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Civil Division

Civil matters are filed in one of three court divisions depending on the relief being sought: Small Claims Court; District Court; and Superior Court. These courts are located on the 1st floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse.

Important! The Clerk of Superior Court and staff are specifically prohibited by law from giving you legal advice.

Absolute Divorces & Resuming Maiden Name

Resuming a Prior Name or Maiden Name

Once you have a divorce judgment, you may resume your maiden name through the Clerk's Office for a fee of $10.

Additionally, you may resume the name of a prior deceased husband or previously divorced husband (if you have children with that husband's surname) by using the same forms that are located in the Civil Division of the Clerk's Office. You will need a copy of the divorce or death certificate to attach to the application forms. If the divorce or death occurred in another state you will need to attach a certified copy of the divorce judgment or death certificate to your request.

Notice: If requests are mailed in please have signatures notarized.

Small Claims Court

Examples, Filing Fees, and Forms for Small Claims Actions.

Small Claims

Small Claims are civil matters involving less than $5,000 in controversy and which are heard by a magistrate. Small Claims actions must be filed in the county where the defendant resides. Small Claims actions are usually heard within thirty (30) days from the filing of the action.

Examples of Small Claims Actions

  • Landlord-Tenant Disputes
  • Complaints for Money Owed
  • Complaints Seeking the Recovery of Personal Property

Note: If you are filing your Small Claim by mail, make sure to include two separate checks to cover these fees.

Fees & Forms

Small Claims Statutory Filing Fee
$96.00
Sheriff's Service Fee
$30.00 per defendant

District & Superior Court

District Court

District Court has jurisdiction over actions appealed from Small Claims Court; domestic / family law cases; and actions seeking $10,000 in money damages or less.

Superior Court

Superior Court has jurisdiction over matters appealed from the Clerk of Court—except in adoption cases—and actions seeking more than $10,000 in money damages.


Note: Unlike Small Claims matters no forms are available for filing a civil action in District or Superior Court, and the legal process is much more formal. You are advised to consult with a qualified attorney for actions in these courts.

Fees

District Court Filing
$150.00
Superior Court Filing
$200.00
Sheriff's Service
$30.00

Judgments

Collection of Judgment

Typically, a judgment is enforced by having the Clerk issue a Writ of Execution - A Writ of Execution is an order commanding the Sheriff to seize and sell the defendant's property in order to satisfy your judgment.

You may go through the execution process as many times as you like during the 10-year life of the judgment.

Before a Writ of Execution is issued on an individual you must issue a Notice of Right to Have Exemptions Designated along with a Motion to Claim Exempt Property.

There is a $25 fee made payable to the Clerk of Court for the issuance of an Execution. In addition a $30 fee, made payable to the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office, is required to process service on the request.

Foreign Judgments

A foreign judgment is a process by which a judgment from another jurisdiction, such as another state, county, or federal court, is placed on record in Buncombe County for the purpose of collecting on said judgment. In order to become effective, the party filing the judgment must notify the defendant of the filing and inform them that they have thirty (30) days to file any objections.


Civil Judgments

A civil judgment for money is valid for 10 years and may be extended by the creditor for an additional 10 year period. Typically, a civil judgment is picked up by the various credit reporting agencies that court records daily. Once noted on a credit report a civil judgment may seriously impair a debtor's ability to receive loans and other credit.

The judgment creditor (party awarded the judgment) may also have a Writ of Execution issued by the Clerk, ordering the Sheriff to collect the judgment from the debtor. If the debtor does not pay the Sheriff, the Sheriff may seize and sell any available property in order to satisfy the judgment. Judgment collection procedures are discussed below.

Liens

Additionally, a civil judgment acts as a lien against all real property owned by the defendant and will attach to all real property acquired in the future, for as long as the judgment is valid.

Many liens are also filed in the Clerk's Office, including State and Federal tax liens, Employment Security Liens, and Material men's Liens.

If you are a General Contractor or Subcontractor and have not been paid on a project, you may be able to file a Claim of Lien in our office for a nominal fee. There are no forms available for Claims of Lien — it is recommended that you consult with an attorney to advise you whether a Claim of Lien should be filed, and if so, to draft this document for you. The Clerk's staff cannot advise you about your legal rights.


Payment In-Person

You may pay a judgment by making your payment at the Clerk's Office. To completely pay a judgment into the Clerk's Office, you must pay the total amount owed, including court costs and interest.

To make payment on a judgment into the Clerk's Office, you must pay in cash or certified funds. All payments received are mailed to the plaintiff and credited against the judgment.

Please contact the attorney of record and/or the creditor for pay-off amounts.

Payment by Mail

To mail your payment on a judgment please send us a letter with the file number and case caption of the judgment you are paying, as well as your full name, address and telephone number. Clearly indicate in your letter that you wish to pay a civil judgment. If you would like a receipt from our office, please request one in your letter and enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for its return.

Judgment Creditor's Duty to Cancel & Credit Judgments

If you are a judgment creditor (person who was awarded a judgment) and have received payments from the defendant, those payments MUST be reflected on the judgment in our office.

Credits and cancellations of a judgment should be made immediately but in no event later than 60 days from receiving the payment.

Important! Your failure to notify the Clerk's Office of payments on a judgment may make you liable for the defendant's damages, attorney's fees, and you may also be fined by the court.

To notify our office of a payment on a judgment you or your attorney of record may visit in person with valid photo ID to have one of our staff credit or cancel the judgment.

If you would prefer to do this by mail, you may send us a signed and notarized Notice of Credit or Notice of Cancellation to:

Clerk of Superior Court
Attention: Civil Judgments

60 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801

Note: Remember to have the file number and case caption on the Notice—otherwise, we will have to return it to you for correction.

Locate & Contact

Clerk of Superior Court

Contact

Steven D. Cogburn
Clerk of Superior Court
P. (828) 259-3400

Mailing Address

Buncombe County Courthouse
60 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801-3519

Courier Box Number: 12-79-02


Additional Fax Numbers

  • Criminal Division
    828-259-3374
  • Civil Division
    828-259-3401
  • Small Claims
    828-259-3373
  • Estates
    828-259-3378
  • Jury
    828-259-3371
  • Information Window
    828-259-3370