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North Carolina Court Records

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Forsyth County Court Records

Courthouses in Forsyth County, North Carolina, typically generate and maintain different types of official documents to conduct their constitutional duties. These include court proceedings, administration, and official personal records. Collectively, these records are known as court records, and they provide information about the general operations of courthouses and the adjudication of legal cases they handle.

Forsyth County court records provide the general public with a detailed account of judicial proceedings in the state. This ensures that legal proceedings, such as trials and hearings, are carried out fairly and without bias. Besides being a tool for accountability and documentation, court records can also be utilized during future litigation, particularly during appeals. Generally, when a case is appealed to the appellate division, the case's initial court records are usually reviewed by the appellate court before its verdict on the appeal.

The Forsyth County courts maintain various court records, which are comprised of numerous documents. These include but are not limited to, affidavits filed with the court, pleadings, evidence submitted to the court, motions, orders, and notices. Court administration records include juror lists, court calendars, timesheets, proposed and completed budgets, receipts, and telephone logs.

Are Court Records Public in Forsyth County?

Yes. Forsyth County court records are subject to the provisions of the North Carolina Public Records Law (N.C.G.S 132-1). The law warrants public disclosure of most records generated or received by government agencies, including court records. Furthermore, N.C.G.S 7A-109(a) requires that every court clerk, pursuant to Administrative Office of the Courts rules, make records that they maintain public.

However, certain court records and documents are exempt from public disclosure. These include and are not limited to:

  • Court records sealed by court order
  • Settlement documents of medical malpractice actions against public hospital facilities per N.C.G.S. 132-1.3(a)
  • Court records of search and arrest warrants before they are returned to courts after being executed by law enforcement agencies, according to N.C.G.S. 132-1.4(k)
  • Information obtained by probation officers which are disclosed to the court, Secretary of Correction, or other qualified public offices or agencies. See N.C.G.S. 15-207
  • Court records that are exempt from public disclosure by other state or federal statutes.

Forsyth County Court Records Search

Interested persons can search Forsyth County court records through the Forsyth County Clerk of Court office. The County Clerk of Court office is responsible for record-keeping and clerical functions of Forsyth County District and Superior courts. Record seekers can also opt to use services provided by third-party aggregate websites to conduct court record searches.

Forsyth County Court Records Search by Name

In Forsyth County, the primary way to conduct a court records search by name is through the Forsyth County Clerk of Court office. Public self-service terminals are provided at the clerk's office so interested persons can search for court records by the names of a party in a case or the case's number. Record seekers can also request copies of court documents at the clerk's office for a fee. Forsyth County Clerk's office is open weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and is located at:

175 N. Chestnut Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Phone: (336) 779-6300

The North Carolina Judicial website hosts an online search portal that can be used to search for case information and court records by name, attorney, case number, and more. However, Forsyth County is not one of ten (10) eCourts North Carolina Counties whose court records are included on the portal.

Forsyth County Courts

There are two types of courts in Forsyth County: The Superior and District courts of Forsyth County, North Carolina. Both courts are situated within Forsyth County Courthouse. The address of the County Courthouse and the contact information of the court is as follows:

Superior and District courts
175 N. Chestnut Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Superior Court Judges Phone: (336) 779-6316
District Court Judges Phone: (336) 779-6318

Forsyth County Superior Court Case Search

Forsyth County Superior Court handles civil cases involving more than $25,000 in dispute, all felony criminal cases, and misdemeanor and infraction appeals from the county district court. The Forsyth County Clerk of Court Office, also known as the Clerk of Superior Court, maintains all case records generated by the County Superior Court.

Hence, individuals interested in searching for or obtaining copies of Forsyth County Superior court case records can do so by querying the county Clerk of Court Office. Record seekers can visit the Forsyth County Clerk of Court Office in person to use self-service terminals available at the office to search for records of cases handled by the County Superior Court. Searches can be conducted by the names of parties involved in a case or a case's number. Physical copies of Superior Court case files and documents may also be requested from the Clerk of Court office for a fee.

