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
Handles cases of youths under the age of 16, including their own
delinquency or neglect and abuse by parents.
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
Betty Kelso, legal assistant
Phone: (704) 852-3117
Clerk, Judge of Probate: Betty B. Jenkins
Phone: (704) 852-3256
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
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.
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.