North Carolina Supreme Court Decisions 2018

State v. Rankin  
Date: December 21, 2018
Docket Number: 23A18

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals vacating Defendant’s conviction for felony littering upon concluding that the indictment failed to allege an essential element of the statutory crime and wa...

Justus v. Rosner  
Date: December 21, 2018
Docket Number: 255A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals in this medical malpractice suit remanding the case for a new trial on the issue of damages, holding that the trial court did not err in setting aside the j...

State v. Wilson  
Date: December 21, 2018
Docket Number: 295PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals reversing and vacating Defendant’s conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm and reversing the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to su...

Silver v. Halifax County Board of Commissioners  
Date: December 21, 2018
Docket Number: 338A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the superior court’s order dismissing this complaint under N.C. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), holding that the State, and not a board of county commissione...

Cooper v. Berger  
Date: December 21, 2018
Docket Number: 409PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the superior court determining that the appointments process in N.C. Gen. Stat. 143B-9(a) does not violate the Constitution, holdi...

State v. Johnson  
Date: December 21, 2018
Docket Number: 57PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court modified and affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals concluding that Defendant’s inculpatory statements to law enforcement should have been suppressed but that the error was harmless, holding that...

Azure Dolphin, LLC v. Barton  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 128A18

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the trial court dismissing the claims that Plaintiffs asserted their first amended complaint and denying Plaintiffs’ second motion to amend their complaint, holding that the trial...

State v. Malachi  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 142PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals vacating the judgment entered by the trial court convicting Defendant of possession of a firearm by a felon and having attained habitual felon status on the...

State v. Fowler
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 173PA17
In re Will of Allen  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 227PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case presenting the question of whether a handwritten codicil that referenced a provision of a self-proving will was valid the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals reversing the order of su...

State v. Melton  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 253PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals upholding Defendant’s conviction for attempted murder, holding that Defendant’s motion to dismiss was improperly denied. A jury found Defendant guilty of a...

Morrell v. Hardin Creek, Inc.  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 318A17

Justia Opinion Summary: In this contract interpretation case, the Supreme Court reversed the portion of the court of appeals decision ruling that a critical paragraph in a commercial real estate lease was ambiguous and that, as a result, interp...

Pine v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc.  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 335A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the North Carolina Industrial Commission awarding Plaintiff ongoing disability compensation and medical compensation for her medic...

N.C. Acupuncture Licensing Board v. N.C. Board of Physical Therapy Examiners  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 380A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the final judgment of the Business Court that upheld the declaratory ruling issued by the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 150B-4 determining that...

State v. Meadows  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 400PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court modified and affirmed the decision of the court of appeals finding no error in Defendant’s convictions and sentences. The Court of Appeals held that Defendant waived her sentencing arguments because Def...

Hairston v. Harward  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 416A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court remanded this case for further proceedings, holding that the trial court erred by crediting the amount of a payment made to Plaintiff under his own underinsured motorist coverage against the amount of t...

Corwin v. British American Tobacco PLC  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 56PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals reversing the conclusion of the Business Court that British American Tobacco PLC (BAT) did not owe fiduciary duties to other Reynolds American, Inc. shareho...

Stokes v. Stokes  
Date: December 7, 2018
Docket Number: 82A18

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court modified and affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing Defendant’s appeal from a trial court order changing venue, holding that Defendant’s appeal from this order was interlocutory and no...

Meinck v. City of Gastonia  
Date: October 26, 2018
Docket Number: 130PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: In this personal injury case involving a building that a city owned but leased to a nonprofit arts group, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the trial court’s order granting summary...

State v. Frederick
Date: October 26, 2018
Docket Number: 146A18
In re J.C.  
Date: October 26, 2018
Docket Number: 197A18

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court ordered that Respondent Ronald L. Chapman be suspended without compensation from office as a Judge of the General Court of Justice, District Court Division Twenty-Six, for thirty days for conduct violat...

State v. Bass  
Date: October 26, 2018
Docket Number: 208A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the court of appeals concluding that the trial court committed prejudicial error in three of its rulings during the trial proceedings and that Defen...

State v. Maddux  
Date: October 26, 2018
Docket Number: 278PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals awarding Defendant a new trial because of a plain error in a jury instruction on aiding and abetting, holding that the trial court erred in giving the aidin...

