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

On Tuesday, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued its latest batch of opinions.  An opinion that caught my eye represents a trend in the Court of Appeals of collapsing the substantial right jurisdictional analysis into the merit-based analysis of the underlying issue being argued on appeal. Merits-jurisdiction intermingling is an issue that my colleague, Pat Kane, previously raised in two blog posts from 2012.… 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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Last summer in Duncan v. Duncan, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued a bright-line rule explaining that a pending attorneys’ fees motion does not bar an appeal of an order that otherwise decides all substantive claims. We blogged about (and applauded) that decision last June. The Court of Appeals today issued an opinion in Sanders v. State Personnel Commission addressing a somewhat related matter—whether an appeal of an attorneys’ fees award itself is “final” or interlocutory.… Continue Reading

Readers of our blog may be interested in a few nuggets concerning interlocutory appeals that appeared in the slate of opinions that the North Carolina Court of Appeals published on June 17.

1) Interlocutory Appeal of Decision to Suppress Evidence in Criminal Cases.

As one who rarely has occasion to peruse the state’s Criminal Procedure Act, I was intrigued with the application of a criminal interlocutory appeal jurisdiction statute in State v.Continue Reading

When the State argues that you can’t sue it because it enjoys sovereign immunity, is it saying that the court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over claims against a sovereign body (a 12(b)(1) argument), that the court does not have jurisdiction over the person of the State because the State is a sovereign (a 12(b)(2) argument), or that you cannot state a claim against a sovereign in the first place (a 12(b)(6) argument)?… Continue Reading