There is perhaps no topic more frequently covered on this blog than that of the appeal of an interlocutory order and the substantial rights that will permit such an appeal to be immediately reviewed by the appellate court. That this is a recurring topic on the blog is unsurprising, as it is an recurring issue addressed by North Carolina ‘s appellate opinions. True to form, the issue was addressed by the Court of Appeals in its opinion in Brown v. Thompson released this morning. The appellant there sought immediate review of the denial of his summary judgment motion, arguing that the order affected a substatial right because his motion was based on the principles of res judicata. He was moving to dismiss a complaint against him in Superior Court that contained claims of defamation, intentional and negligent infliction or emotional distress, and sexual harrassment. He argued that a “Complaint for No-Contact Order for Stalking or Nonconsensual Sexual Contact,” filed by the planitiff against him but dismissed by the district court for failure to prosecute, constituted res judicata of the claims in Planitiff’ s Superior Court action.
The Court of Appeals acknowledged that the