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Current Petitions Allowed

The North Carolina Supreme Court receives petitions for discretionary review throughout the year, usually from unanimous panels of the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court also receives notices of appeal based on constitutional questions, which the Court tends to allow only in its discretion and not as a matter of right. The following cases are ones added by the Supreme Court in 2019 through either a petition for discretionary review or a notice of appeal based on a constitutional question.

 

Petitions Allowed 30 January 2019

Case Name

Issue(s)

Type(s) of Issues

New Hanover Cty. Bd. of Educ. v. Stein, No. 339PA18

Opinion below:  COA17-1374

(1) Do payments made to the Attorney General pursuant to an agreement fall within the scope of Article IX, Section 7 of the North Carolina Constitution?

(2) Were there disputed issues of material fact such that summary judgment was inappropriate?

State Constitution – Clear Proceeds Clause
State v. Osborne, No. 355P18 (restricted docket)

Opinion below:  COA18-9

Was the State required to present a scientifically valid chemical analysis of suspected heroin to survive a motion to dismiss? Criminal – Identification of Controlled Substances
State v. Walton, No. 311P18

Opinion below:  COA17-1359

Did violation reports provide the defendant with adequate notice of a violation of the conditions of probation under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1345(e)? Criminal – Probation
State v. Waycaster, No. 294PA18

Opinion below:  COA17-1249

Does the admission of evidence from a “data compilation” under the business records exception to the hearsay rule require a foundation to be laid by a custodian or other qualified witness who can testify to the methods by which the data complication was made, verified, and maintained? Evidence

 

Petitions Allowed 29 March 2019

Case Name

Issue(s)

Type(s) Issues

Chavez v. Carmichael, No. 437PA18 (consolidated with Lopez v. Carmichael)

Opinion below:  COA18-317

(1) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in finding that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to review or consider Petitioner’s habeas petitions where the record did not establish that the Petitioners were in federal custody?

(2) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in finding that a trial court lacks jurisdiction to review or consider a habeas petition challenging detention based on an immigration detainer or administrative immigration warrant even where the jurisdiction has no 287(g) agreement?

(3) Whether the Court of Appeals should have dismissed the Sheriff’s petitions as moot?

(4) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in failing to dismiss the Sheriff’s arguments where he failed to preserve his arguments as required under Rule 10?

Habeas; immigration; mootness; issue preservation
Cabarrus County Board of Education v. Department of State Treasurer, Retirement Systems Division, No. 369PA18

Opinion below:  COA17-1017

Cabarrus County Board of Education v. Board of Trustees, Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, No. 371PA18

Opinion below:  COA17-1019 

Did the Court of Appeals err by ruling that the cap factor requires rulemaking? Administrative law – Rulemaking
Desmond v. News & Observer Publishing Company, No. 132P18-2

Opinion below:  COA18-411

(1) Does the First Amendment’s “actual malice” standard protect media defendants against defamation liability based on a conflict in testimony between a newspaper reporter and the reporter’s quoted or cited sources about the accuracy of attributions to those sources, without regard to the substantial truth of the challenged statements considered fully in context?

(2) Must a public-official libel plaintiff show the existence of one of the statutory aggravating factors, in addition to a liability-phase finding of constitutional “actual malice,” in order to recover punitive damages against a media defendant?

First Amendment; punitive damages
Chambers v. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, No. 147PA18

Opinion below:  COA17-686

(1) Did the court below err in determining that Plaintiff’s claim for a classwide declaratory judgment interpreting Defendants’ emergency room contract is moot because Defendants voluntarily dismissed their counterclaim against Plaintiff seeking to collect his bill?

(2) Did the courts below err in ruling that Defendants could circumvent judicial review of the contract by voluntarily dismissing their collection action against Plaintiff?

(3) Did the trial court err in ruling that Plaintiff’s claim for a declaratory judgment interpreting the contract is not a matter of public interest?

(4) Did the trial court err in ruling that Defendants’ dismissal of their collection action against Plaintiff for the purpose of mooting his individual claim also mooted the claims of unnamed members of the putative class?

Class actions; mootness; declaratory judgments
State v. Bennett, No. 406PA18

Opinion below:  COA17-1027

(1) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the trial court’s ruling denying defendant’s Batson motion?

(2) Whether the majority of the Court of Appeals erred by holding “that if the trial court determines that it can reliably infer the race of a prospective juror based upon its observations during voir dire, and it thereafter makes a finding of fact based upon its observations, a defendant’s burden of preserving that prospective juror’s race for the record has been met”?

State v. Hobbs, No. 263P18

Opinion below: COA17-1255

(1) Whether the Court of Appeals misapplied Williams by limiting its review to the moot question of whether Mr. Hobbs had established a prima facie showing, rather than considering the trial court’s ultimate ruling on the issue of discriminatory intent?

(2) Whether the Court of Appeals misapplied Batson and its progeny by failing to properly consider all relevant factors and conclude that Mr. Hobbs had made a prima facie showing in his first Batson claim?

(3) Whether the Court of Appeals misapplied Batson and its progeny by failing to properly address the comparative juror analysis and the remainder of the totality of the circumstances, and by failing to conclude that the State’s strikes of jurors Landry and McNeill were motivated in substantial part by discriminatory intent, and should therefore result in a new trial?

Batson challenges

 

Petitions Allowed 10 May 2019

Case Name

Issue(s)

Type(s) of Issues

Rouse v. Forsyth County Department of Social Services, No. 1P19

Opinion below:  COA17-884

(1) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in its decision vacating the award of Rouse’s backpay?

(2) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in its decision vacating the award of Rouse’s attorneys’ fees?

