The Court of Appeals issued an opinion today in three consolidated cases that affirms certain jurisdictional rules with respect to the timely noticing of an appeal.  The guidance provided by this case is of particular importance to those practicing in the North Carolina Business Court.  The rules affirmed in the consolidated cases can be summarized as follows:

  1. In a Business Court case, the notice of appeal must be timely filed (within 30 days) in the home county, not just timely filed through the Business Court website.  The usual “5 day grace period” for filing a copy in the home county does not apply for notices of appeal.
  2. A trial court’s service of its own orders starts the appellate clock.  If you receive a “Notice of Electronic Filing” in the Business Court, or a service copy of an appealable order from a trial court coordinator in Superior Court, your 30 days to notice an appeal starts on the date that order is filed.  In these situations, the time to file a notice of appeal is not tolled while you wait to get a copy of the order served on you  by opposing counsel.
  3. If, within 3 business days after the entry of an appealable order, you have “actual notice” that that order has been entered, your appeal clock starts to run from the date of the entry of the order.  In many cases, entry happens before you get notice.  That is, your 30 days to notice an appeal can start before you even know you lost.

–Patrick Kane

**Disclaimer:  Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP represented some of the appellees in these cases**