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Glossary

North Carolina Appellate Courts


Petition for Writ of Supersedeas (state)

An appellate filing asking the appellate court to stay the execution of a trial court order pending appellate review. See N.C. R. App. P. 23 & App. D.5. Usually accompanied by a Motion for Temporary Stay.


Petition for Writ of Certiorari (state)

An appellate filing asking the appellate court to permit review of a trial court order that is not otherwise immediately appealable, usually because the time for appeal has passed or has not yet arrived. See N.C. R. App. P. 21 & App. D.4; Appellate Style Manual at 72.


Petition for Discretionary Review (state)

An appellate filing usually used to ask the North Carolina Supreme Court to review an issue that was decided 3-0 by a panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Often called a “PDR.” Granted about 5% of the time. The Rules also allow a PDR to be filed before the Court of Appeals reaches a decision in certain circumstances but these are even more rarely granted. See N.C. R. App. P. 15 & App. D.3; Appellate Style Manual at 64.


Record on Appeal (state)

The universe of evidence and documentation from the trial court or administrative body that the appellate court may review in deciding the appeal. See N.C. R. App. P. 9 & App. B; Appellate Style Manual at 5.

Proposed Record on Appeal. A draft Record on Appeal compiled by the Appellant and served on all parties for review. See N.C. R. App. P. 11(b); Appellate Style Manual at 64.

Final Record on Appeal. The final Record on Appeal as agreed by the parties filed with the appellate court. See N.C. R. App. P. 11(c); Appellate Style Manual at 64.

Printed Record on Appeal. The portion of the Record on Appeal consisting of the pleadings and other filings from the lower court. Together with any Rule 9(d) Documentary Exhibits, any Rule 11(c) Supplement, and any transcripts, it forms the entire Record on Appeal. See N.C. R. App. P. 9.


Rule 11(c) Supplement to the Record on Appeal (state)

A portion of the Record on Appeal containing any items that the parties cannot all agree should be included in the Printed Record on Appeal. See N.C. R. App. P. 11(c).


Rule 9(d) Documentary Exhibit (state)

A portion of the Record on Appeal containing copies of exhibits, such as those introduced at trial, that were not otherwise filed with the court as part of the Printed Record on Appeal. See N.C. R. App. P. 11(d).


Petition for Rehearing (state)

An appellate filing asking the deciding court to reconsider its decision. Similar to a “Motion for Reconsideration” or a “Rule 60 motion” in trial court. See N.C. R. App. P. 31.


Consent to Appellate Mediation form (state)

An appellate filing required by the Court of Appeals by which a party to the appeal informs the Court whether it would be willing to mediate the case pending appeal. Usually due of all parties slightly earlier than the date the Appellant’s brief is due. Mediation is not ordered unless all parties agree to mediate using the same type of mediation: mediation before a sitting Court of Appeals Judge, mediation before an Emergency Recall Judge, or private mediation. The Court will entertain motions for extension of time related to the briefing schedule where mediation is agreed upon by all parties.


Mandate (both)

The formal step of the appellate court returning the case and jurisdiction to the lower court. Usually issues twenty days after a written opinion is filed with the clerk in state court, see N.C. R. App. P. 32, or twenty-one days after entry of judgment in federal court, see Fed. R. App. P. 40.


Assignments of Error (state)

Abolished in 2009 by revisions to the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure, parties used to be required to specifically identify in the Record on Appeal each mistake of fact and law it planned to appeal, or risk waiving the issue. Assignments of Error have been replaced by Proposed Issues on Appeal. Practitioners should be aware, however, that there are still potential waiver issues presented by failing to object at the trial court level and perhaps by failing to properly challenge individual findings of fact on appeal. See N.C. R. App. P. 10 (2008).


Proposed Issues on Appeal (state)

A list of issues that the appellant intends to present on appeal. Included in the Record on Appeal. See N.C. R. App. P. 10. Replaced the now-abolished “Assignments of Error.”


Cross-Appeal (state)

An Appellee can initiate a cross-appeal by timely filing its own Notice of Appeal after the Appellant does so. See N.C. R. App. P. 3. A cross-appeal is generally only necessary if the Appellee is seeking some additional relief from the appellate court and/or could have filed its own Notice of Appeal first. When an Appellee instead just wants to argue an alternative legal reason it should have won below, it need not cross-appeal and can simply present its own list of Proposed Issues on Appeal. See N.C. R. App. P. 10(c).


Judicial Settlement (state)

A rarely used procedure invoked when the parties to an appeal cannot agree on the contents of the Record on Appeal. See N.C. R. App. P. 11(c). A party moving for judicial settlement is asking the trial court to resolve the contents of the Record on Appeal. The appellate courts strongly prefer that disputed documents simply be placed in the Rule 11(c) Supplement to the Record on Appeal in lieu of the parties seeking judicial settlement.


Notice of Appeal (state)

An appellate filing made in the trial court identifying the orders appealed from and conferring jurisdiction on the appellate court. See N.C. R. App. P. 3. Without a timely filed Notice of Appeal, the appellate court does not gain jurisdiction and the appeal is subject to dismissal.


Motion for Temporary Stay (state)

An appellate filing asking the appellate court to temporarily stay the execution of a trial court order pending review of an accompanying Petition for Writ of Supersedeas. See N.C. R. App. P. 23(e) & App. D.5.


Appeal Information Statement (state)

An appellate filing required of each appellant containing basic information about the appeal. Due at the same time as the appellant’s brief. See N.C. R. App. P. 41; Appellate Style Manual at 36.


Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Joint Appendix

An appellate filing prepared by the appellant containing the relevant docket entries and documents from the proceedings below. Essentially, a digest of the highlights of the record before the lower court, compiled by the parties working in cooperation for ease of reference by the Fourth Circuit. See Fourth Circuit Local Rule of Appellate Procedure 30. The Fourth Circuit has full access to the lower court’s record, however, and can consider any documents in the record regardless of whether they are included in the Joint Appendix.


Petition for Panel Rehearing

An appellate filing asking the panel to reconsider its opinion. Rarely granted unless there was a major oversight, a substantive change in the law, or, in some cases, when a third party such as a federal agency wishes to participate and failed to do so initially. See Fourth Circuit Local Rule of Appellate Procedure 40.


Petition for Rehearing En Banc

An appellate filing asking the Fourth Circuit to sit as an entire body to consider an appeal. Granted only for cases of exceptional importance. See Fourth Circuit Local Rule of Appellate Procedure.


Docketing Statement

An appellate filing required of each appellate containing basic information about the appeal. Due within 14 days of the docketing of the appeal. See Fourth Circuit Local Rule of Appellate Procedure 3(b). Similar to an “Appeal Information Statement” in North Carolina appellate courts.

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