Employment
Estate of Savino v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority, No. 18PA19

Opinion below:  COA17-1335

(1) Did the Court of Appeals err by reversing the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion for directed verdict on pain and suffering of decedent Savino?

(2) Whether the Court of Appeals’ denial of Atrium’s request for a new trial upon determining that the Estate’s administrative negligence claim was improperly pleaded and time-barred is in conflict with Supreme Court precedent, where the entire trial of this case was tainted by the improper inclusion of evidence relevant to administrative negligence, and where the trial court in its jury instruction intertwined administrative negligence with medical negligence.

(3) Whether the Court of Appeals’ failure to reverse the trial court’s directed verdict on Atrium’s contributory negligence defense conflicts with Supreme Court precedent concerning the sufficiency of the evidence where there was substantial evidence introduced at trial in support of that defense.

Tort; trial procedure
State v. Best, No. 300A93-3 Whether the trial court erred in rejecting the claim of a Brady violation presented in defendant’s motion for appropriate relief. Criminal; motion for appropriate relief; Brady violation
State v. Coles, No. 417P18

Opinion below:  COA18-357

 

Whether the Court of Appeals erred by awarding defendant a new trial based on the trial court’s omission of a guilty knowledge element in one part of its jury instructions. Criminal; jury instructions
PHG Asheville, LLC v. City of Asheville, No. 434PA18

Opinion below:  COA18-251

(1) If no one offers evidence in opposition to a development permit, is the developer automatically entitled to the permit, or may the local government independently assess the developer’s evidence and make findings of fact that support denying the permit?

(2) Did the Asheville City Council validly deny PHG’s permit based on 44 findings of fact that the Court of Appeals incorrectly disregarded as “improper,” “superfluous,” “extraneous,” “unnecessary,” and “irrelevant”?

(3) Do the Court’s decisions in Mann Media and Humble Oil compel a decision in favor of the City?

Municipalities; development permits
State v. Golder, No. 79PA18

Opinion below: COA16-987

(1) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in announcing a new rule that the sufficiency of the evidence could be reviewed on appeal for plain error?

(2) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding that Mr. Golder failed to preserve the sufficiency of the evidence for appellate review and the sufficiency of the evidence of aiding and abetting and obtaining property should be reviewed on appeal?

(3) Whether the State presented sufficient evidence that petitioner “aided and abetted” Ballentine?

(4) Whether the State presented sufficient evidence that “value” was obtained for purposes of obtaining property by false pretenses?

Criminal; error preservation; sufficiency of the evidence

Petitions Allowed 11 June 2019

Case Name Issue(s) Type(s) of Issues
State v. Tyler Deion Greenfield, No. 11A19

Opinion below: COA17-802

Whether the Court of Appeals erroneously found that the trial court prejudicially erred when it declined to instruct the jury as to self-defense for the assault, where the jury, properly instructed on transferred intent and self-defense for the murder, demonstrated that it rejected defendant’s claim of self-defense when it found him guilty of second-degree murder? Criminal; jury instructions
Chappell v. N.C. Department of Transportation, No. 51PA19

Bypass petition:  petition allowed prior to a determination by the Court of Appeals

(1) Did the trial court err by ruling that the recording of a corridor map under the Map Act is equivalent to a fee simple taking of the affected property?

(2) Did the trial court err by refusing to allow the Department of Transportation to exercise its statutory quick-take rights?

(3) Did the trial court err by awarding plaintiffs interest of 8 percent compounded annually?

(4) Did the trial court err by adding taxes paid by plaintiffs to their compensation award?

Inverse condemnation; Map Act
Walker v. K&W Cafeterias, No. 99PA19

Opinion below:  COA18-429

(1) Do statutory recipients of a wrongful death action have to reimburse a workers’ compensation lien under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-10.2 when the recipients did not receive any workers’ compensation payments?

(2) Were the underinsured motorist proceeds in the wrongful death settlement paid under a South Carolina policy of insurance?

(3) Did the North Carolina Industrial Commission exceed its jurisdiction in distributing property to satisfy a workers’ compensation lien, when that property is not located in North Carolina and is subject to the laws of South Carolina, where the property is located, which immunize the property from subrogation?

(4) Does S.C. Code § 38-77-160 immunize the South Carolina underinsurance motorist proceeds, which are in South Carolina, from subrogation under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-10.2, including orders of distribution under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-10.2(f), as a matter of law?

(5) Does this Court’s decision in the In re Civil Penalty case obligate the Court of Appeals to follow one of its earlier opinions that is void on its face for lack of subject matter jurisdiction?

(6) What is the proper procedure for attaching property to satisfy a workers’ compensation lien under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-10.2, that preserve the interests of justice and the integrity of the laws of the state in which the property is located?

Wrongful death; workers’ compensation; extraterritorial jurisdiction; In re Civil Penalty
State v. Steen, No. 141A19

Opinion below:  COA18-233

Did the Court of Appeals err by concluding the law allowed the jury to consider hands and arms as a deadly weapon for the attempted murder alleged as the underlying felony for felony murder? Criminal; harmless error; murder
State v. Williams, No. 233P12-2

Opinion below:  COA16-178

(1) Whether imposing two consecutive sentences of life with the possibility of parole violates the United States Constitution and/or the North Carolina Constitution?

(2) Whether the Court of Appeals erred as a matter of law by holding the trial court is required to determine whether a juvenile murderer is constitutionally eligible for a sentence of life without parole under Miller v. Alabama and its progeny as a “threshold” issue and can do so based solely on determining whether defendant would likely benefit from rehabilitation irrespective of the totality of the circumstances?

Criminal; sentencing; juveniles