NC Magistrates

Certification Program

About the SOG Judicial College’s Certification Program for Magistrates

The Judicial College offers magistrates the opportunity to become certified upon completion of a specific combination of Judicial College seminars and general training events. Two types of certification are offered, one in criminal law and the other in small claims law. Participation in the Certification Program is entirely optional, and no advance application or declaration of interest is required. The purpose of the certification program is to acknowledge and document the commitment and accomplishments of magistrates who pursue a focused course of study in these areas. There is no time limit within which the required courses must be completed. 

The requirements for certification in each track are set out below. Courses previously attended are eligible for credit if marked with an asterisk.


Small Claims Certification (five components):

___       Decision-Making (offered annually in August or September)

___       Introduction to Small Claims I*

___       Landlord-Tenant Law (formerly Introduction to Small Claims II)

___       One Regional One-Day Small Claims School* or six hours of small claims sessions at the Magistrates’ Fall and/or Spring Conferences

___       One Special Topic Seminar in Small Claims* (may appear on transcript as Advanced Small Claims) or two One-Day Regional Small Claims Schools*


Criminal Law Certification (five components)

___       Decision-Making (offered annually in August or September)

___       Advanced Criminal Procedure* (offered bi-annually)

___       DWI and Related Offenses* (offered bi-annually)

___       What Magistrates Need to Know about Domestic Violence* (offered bi-annually)

___       One Regional One-Day Criminal Law School* or six hours of criminal law sessions at the Magistrates’ Fall and/or Spring Conferences


The procedure for seeking certification is simple:

  1. Each fall the Judicial College will notify magistrates that they may file a request for certification anytime within an identified two-week period.
  2. In addition to completing the online request form, magistrates will be required to provide written documentation from the AOC Learning Management Center verifying their completion of the required training events.
  3. In the fall, the Judicial College will publish a list of the newly certified magistrates, in addition to issuing a letter of certification and formal certificate. The accomplishment of these magistrates will be publicized by the School of Government as well as by the Administrative Office of the Courts and the NC Magistrates Association.  


We hope that most of your immediate questions are answered in the FAQ’s document which may be accessed here. Ifyou have additional concerns, please reach out to Dona Lewandowski or Caroline Cummings.