Unfortunately, the Forsyth County Clerk of Court Office does not currently provide online resources that record seekers can use to access or search Superior Court case records online.

Forsyth County District Court Records

Forsyth County District Court hears civil cases involving less than $25,000 in dispute and other civil cases, including divorce, child custody, and child support cases. The district court also hears certain juvenile and criminal cases, particularly misdemeanors and infractions.

The Forsyth County Clerk of Court is responsible for the record-keeping and clerical duties of the county district court. Hence, persons seeking copies of Forsyth County District Court records can query the County Clerk's office. Record seekers can visit the clerk's office and use the public self-service terminal located at the office to access district court records. Using the terminal, searches can be conducted using the name of a party involved in a case or the case's number. Record seekers can also request copies of district court case records at the clerk's office for a fee.

Forsyth County Criminal Records

Forsyth County criminal records generated and maintained by local law enforcement agencies are subject to North Carolina Public Records Law. As a result, these records are accessible to individuals who request them from their official custodians. One of the most common types of publicly accessible criminal records in Forsyth County is arrest records.

Interested persons can obtain Forsyth County arrest records by querying the local law enforcement agencies, such as the County Sheriff's Office and municipal police departments. Note that these agencies can only provide records of arrests they conducted. For instance, interested persons can obtain non-certified copies of arrest records the Winston-Salem Police Department maintains from the Department's Record Division in person during weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at:

Winston-Salem Police Department
Vivian H. Burke Public Safety Center
725 North Cherry Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Other municipal police departments, such as the Kernersville Police Department, allow individuals access to arrest records, which, which they maintain online, by phone, and in person. Interested persons can access Kernersville Police Department arrest records online through the Kernersville Police 2 Citizen portal. Meanwhile, to request arrest records by phone or in person, individuals can visit or contact Kernersville Police Department at:

Stockton Law Enforcement Center
134 E Mountain St.
Kernersville, NC 27284
Phone: (336) 996-2366

At the county level, criminal records are accessible through the Forsyth County Clerk of Court office, specifically certified copies of Forsyth arrest records including related court dispositions. Interested persons can request criminal records from the county clerk by utilizing the Criminal Record Search (CR314) form. A requester must complete the CR314 form and submit it to the county clerk's office to request criminal records.

Forsyth County Criminal Court Case Lookup

The county superior court hears certain criminal cases (including all felony cases and misdemeanor and infraction appeals) in Forsyth County. Meanwhile, the county district court handles others (including misdemeanors and infractions). The Forsyth County Clerk of Court office is the official custodian of case records generated by both types of court.

Hence, interested persons can obtain Forsyth County criminal court case records through the County Clerk's office. The primary way of accessing case records the County Clerk maintains is by visiting the clerk's office in person to use public service terminals available at the office to search for a criminal case. Searches can be conducted by a defendant's name, case number, victim name, or witness name. Physical copies of criminal case records can also be requested for a fee.

Get Forsyth County Civil Court Records

In Forsyth County, civil cases fall under the jurisdiction of the County's Superior and District courts. Civil cases involving more than $25,000 are handled by the Superior Court and those involving less than $25,000, divorce, child custody, and child support cases are heard by the District Court. The Forsyth County Clerk of Court office is responsible for the clerical duties of both courts.

Individuals seeking access to Forsyth County civil court records should query the County Clerk of Court office. The county clerk provides public service terminals at its office that record seekers can use to access and search civil case records. The clerk's office staff can also offer record seekers physical copies of civil court records for a fee.

Forsyth County Family Court Records

In Forsyth County, family law cases are heard by the County's District Court. Family law cases include and are not limited to:

  • Divorces
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Domestic violence
  • Adoption
  • Emancipation
  • Parental right termination
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Abortion waivers.

