Partly Cloudy

Special Proceedings, Juvenile Division  

General Information

Special Proceedings (such as adoptions; foreclosures; incompetency and guardianship proceedings; name changes; partitions of property and legitimations) are filed on the 1st floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse. The filing fee for all Special Proceedings is $120.00, except foreclosures which are $300.00.  There will be an additional $3.00 copy charge for name changes.

Some Special Proceedings have forms available – others do not. We have forms available for adoption; incompetency and guardianship; and name changes. All other Special Proceedings must be drafted by you or your attorney.

Juvenile Information

All juvenile court records are confidential.

Name Changes

There are several legal means of having your name changed: names may be changed by an Adoption Decree; through an application by a widow or divorced woman for the resumption of a maiden name, name of a prior deceased husband, or prior divorced husband if children have that husband’s surname. Additionally, a petition may be filed as a Special Proceeding before the Clerk of Superior Court for any other name change. The filing fee for the latter name change is $120.00, plus an additional $3.00 charge for copies.

Resumptions of Prior Name are not filed as Special Proceedings – these are filed in the Civil Division of our office. To resume a prior name, you will need to fill out the application forms and bring a certified copy of the divorce or death certificate.

Changing your name:
If you are not resuming a prior name but would still like your name changed or the name of your child changed, you must complete the Name Change forms which are located in the Special Proceedings Division of our office, located on the 1st floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse. Before the Clerk of Superior Court may approve your name change, you must have posted notice at the courthouse of your intent to change your name for at least 10 days and prove that you have a good and sufficient reason for the name change. You must also have at least two citizens of the county who know you to file an affidavit giving proof of your good character. You must also provide a certified criminal history for all counties in which you have resided. When you come to our office to pick up the name change forms, there will be a more detailed instruction sheet to explain this process.

Emancipation of Minors

A minor who is 16 years of age or older may pick up a Petition for Emancipation in the Juvenile Division of our office, located on the 1st  floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse. The minor’s parent cannot complete the Petition for Emancipation for the minor – the minor must complete and file the Petition on his/her own.

Foreclosures

Information contained herein is not intended as legal advice. The Clerk of Superior Court and staff are specifically prohibited by law from giving legal advice.  A foreclosure is a judicial proceeding; therefore, you should contact an attorney for specific advice.

Process:
A Notice of Hearing is issued and a hearing is scheduled. The Order of Sale assigns a date for the property to be sold at public auction. Auctions are conducted on the 1st floor of the courthouse in front of the stairs. Notices of Sale are posted on the bulletin board on the first floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse. After a property is sold a Report of Sale is filed with the Clerk of Court by the trustee. The law provides a ten day period for an upset bid to be filed. After ten days passes without an upset bid, a final report of sale is filed with the Clerk of Court.

Upset bids:
Any interested party may come to the 1st floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse, Special Proceedings Division, to file an upset bid.  The bid must be raised by at least 5%. 5% of the new bid must be deposited with the Clerk of Superior Court. (5% or $750 whichever is greater). The deposit will be required in the form of certified check, money order or cash. A new ten day upset bid period begins. When no further upset bids are filed in the ten day period the property will  then be considered legally sold to the highest bidding party.  If the highest bidding party defaults on the bid, they may lose some or all of their deposit and a new sale will begin.

Adoptions

Adoptions are Special Proceedings filed before the Clerk of Superior Court. The adoption petition forms are available in the Special Proceedings Division of our office, located on the 1st floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse. The filing fee for an adoption is $120.00. Although our staff will assist you with procedural questions, we are specifically prohibited by law from giving you legal advice. It is recommended that you seek legal counsel.

Incompetency and Guardianship Proceedings

Individuals who do not have the capacity to make and communicate important decisions about their personal and financial affairs may require the assistance of a legally appointed decision maker, a guardian, to help them exercise their rights. The guardian must allow the individual the opportunity to participate, as fully as possible, in all decisions affecting them. In order to make decisions based on what the individual would decide the guardian should seek information from the individual, the individual’s family, friends, or a type of legal document such as a Living Will or Healthcare Power of Attorney.

A person who has been declared incompetent can have their guardianship reversed and be restored to competency. The person who has a guardian, the guardian, or any other interested person can ask the Clerk of Superior Court to re-open the case. This is done by filing a written motion or petition with the clerk’s office. The individual petitioning for the restoration is entitled to be represented by counsel, or if they are financially unable, a guardian ad litem can be appointed to represent them in the hearing. In order to be restored to competency the individual must prove that he or she is able to manage their own affairs and make and communicate important decisions concerning their self, family, and property.

Involuntary Commitments

Involuntary Commitments should be a last resort. Involuntary Commitment is an extremely intrusive intervention into someone’s life.

The criteria that must be met in order for someone to be committed are an individual must be mentally ill or a substance abuser AND facts must be presented to support dangerousness in the relevant past. The petitioner must also know where the party they are seeking to commit currently is for law enforcement to serve and transport them for evaluation. Anyone with knowledge that an individual would meet the criteria for commitment must complete an Affidavit and Petition for Involuntary Commitment with the Clerk’s office or the Magistrates office. The person filing the petition must have spoken with or seen the individual whom they are seeking to commit within the last 24-48 hours to verify their current mental status. The petitioner must have facts to support the need for evaluation. During the week, Monday through Friday, the petitioner may come to the Clerk’s office, on the 1st floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse, between 8:30 am and 5pm to file their request. For all other times and days, including weekends and holidays, the Buncombe County Magistrates office is available to handle your requests.