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The Civil War devastated Johnston County but the area slowly rebounded. The Town of Clayton was incorporated, along with Bentonsville, Beulah, Boon Hill, Elevation, Ingrams, Meadow, O’Neals, Pleasant Grove, Selma, Smithfield, and Wilders, in 1869. With a 2007 population of nearly 14,000, it is the second largest town in Johnston County.
Excellent soil and climate conditions make Clayton an superb agricultural area. Proximity to Durham’s Duke University Medical Center and to Research Triangle Park are good selling points to industry. Several research farms and laboratories are located here, as well as industries, such as Bayer, Caterpillar, Champion Products, Novo Nordisk (a Danish pharmaceutical company), Winn-Dixie, Fresenius Kabi (a Swedish pharmaceutical company), and C & K.
Clayton has cultural activities as well as family-oriented outdoor sports and recreation, including fishing, swimming, boating, picnicking, and golf. The Neuse Golf Club, Pine Hollow Golf Club, and Riverwood Golf Club serve the immediate local area, with most of North Carolina’s championship golf courses within an hour’s drive.
Although there is much controversy about the naming of Clayton, there is no doubt that it was named in honor of Senator John Middleton Clayton (1796-1856) from Delaware.
Located near two interstate highways: I-40 and I-95, Clayton sits on the western edge of Johnston County. Clayton is about 15 minutes to the east of the state capital of North Carolina, Raleigh, and about 30 minutes from NC’s world famous Research Triangle Park. Clayton is a prosperous town with rapid residential growth and excellent quality of life benefits.
Clayton utilizes the Johnston County Courthouse, located at 207 E Johnston St., Smithfield, NC 27577. Domestic issues such as divorce, child support, custody, visitation, and division of the marital property are considered civil issues; all actions relating to family issues are handled in the District Court division.
Cases assigned to Family Court include juvenile delinquency charges; neglect and abuse charges; termination of parental rights and adoptions; domestic violence; child custody and visitation rights; divorce and related financial issues like child support, alimony, or equitable distribution of property; abortion consent waivers, paternity; involuntary commitments and guardianships.
Judges who hear domestic cases can provide referrals to mediators, counselors, or classes that may help families reach their own resolutions without having a judge make the decision for them. The judge becomes the last resort if there is no resolution. All issues involving one family are assigned to one judge, and a case manager helps families negotiate their way through the system. This is beneficial for families dealing with difficult issues such as child custody and visitation rights; divorce, child support, and alimony. The case manager also assures that cases comply with the Family Court time standards for disposing of the case.
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