedings in probate as well as the administration of properties or estates for decedents. They have original jurisdiction to handle most guardianship cases. However, the Family Court usually hears most guardianship cases provided the Family Court program is available in the county.

Superior Courts clerks handle records for both District Courts and Superior Courts.

District Courts

North Carolina District Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases. Typical criminal cases that these courts hear include municipal ordinance violations, most infractions, and most misdemeanors. They can also receive guilty pleas in certain felony cases and also hold preliminary hearings for all criminal case.

Typical civil cases District courts hear include general civil claims with less than $10,000 in dispute, exclusive of costs and interest. They also handle cases related to domestic violence protection, requests for civil no-contact orders, and appeals of decisions made by county game commission.

District Courts have s Small Claims Court division for handling majority of general civil claims with less than $5000 in dispute, exclusive of costs and interest. Small Claims Court divisions also handle claims for summary ejectment, the recovery of private property, and the recovery of money.

District Courts hear domestic relations cases, including annulment, divorce, child support, child custody, domestic violence protection, alimony, equitable distribution of property, paternity, and cases connected to property settlement or separation agreements between spouses. They also handle juvenile matters including child neglect, juvenile dependency, emancipation, child abuse, foster care, juvenile delinquency, termination of parental rights, juvenile consent for abortion, and juveniles considered to be undisciplined.

Business Court

This is a specialized court division that handles complex business cases with complicated or significant issues of commercial or corporate law. Superior Court judges are the ones who sit at the Business Court. Typical cases that Business Court handles include antitrust law, intellectual property, State trademark law, biotechnology, the Internet, majority of unfair competition laws, electronic commerce, and cases of securities of law. The Business Court is located in Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Raleigh, and handles cases for the whole state from these locations.

Family Courts

North Carolina Family Courts are dedicated court programs within Some District Courts. They handle mental health, domestic relations, and most juvenile cases which would otherwise be handled in the right division of District or Superior Court.

Typically, these courts handle juvenile and domestic relations cases, including child support, divorce, visitation, child custody, domestic violence protection, child protection, juvenile delinquency, abortion consent waivers, involuntary commitments, paternity, guardianships, and termination of parental rights.

Court Notes

District Courts and Superior Courts may have some specialized programs for Youth Treatment Court, Family Drug Treatment Court, and Adult Drug Treatment Court. Family Drug Treatment Courts often work with any eligible parent who risks losing custody of his or her child due to neglect or abuse. Adult Drug Treatment Courts are designed to work together with repeat offenders. Some Youth Treatment Courts are designed to work with eligible youths who are in North Carolina juvenile justice system.

The Official Website of North Carolina County

Charlotte City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Official Government Website
Raleigh Raleigh
Greensboro Greensboro, NC
Durham Durham, NC | Official Website
Winston-Salem City of Winston-Salem
Fayetteville Fayetteville, NC
Cary Town of Cary
Wilmington City of Wilmington, NC
High Point High Point, NC | Official Website
Greenville Greenville, NC
Asheville Asheville, NC
Concord City of Concord
Gastonia City of Gastonia
Jacksonville Jacksonville, NC – Official Website
Chapel Hill Town of Chapel Hill, NC
Forsyth County Forsyth County, North Carolina
Cumberland County Cumberland County Cumberland County NC is celebrating its past and embracing its future progressing from its beginnings as a riverfront distribution center to a highly commercialized area offering a variety of services to its citizens.
Durham County Durham County
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New Hanover County New Hanover County | The Model of Good Governance | North Carolina New Hanover County’s official website providing services, departments, news, emergency information and government services.
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Moore County County of Moore | North Carolina Official Homepage of the County of Moore Government North Carolina
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North Carolina Arrests and Inmate Search

Anson County Sheriff Jail Anson County Sheriff’s Inmate Search
Inmate Search | Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Brunswick County Jail Inmate Search
Inmate Inquiry – Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office P2C Buncombe County Inmate Lookup
Cabarrus Sheriff Office P2C – provided by OSSI Cabarrus County Jail Inmate Search
Caldwell County Detention Caldwell County Inmate List
Who’s In Jail Catawba County Who’s in Jail
Active Inmate Lookup | ccsonc.org Cumberland County Jail Inmate Lookup
Inmate Population Search | Durham County Sheriff Durham County Jail Inmate Lookup
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office P2C Forsyth County Inmate Inquiry
Gaston County Inmate Inquiry Gaston County Sheriff’s Inmate Roster
Guilford County, NC Sheriff’s Office P2C Guilford County Inmate Search
Inmate Population Reports // Harnett County, North Carolina Inmate Population Reports
Henderson County Inmate Search Henderson County Sheriff Inmate Search
JCSO Johnston County Jail Inmate Search
Lee County Jail Lee County Jail Inmate Lookup
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office P2C – provided by OSSI Lincoln County Sheriff’s Inmate Roster
MCSO Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Arrest Inmate Warrant Inquiry
New Hanover Sheriff’s Office P2C New Hanover County Inmate List
Inmate Lookup | Pender County Sheriff’s Office Pender County Jail Inmate Lookup
Rowan County Sheriff’s Office P2C Rowan County Jail Inmates
Inmate Search – Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Find Inmates At The Detention Center
Union County Sheriff Office P2C Union County Jail Inmate Search
Wake County Sheriff’s Office P2C Wake County Jail Inmate List
Detention Center | Wayne County, NC Wayne County Jail Inmate Locator
NC DPS: Criminal Offender Searches Offender Public Information Search / Inmate Locator –  Search by name or inmate ID for up-to-date information on North Carolina state prison inmates, probationers, and parolees.  This database from the NC Department of Public Safety and the former NC Department of Correction contains historical information back to 1972.  Does not include county jail information.
Criminal Background Check | North Carolina Judicial Branch Learn how to obtain a criminal background check for yourself or others.
The North Carolina Judicial Branch North Carolina Court System Records Search
North Carolina Offender Registry North Carolina Sex Offender Registry