• 1 (910) 722-5000
  • P.O. Box 936 Carthage, NC 28327

Special Proceedings

General Information

Special proceedings (such as adoptions; foreclosures; incompetency and guardianship proceedings; name changes; partitions of property and legitimations) are filed in the Clerk of Court's Office of the Moore County Courts Facility Building. The filing fee for all special proceedings is $120.00 except for foreclosures which are $300.00.

Some special proceedings have forms available - others do not. We have forms available for incompetency and guardianship. We also have forms for the name change of a minor that can be used when both parents are available for consent.  At this time we do not have forms available for the name change of an adult. You may want to seek the advice of an attorney prior to filing any special proceeding.

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 per certified copy.

Resuming a Prior Name

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 as an Adult

Currently there are no forms for changing your name. You should seek the help of an attorney in changing your name. Your name may only be changed once in your lifetime and the process requires fingerprinting and state and federal criminal background checks.

Changing Your Name as a Minor

A minor's name may also be changed only once in their lifetime. If both parents are listed on the birth certificate and both will consent to the name change, you may pick up forms at the clerk's office. If there is not a father listed on the birth certificate he may acknowledge paternity in our civil division. You will both need to appear with valid picture identification. If the father is unknown or will not acknowledge paternity you should seek the assistance of an attorney to have the child's name changed.


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.

Foreclosure Process

A Notice of Hearing is issued and served on the parties. 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 Moore County Courts Facility Building. After the property is sold a Report of Sale is filed with the Clerk of Court by the trustee or substitute trustee. The law provides a ten day period for an upset bid to be filed. After ten days passes without an upset bid, and the high bidder pays the balance due to the trustee or substitute trustee. Next, the Clerk's Office will receive a final report from the trustee or substitute trustee.

Upset Bids

Any interested party may come to the Clerk of Court's Office of the Moore County Courts Facility, Special Proceedings Division, to file an upset bid. The bid must be raised by at least 5%. A deposit of 5% or $750.00 (whichever is greater) of the bid must be filed with the Clerk of Court within ten days 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 be scheduled.


Adoptions are special proceedings filed before the Clerk of Superior Court. 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

Anyone, including a family member, may file a petition with the clerk of superior court alleging that an adult should be declared incompetent. Upon filing the clerk will set a hearing date. Copies of the petition and notice of hearing are then served by the sheriff on the alleged incompetent and the petitioner is required to mail certified copies to all the next of kin. The petitioner is responsible for presenting sufficient evidence at the hearing to convince the Clerk or jury that the respondent is incompetent. Once the adult has been determined to be incompetent a guardian will be appointed. Incompetency and guardianship have many serious consequences and the advice of an attorney should be sought prior to filing a petition.

Guardianships for minors are only set up when a minor is inheriting a large sum of money and the court must appoint someone to manage the funds. There is a bonding requirement for all guardians. You will need to contact the clerk's office regarding these requirements.

If both parents of a minor are deceased the court will appoint a guardian of the person for a minor. When there is a living parent one must proceed with custody through the help of an attorney.