Petition for Writ of Certiorari

A writ of certiorari is a discretionary, extraordinary writ—and is therefore never granted as a matter of right. See, e.g., King v. Taylor, 188 N.C. 450, 451, 124 S.E. 751, 751 (1924) (explaining that the writ “is allowed only on a reasonable show of merits and that the ends of justice will be thereby promoted”). Not surprisingly, it has long been the rule that a party seeking a writ of certiorari must explain why the writ should be granted.… Continue Reading

Last Amish Horse and Carriageweek, the Court of Appeals returned to a general question that this blog has addressed before: When is a Notice of Appeal Filing Deadline or Requirement Jurisdictional?  In this instance, the specific issue was whether the Court has jurisdiction over an appeal when a notice of appeal was filed and the record on appeal was filed and the appeal docketed before the trial court entered the order that was being appealed.… Continue Reading

scary pictureSince 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, herehere, 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

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

Note: much of the information below comes from The American Lawyer’s October 23 “Daily Dicta,” by Jenna Greene.

He started as a pro se plaintiff alleging First Amendment (and other) violations by a number of federal judges, an FBI agent, and a US Marshal.  Now William Bond has been represented by some of the heaviest of legal heavyweights as his case makes its way up towards the highest court in the land. … Continue Reading

On Friday, the Supreme Court of North Carolina reaffirmed that (1) a writ of certiorari remains the most powerful tool in an appellate court’s arsenal and (2) that the Appellate Rules do not place procedural restrictions on an appellate court’s authority to issue its writs.  These issues have been churning for a long time.  See here, here, here, herehere, and here.   … Continue Reading

A few weeks ago, the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Connor v. Connor rejected an argument that a notice of appeal signed by a pro se litigant was defective under Appellate Rule 3(d) “and thus did not confer jurisdiction.”  Appellate Rule 3(d) states that a notice of appeal must “be signed by counsel of record of the party or parties taking the appeal[] or by any such party not represented by counsel of record.”… Continue Reading

The UNC School of Government recently released an updated manual on abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights.  The online version of the updated manual is located hereChapter 12 addresses appeals and is a must read for those working in this area of appellate practice.  For more information on the manual and its purpose, see the School of Government’s blog post found here. Continue Reading

Our appellate blogosphere has been filled with an unusual number of posts involving dismissed appeals. However, the North Carolina Court of Appeals on Tuesday bestowed leniency on two appeals, utilizing Appellate Rules 2 and 21 to reach the merits of both appeals.  Curious as to what justified this cheerful news?  Keep reading.

Sarno v. Sarno involved a family law appeal facing a potential fatal obstacle based on  bizarre procedural facts: 1) a judgment that contained two different April 2016 file stamp dates, 2) no certificate of service for the judgment, 3) a record indicating that the judgment was not in the file on 12 May 2016, 4) a plaintiff who asserted that she had not received the judgment until 20 May 2016, and 5) notices of appeal not filed until well into June 2016.… Continue Reading

As a champion of the appellate courts’ broad certiorari powers, I am eager for the Supreme Court of North Carolina to review the legal questions raised by cases such as State v. Biddix and State v. Ledbetter I and II.  For prior posts, see here , here, here, and here.  Those questions include (1) whether there is a conflict between Appellate Rule 21 and N.C.… Continue Reading