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Court Programs

District and superior court programs and services offer citizens avenues for resolving conflict in a less adversarial, more effective way. For more information on the various court programs available in New Hanover County, please click here; for Pender County court programs, please click here

Community Empowerment Court

Community Empowerment Court (CEC) is a Mental Health Court program designed for justice involved individuals who have a diagnosed/identified mental illness contributing to their contact with the criminal justice system. Community Empowerment Court represents an additional resource, amongst others in New Hanover County, for justice involved individuals. This court has a vital role in assisting its participants in managing their mental illness and reducing recidivism. Community Empowerment Court employs a collaborative approach to mental health treatment, with a team consisting of the following professionals: the Judge, Assistant District Attorney, Defense Attorney, Mental Health Treatment Provider, Probation, Officer, and Treatment Court Coordinator. CEC meets the 2nd Friday of each month and is presided over by Judge Lindsey McKee. For more information please contact Michael Billinger.

Criminal Record Expunction

Please see the attached brochure for current expunction information prepared by the North Carolina Justice Center. The DA's Office does not process requests for expungement, but we are entirely supportive of individuals moving past their criminal activity to become more productive members of our community.  


District Attorney Leadership Academy 

The DA's Office hosts a one-week camp each summer for rising 11th and 12th graders who are interested in learning more about the judicial system. Summer 2024 dates coming soon; contact Christine Shuler for more information. 

Drug & DWI Treatment Court (New Hanover only)

Persons with non-violent histories who are diagnosed with drug addiction may have their cases diverted to Drug & DWI Treatment Court, which meets on alternate Friday mornings, beginning at 8:00 am, before the honorable Judge James Faison III. Defendants appear every two weeks before the same judge and treatment professionals to monitor progress. Rigorous probation standards, frequent drug testing, and swift sanctions are key components to the success of individuals who remain integrated into the community through employment or schooling while fighting their addictions. You can learn more about Treatment Court here.

Juvenile Court

The District Attorney's Office prosecutes juvenile cases for defendants under 16 years of age. Juvenile Court is held every Tuesday at 9:00 am in New Hanover and on the first Friday of each month at 9:00 am in Pender. All information pertaining to Juvenile Court is strictly confidential; if you have questions, please call our front desk at 910-772-6900.

Teen Court

Juvenile offenders charged with non-violent offenses can have cases diverted from Juvenile Court into Teen Court where the case is heard before a jury of their peers. All participants, with the exception of the judge, are teenagers. Defendants must admit responsibility in order to be eligible, so the hearing is regarding the appropriate sentence rather than guilt or innocence. Teen Court is facilitated by Communities in Schools of Cape Fear; for more information please contact Tamia Boyd at 910-707-4347 or tamia@ciscapefear.orgYou can read more about Ben David's thoughts on Teen Court in this article.

Underage Drinking Ticket & Fake IDs Deferred Prosecution

Our office, in partnership with NC ABC, introduced the Underage Drinking Ticket Deferred Prosecution program in 2014, one of four pilot programs in the state. The program allows for deferred prosecution of first-time offenders under 21 who are charged with drinking offenses who instead take part in education programs that include community service, time spent observing incoming traumas at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center emergency department, DWI Treatment Court, completion of the StreetSafe Alcohol & Drug Education Program, and 12 months’ probation. Upon completion of these requirements, the charges would be dismissed. In 2016, the program was expanded to include the provision that defendants charged with a fake-ID offense will have to surrender their real driver’s license to the court for 60 days. If an individual is found to have driven during these 60 days, they will face a termination of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

Veterans Treatment Court 

Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) provides support and rehabilitation for justice-involved veterans who have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and/or Mental Illness, giving them the opportunity for treatment rather than incarceration. VTC connects justice-involved veterans to comprehensive substance use and/or mental health treatment programs, VA services, education, vocational programs, and community partner referrals, all while judicially monitoring the participant. VTC is a collaborative process that includes the Judge, Prosecutor, Defense Counsel, Mental Health Professional, Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist, County Veteran Services, VTC Coordinator, Probation Officer, Veterans Mentor Coordinator, and other community-based support organizations. VTC is a “one-stop shop” linking veterans to programs, benefits, and services they have earned. VTC meets the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month and is presided over by Judge Robin W. Robinson. For more information please contact Michelle Taylor.

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