Structure of the Courts

The North Carolina Constitution divides state government into three branches, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
Supreme Court building

Overview

The North Carolina Constitution divides state government into three branches, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. The Judicial Branch is the court system that interprets our constitution and makes decisions about what our laws mean and the consequences for those who break them. The court system is separated into three divisions:

  • Appellate Division
  • Superior Court Division
  • District Court Division

There are no local court systems in North Carolina – our court system is one unified statewide system. The State court system is different from the Federal court system. Most people who go to court are in State courts. The State courts handle most of the court work in North Carolina. Federal court handles federal matters and crimes, including crimes that occur on federal land, across state lines, or interstate.

Learn more about the Judicial System in North Carolina.