North Carolina

North Carolina in the United States

Legal Materials

Internet links to North Carolina government agencies, statutes, regulations, cases, etc. are posted by FindLaw, Washlaw and the Georgetown Law Library. Primary legal materials are also available from Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law and LOISLaw. Google Scholar has free cases back to 1950; subscription sites Versuslaw and Fastcase also have cases back to 1950. Supreme and appellate court cases are reported in West’sSouth Eastern Reporter.

To check the status of pending bills, pull up the Bills page of the General Assembly Web site or call the North Carolina Legislative Library (919-733-9390 or 919-733-7778).

Click here for a picture of the North Carolina court system.

For a thorough discussion of North Carolina law, see Strong’s North Carolina Index 4th: An Encyclopedic Treatment of North Carolina Law, available in print or on Westlaw (NCINDEX). For a discussion of North Carolina legal research, see the North Carolina Legal Research Guide (W.S. Hein) by Scott Childs and Nick Sexton or the conciseLegal Research in North Carolina (Carolina Academic Press) by Miriam Baer.

For legislative history information, see North Carolina Legislative History: Step by Step by the North Carolina Legislative Library and/or Legislative History Research in North Carolina by Amanda McCabe. If you have questions, contact the North Carolina Legislative Library (919-733-9390 or 919-733-7778).

Attorney General Opinions: AG opinions are posted back to 1977 on the Legal Opinions page posted by the North Carolina Department of Justice. You can contact the DOJ to get earlier opinions (919-716-6400 or North Carolina AG opinions are also available through Lexis (1997-present) and Westlaw (1997-present). Older AG Opinions are available in print in Biennial Report of the Attorney General of the State of North Carolina; PDFs are available through LLMC Digital (1889-1992) or you can call a library that holds the Biennial Report.

Docket Sheets and Case Filings: Docket sheet databases are available for the Supreme Court of North Carolina, the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Business Court. You can get case information for North Carolina Superior and District courts through CourtLink. has criminal and civil docket sheets, infractions, civil judgments, and driving records. Court Logic has civil and criminal cases, driving records and motor vehicle registration records.

Both docket sheets and selected case filings for the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases are available back to 2000 through the court system’sDocument Library. Older filings can be obtained (1) by contacting the relevant court or (2) in print and microfiche Records and Briefs collections (see the Court Records and Briefs page posted by the Kathrine R. Everitt Law Library at the University of North Carolina).

Jury Instructions: North Carolina Pattern Jury Instructions for Civil, Criminal, and Motor Vehicle cases are available from the UNC School of Government.

News: North Carolina’s legal newspaper is the North Carolina Lawyers Weekly. The business newspaper is Business North Carolina.

For questions about North Carolina legal materials, copies and/or inter-library loan, try calling the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law Library (919-962-1321) and/or Duke University School of Law Library (919-613-7121).

For document retrieval, Dash Courier and Logistics (888-755-3274) covers the major cities in North and South Carolina. They also make filings with the courts, land records and secretary of state offices.

Note: We linked the resources to in an effort to decrease the number of broken links cited.

For more U.S. state primary law resources, see:

Topics Covered by the North Carolina Legal Encyclopedia

Note: More detailed information about this State is provided in the North Carolina jurisdictional legal Encyclopedia, which tie together North Carolina statutory and case law.

Topics include:

  • North Carolina Statutes
  • NC Cases & Case Law
  • North Carolina Legal Websites
  • NC State Government Info
  • North Carolina Counties
  • North Carolina Cities
  • North Carolina Legislation
  • NC Court Reporters/Depositions
  • North Carolina Legal Forms
  • North Carolina Courts
  • NC State Bar/Legal Associations
  • NC Law Enforcement
  • North Carolina Media Sources


See Also

North Carolina: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about North Carolina. This part provides references, in relation to North Carolina, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about North Carolina by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about North Carolina and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about North Carolina or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to North Carolina and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting North Carolina. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about North Carolina should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to North Carolina when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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