This week, the Court of Appeals reiterated the bounds of Rule 54(b) certification, highlighting that the language of the rule—which allows a party to immediately appeal from “a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties”—is only applicable when a judgment is, in fact, final.
In an earlier post, Beth detailed best practices for when a Rule 59 motion will successfully toll the 30-day appeal period under Appellate Rule 3. See here. To recap, tolling requires a “proper” Rule 59 motion—which means meeting a litany of requirements, including that the motion: (i) seeks relief from a final judgment; (ii) generally applies only to post-trial judgments; (iii) seeks relief pursuant to one or more grounds listed in Rule 59(a); (iv) seeks a valid form of relief from the contested final judgment; and (v) does not reargue matters already decided by the trial court. … Continue Reading
Since 2015, this blog has frequently discussed whether the text of Appellate Rule 21 places restrictions on the Court of Appeals’ authority to grant relief by writ of certiorari. See here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. The Supreme Court has also written frequently about whether the text of Appellate Rule 21 places restrictions on the Court of Appeals’ discretionary authority to grant relief by writ of certiorari.… Continue Reading
Back in March, the Court of Appeals in Ramsey v. Ramsey dismissed a party’s appeal for cumulative non-jurisdictional violations that the Court described as “gross and substantial noncompliance with the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.” (See prior posts on Ramsey here and here.) On Tuesday, in K2HN Construction, NC, LLC v. Five D Contractors, Inc., the Court dismissed another appeal that had a tortured relationship with the State’s appellate rules. … Continue Reading
As noted yesterday, the Supreme Court has been busy. Need further proof? How about the fact that the Supreme Court considered 279 “other matters” on Friday— a category that includes rulings on various substantive motions, PDRs, and writ petitions. By way of comparison, the number of “other matters” considered by the Supreme Court fell within the 134 to 182 range the last few times that opinions were released.… Continue Reading
NOTICE: Take the following post with a grain of salt. The Court of Appeals issued an updated opinion in the Ellis case on 20 August 2019. Although the opinion is still 2-1, most of the language in the original majority opinion that I blogged about pertaining to appellate practice and procedure has been removed. The updated opinion also leaves no doubt that the issue of reasonable suspicion was first raised at the trial level.… Continue Reading
Wouldn’t it be great if an automatic notification was sent out whenever court rules were updated? Wait . . . I hear you! “What self-respecting lawyer doesn’t subscribe to the NCAPB.com blog, which provides updates and summaries of all Appellate Rules amendments?!?” Alas, not everyone understands the thrill of an appellate practice blog. Plus, our focus is the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure–not Supreme Court rules on court-ordered arbitration.… Continue Reading
A while back I wrote about the collateral order doctrine as discussed by the Fourth Circuit in Williams v. Strickland. (See prior blog post here). Williams involved an alleged excessive force claim against a law enforcement officer and an interlocutory appeal from the denial of the officer’s motion for summary judgment on the ground of qualified immunity. The Court held that the officer was not entitled to qualified immunity (at least at that point in the case) because the established law is that the use of deadly force by an officer may be justified at one point in an encounter with a suspect, but unjustified a moment later in the same encounter. … Continue Reading
A few weeks ago the North Carolina Court of Appeals plowed new ground: issuing the first opinion to cite Appellate Rule 38(b) since the Appellate Rules were adopted in 1975. This long-neglected rule was the catalyst for a published decision that dismissed sua sponte a substitute party’s appeal in Weishaupt-Smith v. Town of Banner Elk.
Here’s the background: American Towers first applied for a conditional use permit to construct a telecommunication tower in 2013.… Continue Reading
**Update: As Troy’s follow-up blog post notes, the Court of Appeals subsequently withdrew and replaced its February opinion with a new opinion issued on March 19, 2019. The only copy of the February opinion in my possession is not in the public domain. Therefore, you’ll just have to trust me regarding what the original opinion said.