Under the N.C. Public Records Act, "[a]ny person who is denied access to public records for purposes of inspection and examination, or who is denied copies of public records, may apply to the appropriate division of the General Court of Justice for an order compelling disclosure or copying, and the court shall have jurisdiction to issue such orders if the person has complied with G.S. 7A-38.3E. Actions brought pursuant to this section shall be set down for immediate hearing, and subsequent proceedings in such actions shall be accorded priority by the trial and appellate courts." N.C.G.S. 132-9.
North Carolina General Statute §1-72.1 sets forth the procedure to assert the right of access. N.C.G.S. § 1-72.1(a) provides in part, “Any person asserting a right of access to a civil judicial proceeding or to a judicial record in that proceeding may file a motion in the proceeding for the limited purpose of determining the person's right of access.” Such a motion does not amount to a request to intervene, and a movant does not become a party to the action solely by filing a motion under this statute.
In the alternative, pursuant to North Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 24, a third party may file a motion to intervene in order to assert a right of access.