State v. Arrington  
Date: October 26, 2018
Docket Number: 280A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals concluding that Defendant’s stipulation to a certain type of second-degree murder was an improper stipulation, holding that Defendant properly stipulated to...

State v. Jones  
Date: October 26, 2018
Docket Number: 336A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals finding that the citation that charged the offense for which Defendant was convicted was legally sufficient to properly invoke the trial court’s subject-mat...

TD Bank, N.A. v. Eagles Crest at Sharp Top, LLC
Date: October 26, 2018
Docket Number: 350PA16
State v. Smith
Date: September 21, 2018
Docket Number: 290A17
State v. Austin
Date: September 21, 2018
Docket Number: 294PA17
State v. Sayre
Date: September 21, 2018
Docket Number: 330A17
Adams Creek Assocs. v. Davis
Date: September 21, 2018
Docket Number: 3A08-4
State v. Stimpson
Date: September 21, 2018
Docket Number: 408A17
State v. McPhaul
Date: September 21, 2018
Docket Number: 421PA17
State v. Krider  
Date: September 21, 2018
Docket Number: 68A18

Justia Opinion Summary: The North Carolina Supreme Court held that the State failed to carry its burden of presenting sufficient evidence to support the trial court's decision to revoke defendant's probation based upon a finding that defendant...

Boone Ford, Inc. v. IME Scheduler, Inc.  
Date: August 17, 2018
Docket Number: 162A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held in this appeal regarding two cases that were consolidated before trial by one superior court judge and then tried by another superior court judge that (1) the first judge erred in consolidating the...

Locklear v. Cummings
Date: August 17, 2018
Docket Number: 202A17
State v. Langley  
Date: August 17, 2018
Docket Number: 221PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the habitual felon indictment returned against Defendant was not fatally defective, and therefore, the court of appeals erred in ordering that the judgment regarding the habitual conviction be...

State v. Hyman  
Date: August 17, 2018
Docket Number: 245A08-2

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held in this criminal case that while the claim asserted in Defendant’s motion for appropriate relief was not subject to the procedural bar established by N.C. Gen. Stat. 15A-1419(a)(3), the trial court...

State v. Saldierna  
Date: August 17, 2018
Docket Number: 271PA15-2

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the court of appeals erred in reversing the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress, holding that the suppression motion contained sufficient findings of fact to support the tri...

Vaughan v. Mashburn  
Date: August 17, 2018
Docket Number: 42PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals concluding that Rule 9(j) does not permit a plaintiff to amend a timely filed medical malpractice complaint to cure a defective Rule 9(j) certification afte...

State v. Turner
Date: August 17, 2018
Docket Number: 440PA16
State v. Curtis  
Date: August 17, 2018
Docket Number: 441PA16

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the two-year statute of limitations in N.C. Gen. Stat. 15-1 did not bar the State from prosecuting Defendant for the misdemeanor offense of driving while impaired (DWI) when the State did not...

State v. Rogers  
Date: August 17, 2018
Docket Number: 63A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the trial court correctly denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss as to the charge of keeping or maintaining a vehicle which is used for the keeping or selling of controlled substances, holding t...

North Carolina State Board of Education v. State  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 110PA16-2

Justia Opinion Summary: The General Assembly lawfully delegated authority to the Rules Review Commission (Commission) to review and approve rules adopted by the State Board of Education (Board). The Board sought a declaratory ruling that the l...

Brackett v. Thomas  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 146PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: In determining that the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) erred in revoking a driver’s license for willful refusal to submit to a chemical analysis, the court of appeals overstepped its role by making witne...

State v. Miller  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 217PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals in vacating the judgments entered by the trial court based upon Defendant’s convictions for first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder on the gro...

State v. Clonts
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 222A17
State v. Miller  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 2PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant’s Fourth Amendment claims were not reviewable on direct appeal, even for plain error, because Defendant completely waived them. A police officer found cocaine in Defendant’s coat pocket during a traffic stop....

State v. Rodriguez  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 302A14

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for first-degree murder but vacated his sentence of death and remanded the case to the superior court for a new capital sentencing hearing. The Court held (1) there was...

Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. North Carolina Department of Revenue  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 307PA15-2

Justia Opinion Summary: The North Carolina Department of Revenue (Defendant) unconstitutionally taxed the income of The Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust (Plaintiff) pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 105-160.2 based solely on the North Caroli...

State v. Nicholson  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 319A17

Justia Opinion Summary: A police officer’s decision to briefly detain Defendant for questioning was supported by a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Defendant was indicted for robbery with a dangerous weapon. Defendant moved to suppre...

North Carolina State Board of Education v. State  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 333PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether legislation amending portions of certain provisions of the North Carolina General Statutes, including Chapter 115C, violates N.C. Const. art. IX, 5. In 2016, the General Assembly enacted House Bill...

In re J.M. and J.M
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 363PA17
Walker v. Driven Holdings, LLC
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 395A17
State v. Ledbetter  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 402PA15-2

Justia Opinion Summary: The absence of a procedural rule limits neither the court of appeals’ jurisdiction nor its discretionary authority to issue writs of certiorari. Defendant was charged with driving while impaired. After the trial court...

State v. McNeill  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: 446A13

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for first-degree murder, sexual offense of a child by a adult offender, and other crimes and his sentence of death, holding that there was no error in Defendant’s trial...

State v. Varner
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 115PA17
In re A.P.  
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 145PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Juvenile Code does not mandate that a petition alleging a juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent must be filed only by the director or authorized agent of the department of social services of the county “in whic...

In re Johnson  
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 214A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners lawfully took disciplinary action against a certified professional and her corporation (collectively, Petitioners) for failure to follow a rule requ...

Head v. Gould Killian CPA Group, P.A.  
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 27A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that summary judgment was improper in this case alleging fraudulent concealment and professional negligence. In her complaint, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants failed properly to prepare and file...

In re Adoption of C.H.M.  
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 297PA16

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals that affirmed the order of the trial court requiring Father’s consent before proceeding with the adoption of a minor child (Child), holding that the evidenc...

State v. Yisrael
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 304A17
In re Henderson  
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 30A18

Justia Opinion Summary: Based upon the findings and conclusions and the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the Supreme Court concluded that Respondent Gary L. Henderson, a Judge of the General Court of Justice, District Court...

Quality Built Homes Inc. v. Town of Carthage  
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 315PA15-2

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was when the claims that Plaintiffs asserted against Defendant, the Town of Carthage, accrued and whether Plaintiffs’ claims were barred by a one-year, two-year, three-year, or ten-year statute of limitations an...

State v. Reed
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 331A16
State ex rel. Utils. Comm'n v. NC WARN
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 350A17
Atl. Coast Props., Inc. v. Saunders
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 365A15-2
Swan Beach Corolla, L.L.C. v. County of Currituck
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 397A17
State v. Dunston
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 401A17
State v. James  
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: 514PA11-2

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was the validity of the procedures prescribed in N.C. Gen. Stat. 15A-1340.19A - 15A-1340.19(D) (the Act) for the sentencing of juveniles convicted of first-degree murder in light of Miller v. Alabama, 467 U.S. 4...

State v. Jacobs  
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 126PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals determining that the trial court did not err in excluding evidence of the complainant’s history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) pursuant to N.C. R....

City of Asheville v. Frost  
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 170A17

Justia Opinion Summary: A respondent such as the respondent in this case has a statutory right to a jury trial in an appeal of an Asheville Civil Service Board (Board) decision to superior court. Appellant Robert Frost, a police officer in the...

State v. Mostafavi  
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 199A17

Justia Opinion Summary: An indictment charging Defendant with obtaining property by false pretenses sufficiently identified the crime charge because it described the property obtained as “United States Currency” and named the items conveyed to...

Krawiec v. Manly  
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 252A16

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs failed to state claims for tortious interference with contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair and deceptive practices, civil conspiracy, and unjust enrichment sufficient to survive Defendants’ moti...

Vogler Reynolda Rd., LLC v. SCI N.C. Funeral Servs., Inc
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 312A17
In re Foreclosure of Ackah
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 334A17
State v. Lee  
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 335PA16

Justia Opinion Summary: The trial court erroneously instructed the jury when it omitted the relevant stand-your-ground provision from its instructions on self-defense, and Defendant was entitled to a new trial with proper self-defense and stand...

