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

In the Court of Appeals’ latest batch of opinions, Beroth Oil Co. v. N.C. Department of Transportation, addressed the long-running issue of the applicability of the Map Act.  As you may have guessed, this show probably hasn’t run its course.

Beroth Oil arises out of the Map Act, which the General Assembly passed in 1987.  Under the Map Act, the Department of Transportation can file corridor maps or plats in places where it plans to construct a road. … Continue Reading

In its final set of opinions from 2016, the North Carolina Court of Appeals provided some helpful reminders for appellate practitioners.

1. Unless some other exception applies, you may appeal from an interlocutory order only if it affects a substantial right. In Pass v. Brown, the Court reminded us that an appellant must identify a substantial right affected by each issue, not by an immediate appeal as a whole.… Continue Reading

Suppose the person or business across the street from your home wants to build something you find noxious. What can you do to protect your view, your tranquility, and your property value?

You might consider taking over a plate of cookies as a bribe, or maybe engaging in the political process by speaking at a town meeting. But if the new development is approved anyway, can you appeal?… Continue Reading

When a local board of adjustment makes an adverse land-use decision on a landowner’s application for a conditional use permit or a variance, a special statute kicks in to dictate the procedures for seeking further review. Section 160A-393 governs such “appeals of quasi-judicial decisions of decision-making boards” by directing appeals to be filed in the superior court “in the nature of certiorari.” … Continue Reading