The court system has various parts to it. There are multiple courts that will hear cases, and the court your case will go to depends on certain factors.
The first factor is whether your case is civil or criminal. If you are suing someone, then you have a civil case. You will need a civil court, but there are options that depend on the details of your case. According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, if you are suing for damages between $5,000 and $10,000, then your case will likely go to small claims court.
The maximum amount of damages you can ask for through small claims court depends on the county in which you file your case. The amount varies and the counties each will set the rules.
Also, you will not go before a judge in this court. Instead, a magistrate, which is an officer appointed by a judge, will hear your case.
Small claims court is usually for cases that are rather simple. They often have to do with contracts and breaches. For example, lien enforcement and evictions often go to small claims court.
You should note that if your case is not eligible for small claims court due to the number of damages involved, you cannot go to this court. However, if you qualify for small claims court, you can opt to go to the district court instead. You do not have to go through small claims court just because your case qualifies.
One thing to keep in mind about small claims court is the process is usually cheaper and quicker, which is why it is an option.