Kenly, North Carolina, nicknamed Friendly Kenly, is a small town of only 1.5 square miles, located on the northeastern edge of Johnston County. In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau counted 1,569 residents living in Kenly. Kenly’s population grew by 10.2% between 1990 and 2000. Kenly is situated in two counties--Johnston and Wilson County--with Johnston County as home to a greater share of the town's residents.
The Town of Kenly is located off Interstate 95 at exits 107, 106, and 105. U.S. 301 (Church Street, in town) and NC Highway 222 form the center of downtown Kenly, which is also accessible off Interstate 95 at Exit 107. Kenly is situated less than 10 miles north of Smithfield and Selma, and 20 miles south of Wilson, NC. The Town of Kenly provides year-round recreation for residents with three town parks, the largest being the Kenly Area Parks and Recreation Center, a nine-acre complex with lighted softball and baseball fields, a walking trail, picnic facilities, playground equipment, and other activities.
Kenly's most popular attraction is the Tobacco Farm Life Museum. The museum, started by a group of local families, is dedicated to preserving the history and cultural heritage of Eastern North Carolina farm life. The 6,000-square-foot museum features both permanent and rotating exhibits on farm life, southern medicine, domestic skills, rural social life, and artifacts.
The Kenly Police Department provides professional law enforcement services for Kenly, North Carolina. As of 2008, the Town of Kenly did not allow liquor to be sold by the drink within the town limits. While possibly hindering the opening of new restaurants in Kenly, this program was designed to reduce DUI- and DWI-related accidents within the town.
In Kenly, North Carolina, you'll find two trial courts that hear criminal cases: the Superior Court and District Court. Kenly utilizes the Johnston County Courthouse, located at 207 East Johnston Street in Smithfield. If you’re confused about the terms you hear in court, you may find this listing of criminal law terms helpful.
The State Superior Court is divided into eight divisions and 46 districts. This trial court hears felony criminal cases, as well as misdemeanor and infraction appeals from District Court. The Superior Court hears civil cases where more than $10,000 is in controversy. North Carolina District Courts are divided into four categories: civil, criminal, juvenile, and magistrate. Like the Superior Court, the District Court sits in the county seat. Civil cases involving less than $10,000 are heard in District Court, as are divorce, custody, and child support matters. The District Court also hears criminal matters involving misdemeanors, infractions without a jury and juvenile cases. A magistrate system is used to take guilty pleas in minor misdemeanors and traffic violations.
The Court of Appeals in Raleigh is NC's only intermediate appellate court. Fifteen judges sit in rotating panels of three, deciding questions of law on every case appealed from the Superior and District courts with the exception of death penalty cases. Appeals can range from a parking ticket case to a murder case. Cases where there is a dissent in the Court of Appeals go to the Supreme Court, as do those that the Supreme Court accepts for review through petition. Court of Appeals judges serve eight-year terms.
The Supreme Court of North Carolina, located in Raleigh, is the state's highest court and there is no further appeal in the state from its decisions. This court has a chief justice and six associate justices who sit together as a panel. The Supreme Court has no jury and makes no determination of fact; rather, it considers error in legal procedures or in judicial interpretation of the law.