Jackson v. Century Mut. Ins. Co
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 337A17
State v. Brawley
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 370A17
Sanchez v. Cobblestone Homeowners Ass'n of Clayton, Inc
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 374A16
In re Inquiry Concerning a Deputy Commissioner, William Henry Shipley  
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 425A17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court ordered that Respondent William Henry Shipley, a deputy commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, be publicly reprimanded for violations of Canons 1 and 2A of the North Carolina Code of...

State v. Howell  
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 455PA16

Justia Opinion Summary: The General Assembly intended for N.C. Gen. Stat. 9-95(e)(3) of the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act, which provides that a Class 1 misdemeanor “shall be punished as a Class I felon[y]” when the misdemeanant has...

State v. China  
Date: April 6, 2018
Docket Number: 95A17

Justia Opinion Summary: There was sufficient evidence of restraint that was separate and apart from that inherent in the commission of Defendant’s first-degree sexual offense to support Defendant's second-degree kidnapping conviction. Defendan...

Davis v. Hulsing Enterprises, LLC  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 160A16

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court did not need to decide whether North Carolina recognizes Plaintiff’s first-party claim for dram shop liability because Plaintiff could not recover due to the decedent’s contributory negligence. Plainti...

In re Se. Eye Ctr
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 168A17
State v. Williams
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 171A17
State v. Cook
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 251A17
In re Se. Eye Ctr
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 259A17
State v. Cannon
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 276A17
In re D.E.M
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 279A17
Tully v. City of Wilmington  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 348A16

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a police officer, adequately stated a claim that his rights under Article I, Section 1 of the North Carolina Constitution were violated when his employer, the City of Wilmington, refused to consider Plaintiff’...

In re Se. Eye Ctr
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 358A16
North Carolina Department of Transportation v. Mission Battleground Park, DST  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 361PA16

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case seeking just compensation for the taking of property in Greensboro, the trial court erred in excluding testimony from a licensed real estate broker as an expert witness who would testify about the fair marke...

King v. Albemarle Hospital Authority  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 382PA16

Justia Opinion Summary: The trial court’s appointment of a guardian ad litem (GAL) on behalf of a minor removes that minor’s disability of minority and starts the running of the statute of limitations. Therefore, the failure of a court-appointe...

State v. Chekanow  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 390PA16

Justia Opinion Summary: Despite Defendants’ nonexclusive control over a portion of the property where twenty-two marijuana plants were found growing, the State presented sufficient evidence of other incriminating circumstances to allow the case...

Willowmere Community Ass'n v. City of Charlotte  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 419PA16

Justia Opinion Summary: A showing of strict compliance with a corporate entity’s internal bylaws and governance procedures is not necessary for that entity to invoke the jurisdiction of the General Court of Justice. Plaintiffs, non-profit corp...

Abrons Family Practice & Urgent Care, PA v. North Carolina Department of Human Services  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 427A16

Justia Opinion Summary: The trial court did not err in dismissing Plaintiffs’ action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to Plaintiffs’ failure to exhaust administrative remedies in seeking damages for denied Medicaid reimbursement clai...

Wilkie v. City of Boiling Spring Lakes  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 44PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs were entitled to seek compensation pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 40A-51 based upon the extended flooding of their property as a result of actions taken by the City of Boiling Spring Lakes for an allegedly privat...

Allied Spectrum, LLC v. Ger. Auto Ctr., Inc
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 453A16
N.C. Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hull
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 45A17
State v. Schalow
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 4PA17
State v. Lane  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 606A05-3

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant failed to prove the materiality of his request for postconviction DNA testing of hair samples in his capital case. In denying Defendant’s motion for postconviction DNA testing, the trial court found that Defen...

In re J.A.M.  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 7PA17

Justia Opinion Summary: On appeal from this non-jury neglect adjudication, the court of appeals misapplied the standard of review in reversing an order of the district court in that the district court’s findings were supported by clear and conv...

State v. Downey
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: 85A17
Cooper v. Berger  
Date: January 26, 2018
Docket Number: 52PA17-2

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case filed by Governor Roy A. Cooper III challenging the constitutionality of legislation creating a new Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement and appointing existing members of the State Eth...

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