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How to Be a Justice of the Peace in North Carolina

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Another name for a justice of the peace in North Carolina is a magistrate. According to the North Carolina Magistrates Association, a justice of the peace in the state officiates over civil wedding ceremonies and other civil and criminal issues. A justice of the peace’s criminal responsibility can include issuing summonses, arrest warrants, subpoenas and search warrants. In addition, he holds bond hearings to set bail for anyone charged with a criminal offense. Civilly, a justice of the peace can determine the legality of evictions and matters in small claims court.

Live in the North Carolina county in which you wish to be a justice of the peace.

Earn a four-year degree from an institution of higher education or a two-year degree and four years of experience in a related field.

Apply to the county Clerk of Superior Court, who will forward the application to the Resident Superior Court Judge for appointment consideration.

Complete a 40-hour basic training course offered by the state's Institute of Government in civil and criminal duties after appointment.

Complete continuing-education courses on criminal, civil and juvenile law when North Carolina offers them.

Repeat the Institute of Government's basic training course for magistrates to be re-appointed.


Joseph Horst began writing professionally in 2005. His works can be found on Web sites like CasinoCashJourney and also in the East Carolina University library. Horst received a Master of Arts in English from East Carolina University in 2005 and has experience writing plays, short stories and novels.