So You Want to Be a District Court Judge?

A few election seasons ago, a campaign sign advocating “Denning for Judge” was posted in our neighborhood. My son noticed it on the way home from school and said, “Mom:  Is Dad running for judge?”  “No, he isn’t,” I said.  Then, in a moment of pique, I said, “Actually, your dad isn’t qualified to be a judge. But I am.” Since I’ve obviously done such a great job teaching civics (and equal rights) to my children, I thought I’d share a bit with you about the selection, qualifications, and work of a North Carolina district court judge—a group of judicial officials with whom I frequently work.

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Class H and I Felonies in District Court

Under G.S. 7A-272(c), the district court has jurisdiction to accept a defendant’s plea of guilty or no contest to a Class H or I felony in certain circumstances. The law extending this limited jurisdiction to the district court came into effect in 1996 (S.L. 1995-725), and it has been used more and more over time. … Read more

Remain Within the Jurisdiction

It is a regular condition of probation for all supervised probationers that they “[r]emain within the jurisdiction of the court unless granted written permission to leave by the court or [their] probation officer.” G.S. 15A-1343(b)(2). What does “jurisdiction” mean in that statute? The county in which probation was imposed? The judicial district? The entire state? … Read more