North Carolina Supreme Court

The recent opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals in M.E. v. T.J., No. COA18-1045 has more twists than a Chubby Checker look-alike contest. The opinion is long and the facts and procedure are somewhat convoluted, but here’s a bare-bones synopsis.

Plaintiff and defendant, both women, were dating. When plaintiff decided to end the relationship, defendant allegedly became abusive.… Continue Reading

At a largely virtual investiture ceremony broadcast this morning on the Supreme Court’s Youtube page, The Honorable Paul Martin Newby took the oath of office to become our highest court’s 30th Chief Justice.  Newly minted Justices Phil Berger, Jr. and Tamara Barringer were also sworn in as the two junior-most associate justices on the Court.

As Beth noted last week, it is common for incoming jurists to take the oath on January 1, but then participate in a more formal investiture ceremony several days later.… Continue Reading

At the stroke of midnight, North Carolina’s judiciary entered a new era, with many appellate justices and judges taking the oath office from their homes.  This age-old changing of the guard included Chief Justice Paul Newby being sworn in as the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.  While COVID has thrown wrinkles into many of the Court’s traditions, the significance of this undertaking is illustrated by this photo of Chief Justice Newby signing his oath of office. … Continue Reading

Over the weekend, the last undecided race for North Carolina’s appellate courts was resolved when Chief Justice Cheri Beasley conceded the race to Senior Associate—and Chief Justice-Elect—Paul Newby.   The race was extraordinarily close, with Chief Justice-Elect Newby ultimately prevailing by a margin of 50.0037% to 49.9963%.

After two rounds of recounts, and with various protests still pending, Chief Justice Beasley and Chief Justice-Elect Newby announced the amicable resolution on social media. … Continue Reading

Precisely 364 days ago, Kip previewed  the coming of universal citations.   Twenty-eight days remain until universal citations assume a starring role in judicial opinions and briefs.   And to help practitioners model their own trendsetting citations, the Supreme Court of North Carolina has released a Universal Citation factsheet.

Key features include (1) no longer needing the regional reporter reference when citing to North Carolina opinions filed on or after January 1, 2021, (2) replacing parallel pinpoint citations with the opinion’s paragraph number, and (3) omitting the citation’s year parenthetical (the opinion’s year is now embedded in the universal citation). … Continue Reading

Those who have known me for any length of time know that for more than a decade I have really, really wanted the Supreme Court to give appellate practitioners clarification on how various transcript-related issues should work in practice.  Today, the Supreme Court of North Carolina granted that wish by amending the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.

For cases appealed on or after January 1, 2021, Appellate Rule 7 has been completely rewritten.   … Continue Reading

In its most recent set of petition rulings, the Supreme Court of North Carolina added five new cases to its discretionary docket.  These cases involve:

  • the scope of the North Carolina False Claims Act;
  • the evidence required for a criminal threats conviction;
  • whether satellite-based monitoring constitutes an unreasonable search;
  • personal jurisdiction in the age of cell phones; and
  • the interpretation of automobile insurance policies.
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North Carolina General Statute § 7A-30(2) allows for an appeal as of right to the Supreme Court of North Carolina from “any decision of the Court of Appeals rendered in a case…in which there is a dissent.”  Seems pretty straightforward, yes?  If the Court of Appeals issues a decision and one of the judges writes a dissenting opinion, then the losing party can automatically get the case to the Supreme Court, right? … Continue Reading

In Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prevents prosecutors in criminal cases from exercising peremptory challenges to excuse prospective jurors solely on account of their race.  As illustrated by State v. Campbell COA18-998-2, filed 21 July 2020, application of that 1986 decision is not easy.… Continue Reading

The Petition Tracker has been updated with the Supreme Court’s most recent allowed petitions for discretionary review. Although there were some special orders, the Court only allowed two petitions outright. One arose from the Industrial Commission, and the other involves the Raleigh Housing Authority.

The Petition Tracker has also been updated to include the Court’s merits decisions on petitions that were granted.… Continue Reading