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Welcome to the website of the Dare County Clerk of Superior Court. Your elected Clerk of Superior Court is The Honorable Dean Martin Tolson.

This site is intended to serve as an informal resource to assist the citizens of Dare County along with other people who may need our services. While it is our mission to fully serve you, the Clerk’s office is prohibited by law from giving/disseminating legal advice. We strongly encourage you to contact an attorney if you have questions of a legal nature.

Thank you for visiting our website and please do not hesitate to contact us should you need more specific information or assistance. It is our privilege to assist the citizens of Dare County.

 - Dean M. Tolson, Clerk of Superior Court



The Dare County Clerk of Superior Court’s office is dedicated to providing access to an impartial forum for the resolution of disputes and efficient service and assistance to all court officials, related agencies, members of the bar, and the public.

Constantly striving for improvement and persistently adhering to the highest level of professionalism and ethical standards are key elements to our success.

We Pledge to:

  • Maintain and safeguard all court records entrusted to us
  • Collect and disburse all monies directed by legal mandates
  • Respect tax payer dollars through efficient support to the Courts
  • Preserve and ensure the integrity of the Court and the public’s respect for it
  • Provide prompt and accurate information
  • Provide impartial and open access to court records
  • Provide expeditious and competent customer service to the public


The Clerk of Court is an elected official that serves a four year term. The Clerk is responsible for all administrative, clerical and record-keeping functions of the District and Superior Courts. 

As comptroller, the Clerk is responsible for receipting, investing, and disbursing thousands of dollars each year. These funds include but are not limited to court fees, fines, forfeitures, restitution, and minor or incompetent funds. 

With the exception of juvenile files, adoption records and certain other confidential records, files in the Clerk’s office are public records and available for inspection to the public. You will find in the Clerk’s office public access computer terminals to access our internal filing system known as VCAP (civil case court database). This system will allow you to search for cases, look up civil judgments and liens, etc. Criminal records are also accessible on our public computer system. 

Unlike clerks of court in other jurisdictions, the Clerk of Superior Court in North Carolina has numerous judicial functions. As the Judge of Probate, the Clerk has exclusive original jurisdiction over matters regarding the probate of wills and administration of estates in his county. The Clerk also presides over many other legal matters such as adoptions, incompetency and guardianship proceedings, partitions of real property, name changes, real estate foreclosures, and petitions for surplus funds. 

For more information, please refer to Chapter 7A of the North Carolina General Statutes, specifically Articles 12, 17, 29 and 63.