Mike Lands

Victim Witness

Joyce Heflin

Betty Clinton

Guardian Ad
Litem program

Joanne Cranke

Public Defender
Kellum Morris

Trial Court

Art Bernardino


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Court is held at the Gaston County Courthouse, 325 N. Marietta St., Gastonia.

Small Claims Court
Handles disputes between landlords and tenants, property damage and contract problems that involve less than $3,000.
Magistrate: Larry Brown
Phone: (704) 852-3249

Juvenile Court
Handles cases of youths under the age of 16, including their own delinquency or neglect and abuse by parents.

District Court
Trials for misdemeanor criminal cases and probable cause hearings. Civil matters involving a monetary amount of less than $10,000 and domestic cases are heard in District Court. Judges must be attorneys and residents of Gaston County. They are elected to four-year terms.

Harley B. Gaston Jr., chief judge
Joyce A. Brown
Catherine C. Stevens
Melissa A. Magee
Ralph Gingles
Betty Kelso, legal assistant
Phone: (704) 852-3117

Probate Court
Administer estates
Clerk, Judge of Probate: Betty B. Jenkins
Phone: (704) 852-3256

Superior Court
Trials for felony criminal cases and civil matters involving a monetary amount of more than $15,000. Judges from the western part of North Carolina serve six months in Gaston County on a rotating basis.

Resident Superior Court judges
Jesse B. Caldwell III, senior resident
Timothy L. Patti
Pat West, legal assistant
Phone: (704) 852-3119

Grand Jury
The 18-member grand jury investigates criminal cases to determine whether there is enough evidence against the defendant to send the case to Superior Court for trial. Members of the grand jury may investigate the jail and any matters they wish.

Jury Selection
Selected from two lists, one of all licensed drivers in Gaston County and another of all registered voters in Gaston County. The two lists are combined so names are not duplicated. Purged from the list also are persons convicted of felonies, persons who have served as jurors in the last two years and persons who have permanent exemption for medical reasons or are over the age of 65. Jurors receive notice of the date and time they are to appear in court for the selection process.

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The Gaston Chamber of Commerce
601 W. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, North Carolina 28052

Phone: 704-864-2621
Toll Free: 1-800-348-8461
Fax: 704-854-8723


Copyright 1999-2000, The Gaston Gazette, The Shelby Star.
A Freedom Communications, Inc., Company.  All rights reserved.