Finally found time to blog on one of my favorite topics: exceptions and qualifications to the error preservation requirements of Appellate Rule 10! (Um, I heard those groans!).  A few weeks ago the North Carolina Supreme Court issued two new opinions shedding additional light on this semi-fascinating topic.

Under the Statutory Mandate Exception to Appellate Rule 10, Trial Judges Generally are Not Required to Supervise the Conduct of “Outside” State Actors

In re E.D.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

Last week’s batch of opinions from the Court of Appeals includes a procedurally complicated case in which the court granted a writ of certiorari–only to dismiss a large portion of the appeal “as untimely and interlocutory.”  The opinion shines light on several faulty presumptions that can trip up an appeal. Intrigued?  Read on.

In Engility v. Nell, the defendants sought review of two orders:  (1) a February 2017 order granting a motion to quash and imposing sanctions, and (2) a Rule 60 order denying relief as to the February 2017 order because the defendants contended that they had not received adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard on the motion to quash.… 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

Last Friday was a blockbuster appellate day for the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Not only did it effectively declare an appellate jurisdiction statute unconstitutional (see Matt’s blog post), but Justice Newby authored a concurring opinion inspired by “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  (“Was Old Man Potter simply morally corrupt or was he also guilty of a crime?”).

For North Carolina’s appellate defenders, however, Friday was not a wonderful day.… Continue Reading