Like other types of cases heard by the Forsyth County District court, family law cases court records are maintained by the Forsyth County Clerk of Court office. Hence, individuals who would like to lookup a public family law case records can visit the clerk's office in person to use the public service terminals that the office provides to search for relevant case records. Searches can be conducted using the party's name or the case's number. The clerk's office staff may also be able to supply interested persons with physical copies of a public family law case's records for a fee.

Forsyth County Dissolution of Marriage Records

In Forsyth County, "Dissolution of Marriage" is a term used interchangeably with "divorce" to refer to the same thing. Forsyth County Dissolution of Marriage records are official documents that provide details and information about a divorce case that was handled by the District Court in the County.

Individuals interested in accessing Dissolution of Marriage records can follow the same steps required to obtain family court records. Given that divorce records (a type of family law case) is another word used to describe "dissolution of marriage" records.

Forsyth County Marriage and Divorce Records

In Forsyth County, separate offices maintain divorce records and marriage records. Furthermore, these records are treated differently. The Forsyth County Clerk of Court office maintains the former (divorce records). Meanwhile, the latter (marriage records) is maintained by the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office.

Forsyth County divorce records are considered public. Anyone can access and obtain copies of these public records, by querying the County Clerk of Court office. Record seekers can visit the clerk's office to use the public service terminals that are provided to search for divorce records. Record seekers can also request physical copies of divorce records from the clerk's office during their in-person visit.

On the other hand, Forsyth County marriage records are considered confidential under state open records laws. As a result, only certain individuals are entitled to certified copies of a marriage certificate. These entitled persons include:

  • The individuals named on the record (the spouses) or either spouse's parent, sibling, child, stepchild, step-parent, or grandparent.
  • A person seeking information for legal determination of property rights.
  • An authorized agent, attorney, and legal representative (proof required).

Eligible persons can request copies of divorce records from the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office in person, by mail, or online. Requesters must provide an acceptable ID when requesting a certified copy of a Forsyth County Marriage certificate. Accepted IDs include any of the following:

  • State-issued driver's license
  • State-issued photo ID
  • US Military ID
  • Passport, Visa
  • Department of Corrections ID
  • State or U.S. government ID

Alternatively, any two of the following documents of ID can suffice:

  • Temporary driver's license
  • Utility bill with current address
  • Car registration or title
  • Bank statement with address
  • Income tax return - W-2 showing address
  • State-issued concealed weapon permit showing address
  • Court document

Note that the presentation of an ID is not required when requesting an unofficial "uncertified" copy (no seal) of a marriage certificate.

For in-person requests, eligible persons can visit the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office. Walk-in requests are allowed. Requesters should come along with an accepted ID (if they wish to request certified copies of a marriage certificate). Requesters are charged $10 for a certified copy of a marriage certificate and 50 cents for an uncertified copy. Accepted forms of payment include cash, credit or debit cards, money orders, and cashier's checks. It is worth noting that in-person requests are processed immediately.

For by-mail requests, eligible persons can complete the Application for a Vital Records Copy and mail it with an enclosed photocopy of their ID (if required) and the necessary fees. The fees for by-mail requests mirror those for in-person requests ($10 for a certified and 50 cents for an uncertified copy). However, accepted forms of payment for by-mail requests include a business check, bank check, or money order. Requesters also are allowed to mail in a handwritten or typed request instead of the aforementioned application form. The request must include the following information:

  • Type of record request (Marriage)
  • Full name on the record
  • Date of marriage
  • The requester's relationship to the person named on the record
  • The requester's signature

Mailed requests should be sent to the county register office at:

Forsyth County Register of Deeds,
Vital Records, 201 North Chestnut Street,
Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

Generally, by mail requests are processed within 2-3 business days. For online requests, eligible persons can use the Register's forsythrod.permitium websites. Note that online requests are significantly costlier at $15.11 per copy for a certified copy of a marriage certificate and can take up to 45 days to get processed.

