In May, the legal reform group HALT released a “report card” on the 50 states with respect to their small claims court systems. You can read the report here.
North Carolina did not fare very well, earning a D. The analysis looked at six different factors, with the most important being the dollar limit on claims. The lower the limit, the more people are compelled to use the more costly regular court system if they want to obtain justice. Georgia, which received the best grade (but only a B) has a limit of $15,000, whereas here it is only $4,000.
The lower the limit, the greater the number of people who won’t be able to pursue a claim because the cost of hiring a lawyer is too high to make the case worthwhile. The General Assembly can and should raise the cap.