Either party can appeal the decision of the magistrate to district court for a new trial before a judge or a jury. Notice of appeal may either be given orally by telling the magistrate in court when the magistrate makes a decision, or by filing a written notice of appeal with the clerk of superior court within 10 days after the magistrate’s decision.
Adoption is a legal proceeding that creates a parent and child relationship between the adoptee and petitioner. After an official order of adoption is entered, an adoptee has the same legal status, including all legal rights and obligations, as if the adoptee were the biological child of the adoptive parent.
In general, parents are not obligated to financially support a child once the child reaches the age of 18. Parents are required to support a child until the child turns 20 if the child has not yet graduated and remains in high school. In that case, child support will continue until the child graduates, stops attending school regularly, fails to make satisfactory academic progress, or reaches age 20, whichever happens first.
If your case is assigned to arbitration, you must participate unless either a judge excuses you or both parties agree not to go to arbitration. If you believe your case should not go to arbitration and the other party does not agree, you can file a motion with the clerk of court asking the court to remove the case from arbitration. You must show either that the case is not eligible for arbitration or that there is a compelling reason to exempt your case. You must file the motion with the clerk of court and serve copies of the motion on all other parties to the case at least 10 days before the date set for the arbitration hearing. You are responsible for contacting the Trial Court Coordinator in your county to schedule the motion for hearing before a judge.
No. Unlike adults who are charged with crimes, juveniles do not have the right to bail. However, if a juvenile is placed in secure or nonsecure custody, the court must hold regular hearings to review the need for continued custody. A juvenile must have an initial hearing within five calendar days, if placed in secure custody, and within seven calendar days, if placed in nonsecure custody. Further hearings on the need for continued secure custody are held at intervals of no more than ten calendar days, unless waived by the juvenile. Further hearings on the need for continued nonsecure custody are held within seven business days of the initial hearing and then every thirty calendar days. At each hearing on the need for continued custody, the State must show by clear and convincing evidence that continued custody is necessary and that no less intrusive alternative is sufficient. Juveniles have the right to be represented by an attorney, and if they are alleged to be delinquent, the court will appoint an attorney for them. Juveniles and their parents also may present evidence, address the court, and examine witnesses.
No, a child protection services report or juvenile court finding of abuse, neglect, or dependency does not appear on a criminal record. However, if criminal charges are also brought against the person subject to the CPS report, a criminal record may result from the criminal charges.
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior within an intimate relationship intended to gain power and control over the victim. This can include physical violence, sexual abuse, threats, humiliation, constant criticism or name-calling, isolating the victim from others, or limiting the victim’s access to money, transportation, or employment. Both men and women can be perpetrators and victims of domestic violence.
If you do not attend the arbitration hearing and do not arrange for it to be rescheduled, the hearing may be held without you. The arbitrator can decide the case without hearing from you. The court may also order sanctions against you, which could include a fine for failing to attend the arbitration hearing.
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor in District Court, you can appeal your case to Superior Court for a new trial before a jury (or before a judge, only, if you waive your right to a jury trial). If you were convicted in Superior Court, you may appeal your case to the State’s appellate courts, the Court of Appeals and possibly the Supreme Court. This will result in a new trial only under certain circumstances, if the appellate courts find error in the record of your case.
A secured bond is a contract between you and the State, and sometimes a third party called a “surety”. It is a written agreement to come to court that also requires an amount of money or other security be provided to the court in advance, before you can be released from jail.
An attorney is not required to initiate or finalize an adoption. A person who represents himself or herself will be held to the same standard as a licensed attorney. Adoption proceedings can be complicated.
A motion for appropriate relief (M.A.R.) is a request filed by a defendant asking a judge to undo a conviction or change a sentence. A judge can grant your M.A.R. only if you can show legal grounds: for instance, that you received ineffective assistance of counsel or your sentence was not calculated according to the sentencing laws that applied to your case.
North Carolina’s laws on abuse, neglect, and dependency protect juveniles, meaning anyone under 18 years old who is not married, emancipated or in the military. A case can be opened with child protection services or in juvenile court if a parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker of a child is allegedly responsible for the abuse, neglect or dependency of that child. A juvenile case will not be opened against a third party, such as a teacher or babysitter, though these people can be charged with a crime for abusing a child.
Yes. In some circumstances, juveniles who are suspected of being delinquent or undisciplined can be taken into custody by a law enforcement officer or a juvenile court counselor. However, the term “arrest” is inappropriate and juveniles who are taken into custody may not be placed in an adult jail. A juvenile who is taken into temporary custody may be held for no more than 12 hours, or 24 hours if part of that time falls on a weekend or holiday, unless a juvenile petition has been filed and a judge has issued an order for secure or nonsecure custody. Any person who takes a juvenile into custody without a court order must notify the juvenile’s parents or guardians and inform them of their right to be present with the juvenile until a determination is made regarding the need for secure or nonsecure custody.
If you, the other party, or the attorneys involved choose your mediator, you will discuss the fee with the mediator. If your mediator is appointed by the court, he or she will be paid $150 per hour plus a one-time $150 administrative fee. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties or ordered by the court, the fee is split equally between the parties. You may be asked to pay the administrative fee up front. All other fees will be due at the end of your conference. If the court decides that you are unable to afford the mediation costs, you will not be required to pay for the mediator.
The exact rights to which a victim is entitled will depend on the criminal charges against the defendant. The right to be notified of important events in the case, like trial dates or the date a defendant is released from prison; The right to some participation in the criminal case, like the ability to consult with the District Attorney or provide a statement to the court at the defendant’s sentencing; The right to be present during most court proceedings involving the case; and The right to information from law enforcement agencies or the prosecutor about other resources for victims, like civil remedies you might have against the defendant or how to apply to the State for compensation for any harm you suffered as a result of the crime. Victims of certain, more serious crimes also have additional rights described in North Carolina’s Crime Victims Rights Act. If an offense committed against you is covered by that Act, the investigating law enforcement agency and prosecutor’s office will provide you with information about your rights under those statutes.
Arbitration hearings are limited to one hour, which means that each side has up to 30 minutes to testify and present witnesses and evidence. The arbitration hearing may last longer if, at the hearing, the arbitrator determines that more time is needed to ensure fairness and justice to the parties.
A trained, neutral person called a mediator will help the parties and their attorneys discuss their dispute and search for an agreement. The mediator will explain the mediation process and may ask the attorney for each side to describe the case from their point of view. The parties may then go to separate rooms and discuss the case with the mediator individually, or everyone may discuss the dispute as a group. If the parties reach an agreement, their attorneys will put the agreement into writing or the mediator will prepare a written memorandum of agreement stating the agreed-upon terms.
The parties and their attorneys have the option of selecting a certified mediator. The N.C. Dispute Resolution Commission, which certifies mediators, keeps a database of qualified mediators for various types of cases, along with a guide to selecting a mediator. If you and the opposing party do not select a mediator or cannot agree on a choice, the court will appoint your mediator.
If you have an attorney, talk with your attorney about this process. You may be entitled to a transcript without paying costs in advance if you are entitled to a court-appointed attorney on appeal. If you are not eligible for a court-appointed attorney on appeal and need a transcript for an appeal, you should consult with an attorney. If you want a transcript for purposes other than appeal, you should contact the court reporter who was present during your proceeding and arrange to pay his/her fee for preparing the transcript. Court reporters set their rates independently, so questions about rates should be referred to the individual court reporter. If there was no court reporter present during the proceeding, there may be an audio recording available from the clerk.