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

The federal corollary to the oft-blogged about “substantial right doctrine” in the North Carolina appellate courts is the “collateral order doctrine.”  As is the case under North Carolina law, the jurisdiction of the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals is generally limited to final decisions of the district court.  Therefore,  a federal appellate court ordinarily cannot review interlocutory orders.  But, as in North Carolina, there are exceptions. Continue Reading

Tuesday’s batch of opinions from the Court of Appeals contained a smorgasbord of jurisdictional issues pertaining to interlocutory appeals. In no particular order:

Department of Transportation v. Riddle

This condemnation proceeding involved a partial taking by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (“DOT”). The Riddles owned a parcel of land that they had subdivided into seven separate lots. The DOT originally commenced the action by filing a complaint and declaration of taking for portions of Lot 2 and Lot 7. … Continue Reading

Almost two years ago, my colleague Matt Leerberg wrote about the Court of Appeals’ decision in Can Am South, LLC v. North Carolina and the potential implications of that decision:

Relying on prior case law, the Court of Appeals dismissed the State’s appeal of the order to the extent its sovereign immunity defense was based on Rule 12(b)(1) (subject matter jurisdiction) but allowed the appeal of the order to the extent it was based on Rule 12(b)(2) (personal jurisdiction).

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One of the oft-recurring issues in appellate decisions is that of whether the ruling sought to be appealed is actually, at least at that time, appealable. This week, both the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the Fourth Circuit addressed this issue.

By an unpublished opinion in Sheppard v. Winston-Salem/Forsyth Cnty Bd. of Educ., the North Carolina Court of Appeals held that the Appellants’ appeal from the trial court’s order granting a motion to dismiss that disposed of some, but not all, of the Appellants’ claims was impermissibly interlocutory.… Continue Reading

In a pair of unrelated cases, the Supreme Court of North Carolina has curtailed the ability of local governments to regulate towing prices and the use of cell phones while driving on the one hand, while endorsing a broad view of governmental immunity on the other.

Let’s start with King v. Chapel Hill, a potentially far-reaching case that appears to restrict the powers of municipal governments to use ordinances to further the public good.… Continue Reading