Forsyth County Birth and Death Records

Forsyth County birth and death records are maintained by the County Register of Deeds office and are treated as confidential records, just like other types of Forsyth County vital records. As a result of the confidential nature of birth records and death records, these records are only accessible to specific eligible individuals. These eligible persons include:

  • The person named on the record (the registrant) and their spouse, parent, sibling, child, stepchild, step-parent, or grandparent.
  • A person seeking information for legal determination of property rights.
  • An authorized agent, attorney, or legal representative (proof required).

Eligible persons must provide certain IDs when requesting a certified copy of a Forsyth County birth certificate or death certificate. Examples of these IDs have been provided in the previous section and are listed on the Register's vitals_copies page. Note that for uncertified copies no ID is required.

Eligible persons can request birth and death certificates from the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office in person, by mail, or online. For in-person requests, eligible persons can visit the register's office. Walk-in visits are allowed. A requester should come with an acceptable form of ID (for certified copy requests). The Register charges $10 for a certified copy and 50 cents for an uncertified copy of birth and death records. Accepted forms of payment include cash, credit or debit cards, money orders, and cashier's checks. It is worth noting that the register processes In-person requests immediately.

For by mail request, eligible persons can utilize the Application for a Vital Records Copy form. Alternatively, a request can be handwritten or typed and must contain the following information:

  • Type of record request (birth or death)
  • Full name on the record
  • Date of birth or death
  • The requester's relationship to the person named on the record
  • The requester's signature

The completed Application for a Vital Records Copy form, the handwritten, or the typed request must be mailed alongside an enclosed photocopy of the requester ID and the required fee. Similar to an in-person request, the register charges $10 for a certified copy and 50 cents for an uncertified copy of birth and death records. Mailed requests are processed within 2-3 business days. Meanwhile, online requests can be made through the Register's forsythrod.permitium website. Online line requests can take up to 45 days to get processed and requesters are charged $15.11 per copy for certified birth or death records they request online.

Forsyth County Probate Court Records

In Forsyth County, probate cases are handled by the County Superior Court. Since the Forsyth County Clerk of Court office serves as the custodian of Superior Court records, interested persons can access and obtain copies of Probate court records by querying the clerk's office. Most probate court records are public.

Public service terminals are provided at the county clerk's office that record seekers can use to access probate court records. Record seekers can also visit the county clerk's office to request physical copies of probate court records for a fee.

Forsyth County Property Records

Three separate public offices maintain property records in Forsyth County. The Forsyth County Clerk of Court office holds information about real estate foreclosure, judgments, and liens. Meanwhile, the Forsyth County Register of Deed office maintains certain land records, including real estate titles, deeds, and plat maps. Lastly, information about a property's value, transfer information (i.e. deeds), land value, sale history, photographs, and tax bill are accessible through the Forsyth County Tax Assessor's Office.

Record seekers can access property records maintained by the Forsyth County Clerk of Court office by visiting the clerk's office in person to use the public service terminal available at the office to conduct a property records search. For property records maintained by the County Register of Deed office, record seekers can search the Register's forsythdeeds website.

On the other hand, the easiest way to search for property information the Forsyth County Tax Assessor's Office holds is through the Assessor's Detailed Property Information look-up portal. Users can search the portal by owner/business name, location address, REID (Real Estate Identification Number), or PIN (Parcel Identification Number).

Forsyth County Court Records Online

Outside traditional government offices, such as the Forsyth County Clerk of Court office, and the resources they provide, Forsyth County court records are also accessible through certain third-party websites like Northcarolinacourtrecords.us. The operators of these third-party websites work with the North Carolina Remote Public Access Program to provide remote access to most public court records generated in Forsyth County through their website.

The main benefit of these third-party websites over traditional government offices is that they eliminate the need to visit the Forsyth County Clerk of Court office to access court records. Public court record searches can typically be carried out on these third-party websites from the comfort of one's home using a computer (such as a laptop), smartphone, or tablet and a stable internet connection. Note that searches can be made by supplying a subject name. Furthermore, these third websites usually charge their users a fee or a subscription to search public records.

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  • And More!