Judicial Department.

Article 28.
Uniform Costs and Fees in the Trial Divisions.


7A-305. Costs in civil actions.

(a) In every civil action in the superior or district court, except for actions brought under Chapter 50B of the General Statutes, the following costs shall be assessed:
  1. For the use of the courtroom and related judicial facilities, the sum of twelve dollars ($12.00) in cases heard before a magistrate, and the sum of sixteen dollars ($16.00) in district and superior court, to be remitted to the county in which the judgment is rendered, except that in all cases in which the judgment is rendered in facilities provided by a municipality, the facilities fee shall be paid to the municipality. Funds derived from the facilities fees shall be used in the same manner, for the same purposes, and subject to the same restrictions, as facilities fees assessed in criminal actions.
  2. For support of the General Court of Justice, the sum of sixty-nine dollars ($69.00) in the superior court, and the sum of fifty-four dollars ($54.00) in the district court except that if the case is assigned to a magistrate the sum shall be forty-three dollars ($43.00). Sums collected under this subdivision shall be remitted to the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall remit the sum of one dollar and five cents ($1.05) of each fee collected under this subdivision to the North Carolina State Bar for the provision of services described in G.S. 7A-474.4.

(a1) Reserved for future codification purposes.

(a2) In every final action for absolute divorce filed in the district court, a cost of twenty dollars ($20.00) shall be assessed against the person filing the divorce action. Costs collected by the clerk pursuant to this subsection shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for deposit to the North Carolina Fund for Displaced Homemakers established under G.S. 143B-394.10. Costs assessed under this subsection shall be in addition to any other costs assessed under this section.

(b) On appeal, costs are cumulative, and when cases heard before a magistrate are appealed to the district court, the General Court of Justice fee and the facilities fee applicable in the district court shall be added to the fees assessed before the magistrate. When an order of the clerk of the superior court is appealed to either the district court or the superior court, no additional General Court of Justice fee or facilities fee shall be assessed.

(b1)When a defendant files an answer in an action filed as a small claim which requires the entire case to be withdrawn from a magistrate and transferred to the district court, the difference between the General Court of Justice fee and facilities fee applicable to the district court and the General Court of Justice fee and facilities fee applicable to cases heard by a magistrate shall be assessed. The defendant is responsible for paying the fee.

(c) The clerk of superior court, at the time of the filing of the papers initiating the action or the appeal, shall collect as advance court costs, the facilities fee, General Court of Justice fee, and the divorce fee imposed under subsection (a2) of this section, except in suits by an indigent. The clerk shall also collect the fee for discovery procedures under Rule 27(a) and (b) at the time of the filing of the verified petition.

(d) The following expenses, when incurred, are also assessable or recoverable, as the case may be:

  1. Witness fees, as provided by law.
  2. Jail fees, as provided by law.
  3. Counsel fees, as provided by law.
  4. Expense of service of process by certified mail and by publication.
  5. Costs on appeal to the superior court, or to the appellate division, as the case may be, of the original transcript of testimony, if any, insofar as essential to the appeal.
  6. Fees for personal service and civil process and other sheriff's fees, as provided by law. Fees for personal service by a private process server may be recoverable in an amount equal to the actual cost of such service or fifty dollars ($50.00), whichever is less, unless the court finds that due to difficulty of service a greater amount is appropriate.
  7. Fees of guardians ad litem, referees, receivers, commissioners, surveyors, arbitrators, appraisers, and other similar court appointees, as provided by law. The fee of such appointees shall include reasonable reimbursement for stenographic assistance, when necessary.
  8. Fees of interpreters, when authorized and approved by the court.
  9. Premiums for surety bonds for prosecution, as authorized by G.S. 1-109.

(e) Nothing in this section shall affect the liability of the respective parties for costs as provided by law. (1965, c. 310, s. 1; 1967, c. 108, s. 10; c. 691, s. 30; 1971, c. 377, ss. 23, 24; c. 1181, s. 1; 1973, c. 503, ss. 12-14; c. 1267, s. 3; 1975, c. 558, s. 3; 1975, 2nd Sess., c. 980, ss. 2, 3; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1234, s. 1; 1981, c. 555, s. 6; c. 691, s. 2; 1983, c. 713, ss. 4-6; 1989, c. 786, s. 2; 1991, c. 742, s. 15(b); 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 811, s. 2; 1993, c. 435, s. 6; 1995, c. 275, s. 2; 1998-212, s. 29A.12(b); 1998-219, ss. 2, 3; 2000-109, s. 4(b); 2001-424, s. 22.14(b); 2002-126, ss. 29A.4(b), 29A.6(e).)

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