With the passage of North Carolina Session Law 2013-159 and the governor’s signature of the bill, jurisdictional limits for the various levels of the state court system changed significantly. Small claims court now can now tackle matters up to $10,000.00. North Carolina
district court is available for those with matters where the amount in controversy is $25,000 or less. Superior court is available for matters in excess of $25,000.00.
When considering whether to handle a matter yourself in small claims court or whether it is more appropriate to retain a lawyer and pursue matters in district court, consider the likelihood of opposition. Remember that a small claims decision can be appealed to district court. At the district court level, a corporation must have counsel. Also, the district court level comes with the possibility, if not probability, of a mandatory arbitration hearing. While decisions from such arbitration hearings are readily appealable, it provides the chance for additional time out of the office and expenses.