Selma, North Carolina, a small, historic town of 5,914 people (U.S. Census 2000), is situated approximately 30 miles southeast of Raleigh in the center of Johnston County, North Carolina. Settled in1867, when lots were sold around a newly established station on the North Carolina Railroad, Selma was officially chartered as a Town on February 11, 1873. The town celebrates their impressive heritage with the annual Railroad Days Festival, held the first weekend in October. Two railroad stations still exist in Selma, NC; the recently renovated 1924 depot, which Amtrak utilizes today, and the Mitchener Station, built in 1855, thought to be the oldest surviving train station in North Carolina.
Selma is known as the New Antique Center of the South, with over a dozen antique stores located in Uptown Selma. The antique shops and malls are all within walking distance of each other on a 1950s-style streetscape. The Selma East Coast Show, held annually, features antique dealers specializing in tools, books, furniture, coins and Confederate money, in addition to general antiques. For antique auto enthusiasts, the Selma Car Classic, held each April, showcases classic cars from the 1920s to 1950s.
A portion of North Carolina's Triangle Region, Selma, NC is only 29 miles from the Research Triangle Park. Interstates 95, Interstate 40 and U.S. 70 serve the town. The Raleigh-Durham International Airport and the Johnston County Airport, just west of Smithfield, also serve Selma. To the southwest, connected by I-95 and U.S. 301, is the Town of Smithfield. To the northwest, connected by U.S. 70, is Wilson's Mills, and to the southeast, connected by U.S. 70A, is Pine Level.
The Selma Police Department protects people and property by providing professional law enforcement services. In Selma, North Carolina, you'll find two trial courts that hear criminal cases: the Superior Court and the District Court. Selma 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.