Judge Paul Holcombe Takes Oath For Superior Court Seat

(Left to right): Judge Paul Holcombe, Lauren Holcombe, Kristen Holcombe, Deanne Holcombe and Chief Justice Paul Newby.

SMITHFIELD – Judge Paul A. Holcombe was sworn in January 5, 2023 as a new Resident Superior Court Judge for Judicial District 11-B (Johnston County) by Chief Justice Paul Newby of the North Carolina Supreme Court in a ceremony held at the Johnston County Court House and presided over by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Tom Lock.

The new seat was added as part of the 2022-2023 state budget passed in November 2021. After winning the primary election in May 2022, Judge Holcombe was unopposed in the General Election in November 2022.

Judge Holcombe, received his undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1991. After graduation from law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1994, he began his law career as an assistant district attorney general in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Upon returning to North Carolina in 2003, Judge Holcombe served four years in the District Attorney’s office in Cabarrus County and two years in the District Attorney’s office in Johnston County. He was first elected as a district court judge for Judicial District 11 (Johnston, Harnett and Lee Counties) in 2008 and won re-election in 2012, 2016 and 2020.

As a district court judge between 2008 and 2022, Judge Holcombe presided over criminal courts and civil courts on a rotating basis in all three counties that comprise Judicial District 11. He served on the Board of Governors for the North Carolina District Court Judges Association from 2015 to 2022. In January 2021 Judge Holcombe was chosen from among all the district court judges in Judicial District 11 to serve as the Chief District Court Judge by Chief Justice Paul M. Newby. While serving as Chief District Court Judge he also presided over the Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) in Harnett County which serves veterans residing in Johnston, Harnett and Lee Counties as well as surrounding counties.

“It was an honor to serve the people of North Carolina as one of their district court judges for the last fourteen years. What happens at the Johnston County Court House in its civil, criminal, juvenile and mental health courts radiates out to the homes, schools and businesses throughout the county. I look forward to continuing my service in this new role which was created in response to the significant population growth in Johnston County over the last several years,” Judge Holcombe said.

Judge Holcombe has been married to Deanne Holcombe since 1994. His wife serves as a media specialist for the Johnston County school system. They reside in the Cleveland Community with their two daughters.


  1. God bless Judge Holcombe. He is most needed here! I met his daughters at the election polls as I was a candidate for Town Council, District 2, Smithfield.

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