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Maybe.  Fees and costs for North Carolina’s courts are determined by the North Carolina General Assembly.  Costs for filing your petition for judicial review are between you and your county’s Clerk of Superior Court.

The clerk of superior court or judge may allow you to file your case as an “indigent.” This means that you will not have to pay the costs in advance.  If you are represented by a legal services organization, you will not have to pay costs in advance. If you are not represented by a legal services organization, you can ask the court to let you file as an indigent. You must download and complete Form AOC-G-106 from the Administrative Office of the Courts website.  If you do not fit into any of the categories on the form but still want to ask to file your case as an indigent, the court will probably ask you for information about your income and expenses before deciding whether to allow it.   You should contact the clerk’s office in the county where you plan to file your case to find out what information you may need to provide.

Claimants can generally represent themselves in court.  Corporations must be represented in court by a licensed attorney.  Representation in court must comply with North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 84 and the North Carolina State Bar Rules.  You may consult an attorney for legal advice.

Legal aid organization attorneys, such as Legal Aid of North Carolina, may be able to help you. The State Bar of North Carolina provides resources to help you find an attorney.

The law requires that you explicitly state your specific exceptions (disagreements) to the Board of Review’s decision or procedure in your petition.  You must also state the relief that you seek (what it is that you want the court to do for you). You may consult an attorney for legal advice.

You must serve a copy of the petition in person, or by certified mail, return receipt requested.  You must serve your petition on DES’s registered agent for service of process, and on all parties to the proceedings before the Board of Review.  If you don’t know the names or addresses of the parties, you can call DES’s Legal Services Section and ask for the names and addresses of the parties.  DES’s registered agent for service of process is listed under the Appeals Rights section of your decision.

Claimants must serve a copy of the petition on DES’s registered agent for service of process and on the employer within 10 days after filing it with the court.  Employers must serve a copy of the petition on DES’s registered agent for service of process and on the claimant within 10 days after filing it with the court.

You can become a party to the judicial review proceeding by letting the court know that you want to be a party.  You must inform the court within 10 days after you receive a copy of the petition.  You can inform the court by filing a notice with the Clerk of Superior Court.  You can also ask the court to add you as a party by filing a motion to intervene pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1A-1, Rule 24.

You will have a chance to attend a hearing before a superior court judge.  If you do not file and serve your petition properly, DES will file a motion to dismiss your petition.  If you meet all legal requirements, the judge will review the evidence that the Board of Review used to make its decision. First, the judge will decide whether there was competent evidence in the record to support the Board of Review’s findings of fact.  Next, the judge will decide whether the findings of fact support the Board of Review’s conclusions of law and decision.  If your appeal was dismissed or not allowed and you file a petition for judicial review, the judge will determine whether the Board of Review abused its discretion when it dismissed your appeal or upheld the Appeal Referee’s dismissal or disallowance of your appeal.

If the superior court judge rules against you, you can file an appeal to the appellate division as provided in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-27 and the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.

DES will not pay benefits for weeks that you do not claim.  If you are unemployed, you should file your weekly claim until all appeals have been decided.