Hearings Division

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Procedural Rules That Apply To Contested Cases In County Courthouses

Four of North Carolina’s Administrative Law Judges have chambers in county courthouses outside of Wake County. Judge Jonathan S. Dills is the resident administrative law judge in the Winston-Salem Courthouse. Judge Selina Malherbe is the resident administrative law judge in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. Judge Samuel K. Morris is the resident administrative law judge in the Jacksonville, Onslow County Courthouse. Judge David F. Sutton is the resident administrative law judge in the Haywood County Courthouse. 


When contested cases are scheduled to be heard in these courthouses, the emergency crisis administrative orders and protocols issued by the Senior Resident Superior Court judges in those counties control.  These orders and protocols supersede the directives issued by the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Raleigh headquarters of the Office of Administrative Hearings. You may find a copy of the Administrative Orders governing those counties respectively at one of the following links: Guilford County, Haywood County, Onslow County, Mecklenburg County. 


Ethics Rules for OAH ALJs

In addition, when contested cases are scheduled to be heard in any of North Carolina’s one hundred counties, the emergency crisis administrative orders and protocols of the respective Senior Resident Superior Court judge controls all aspects of the hearings in those county courthouses.  These emergency orders can be found on the website of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts at the following link:  https://www.nccourts.gov/locations

About the Hearings Division

The Hearings Division provides a forum for an independent hearing before an administrative law judge when a dispute with a state agency involving a person's rights, duties, or privileges cannot be resolved through informal procedures. The statutory procedures governing Administrative Hearings before OAH are found in Articles 3 and 3A of Chapter 150B, the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The regulatory procedures are found in Title 26, Chapter 3 of the North Carolina Administrative Code.

You may be represented by an attorney at your administrative hearing or you may appear on your own behalf, unless you are a business entity (such as a corporation). If you are a business entity, you must be represented by an attorney or file a Notice of Non-Attorney Representation, found on the Hearing Forms page. It is up to you to decide whether you will retain an attorney. OAH cannot advise you on this decision and cannot recommend an attorney.  Unless your case is a Medicaid Recipient Appeal, you may not be represented by anyone who is not an attorney.

There are filing fees for certain types of contested cases - see Contested Case Filing Fees for a representative list of fees. You may petition OAH to waive the filing fee in cases of financial hardship by filing the Indigent Status Petition Form, found on the Hearing Forms page, at the same time that you file your Petition.

Once your hearing is scheduled, there is a cancellation fee if you cancel the hearing less than 24 hours before its scheduled time. There is also a fee to obtain a copy of the hearing transcript or audio recording.  For more information about requesting a transcript or audio recording of the hearing, see The Hearing page.


While the Office of Administrative Hearings' main office is located in Raleigh, in order to better serve the citizens of North Carolina, three additional satellite offices have been opened across the State.  These satellite offices are located in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Waynesville, and each are staffed with a full-time Administrative Law Judge.  More information regarding the staff in OAH's satellite offices can be found on the Hearings Staff page.  Administrative Law Judges also regularly travel outside their primary office location to conduct hearings throughout North Carolina.

OAH Hearings Listserv

The Office of Administrative Hearings maintains an email notification list to send notice of new Hearings rules or procedures and to send any other information the Chief Administrative Law Judge determines is helpful to the listserv subscribers. To subscribe or unsubscribe to the NC Hearings listserv, please use the web form found at the following link: http://lists.ncmail.net/mailman/listinfo/hearings.interestedpersons.