North Carolina Supreme Court Decisions

Founded in 1799, the North Carolina Supreme Court is located in Raleigh. It holds jurisdiction over questions of law presented by cases in lower courts and proceedings in administrative agencies. The Court also has developed the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct, which provides seven canons to guide the actions of judges throughout the state. The Code emphasizes impartiality, independence, transparency, and other values that preserve public trust in the judiciary.

Seven justices currently serve on the North Carolina Supreme Court, which has fluctuated in size at various points throughout its history. To become a justice, a candidate must be an attorney who is no older than 71. North Carolina imposes a mandatory retirement age on justices, who must retire before the last day of the month in which they turn 72. Justices are chosen through elections in even-numbered years. These elections recently became partisan in 2018, which means that the party affiliation of the candidate appears on the ballot. In 2015, the legislature passed a law that would have replaced these competitive elections with retention elections. However, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling by a lower court that struck down this law as unconstitutional, leaving the current system in place.

If a vacancy arises in the middle of a justice’s term, the Governor of North Carolina will appoint a replacement. That justice must run in the first election that occurs at least 60 days after the vacancy arose to retain their seat. Each justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court serves an eight-year term, and the Chief Justice serves in that capacity for the full eight years. Voters determine the Chief Justice in an election, in contrast to the procedures used in most states. The North Carolina Constitution provides that the term of any justice begins on January 1 after they are elected or reelected.

Browse Opinions From the North Carolina Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the North Carolina Supreme Court
In re D.C.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 19A21

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Mother's and Father's parental rights to their child, holding that the trial court properly adjudicated the existence of a ground for termination under...

State v. Ricks  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 233A20

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals vacating the orders of the trial court imposing lifetime satellite-based monitoring (SBM) upon Defendant, holding that the court of appeals abused its discr...

State v. Hilton  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 292A20

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reinstated the order of the trial court imposing lifetime satellite-based monitoring (SBM) based upon Defendant's status as an aggravated offender, holding that the order complied with the Fourth Amendm...

In re M.Y.P.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 364A20

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion. The trial court entered an order determining that grounds existed to...

In re M.R.J.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 37A21

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights to her minor child, holding that the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction and did not abuse its discretion in determinin...

In re D.T.H.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 382A20

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights in his son, David, holding that the legally valid findings of fact contained in the trial court's termination order did not...

In re J.D.D.J.C.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 39A21

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights to her minor children, holding that the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion. After a hearing, the trial court ente...

In re B.J.H.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 411A20

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Father's and Mother's respective parental rights to their two children, holding that the findings of fact adequately supported the ground for terminatin...

In re K.B.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 48A21

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court concluding that grounds existed to terminate Mother's and Father's parental rights to their children and that it was in the children's best interests that their...

In re K.J.E.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 500A20

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights in his son, holding that the trial court failed to make proper findings on adjudication. Mother initiated this action seeking t...

In re L.H.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 501A20

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights to her minor daughters, holding that the evidence supported the trial court's adjudication of the existence of grounds for term...

In re D.J.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 528A20

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights to her minor child, holding that Mother was not entitled to relief on her allegations of error. The trial court found that gro...

In re T.M.B.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 5A21

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights in her minor child, holding that one of the grounds outlined in N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a) existed to justify terminating Mothe...

In re M.R.F.  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 83A21

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights to his minor child, holding that the evidence was insufficient to support the necessary findings to establish any of the statut...

In re M.A.  
Date: August 27, 2021
Docket Number: 218A20

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights on the grounds of neglect and willful failure to make reasonable progress to correct the conditions that led to the child's rem...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.