Legislature approves Carmical as Superior Court judge

LUMBERTON — The state General Assembly approved on Thursday Chief District Court Judge J. Stanley Carmical taking a seat as a special Superior Court judge.

It took less than a week for the Lumberton native’s nomination to move through the General Assembly. The resolution for approval was filed in the House on Monday. The final two votes in the House and all three Senate votes occurred on Thursday.

Carmical could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The judge who has served on the bench in Robeson County since 1989 was nominated by Gov. Roy Cooper on May 23 to fill a vacancy created May 6. The nomination announcement did not say how the vacancy was created.

The resolution states the vacancy was created as a result of the expiration of the term of Judge Ebern “Tripp” Watson III on May 5.

As a special Superior Court judge, Carmical could be assigned anywhere in North Carolina, including Robeson County. He will not be considered a resident judge and will not stand for election.

Carmical’s term as special Superior Court judge will be for five years, according to the resolution. His term would start upon his appointment by Gov. Cooper.

Carmical was named chief District Court judge in April 2002. He was re-elected to the 16B Judicial District in 2014, winning a term that expires Dec. 31. Carmical obtained his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law.

Carmical’s elevation to the Superior Court creates a vacancy in District Court. It will be up to Robeson County voters to decide on Nov. 6 who will replace him.

Carmical’s seat is one of three in Robeson County up for election. One is the bench position that will be left vacant when Herbert Richardson retires. The third is the seat held by Dale Deese.

Candidate filing for the judgeships ends noon Friday.


By T.C. Hunter

Managing editor

Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 of via email at