Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed the week of September 11-15 as North Carolina Magistrate Week in the state of North Carolina. In a proclamation signed by the Governor, North Carolina Magistrate Week commends the men and women serving as magistrates from our coast to our mountains as “the gateway to the North Carolina Judicial System and are vital to the protection of individual rights and the proper administration of justice.”|
Most North Carolina citizens may be familiar with the magistrate’s role in criminal proceedings, which includes conducting initial appearances, setting conditions of release, and issuing warrants. On the civil side, magistrates hear small claims cases, enter orders for summary ejectment (evictions), determine involuntary commitments, and handle other responsibilities. The magistrate is the only civil official in the state who can perform a marriage.
A magistrate is an independent judicial officer, recognized by the North Carolina Constitution as an officer of the district court. Magistrates take the same oath as judges and are subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct (N.C. Const. art. IV, §10; N.C. General Statutes §§7A-170 and 7A-143).
North Carolina Magistrate Week is an opportunity to educate the public about the important role of the magistrate in the North Carolina Judicial Branch.