The new legislation in 7A-37.1 passed in June of 2013 orders that cases for amounts below $25,000 be sent to mandatory, non-binding arbitration. The fee is $100.00, which is to be divided between the parties . This can be waived if all parties consent to waive the arbitration hearing.
A party to the arbitration can appeal the case de novo (start brand new).
The purpose is to offer an economical, more efficient method to resolve disputes.