In North Carolina, parties to a case may be able to file an appeal if they believe the trial court made a mistake of law or legal procedure. Appeals courts analyze decisions by the trial courts to determine if the law was applied appropriately and to ensure there were no conduct errors. There are a few potential rulings that the appeals court can make. Continue reading →
PAYIN V. FOY, 2023-NCCOA-______ (2023)
A civil lawsuit commences with the filing of a complaint with the court. That is the law in North Carolina. I recall in my first year of law school that my civil procedure professor stressed – and I mean really stressed – the importance of Notice and the Opportunity to be Heard. The bedrock of the legal system is upon that notice and that opportunity to be heard. Below is a published case the neatly discusses what happens when just a complaint is filed, and no summons issued. Continue reading →
It isn’t uncommon for at least one party in a divorce, child custody, or support matter to be disappointed with the outcome of the case. Some people may think that filing an appeal is an obvious option to have another shot at a more favorable judgment, but that’s not how it works. When you appeal, the appeals judge will examine the decision made by the lower court to look for possible mistakes, omissions, or misapplications of the law. Continue reading →
If you have an active or pending family law case, you have likely heard many terms that you’re not familiar with. The complexity of North Carolina laws can make family law proceedings difficult to navigate, especially when you aren’t fluent in legalese. If your case has already been through a preliminary hearing or has temporary order in place, you may have heard the word interlocutory.
Outside of the legal world, this is not a common word, so it’s understandable if you have questions about what it means for your pending case. Continue reading →
SCOTT V. VURAL, 2023-NCCOA-________ (2023) (unpublished).
- Facts: This is a personal injury case. However, the rules for service apply to almost all civil cases. There was an automobile accident in February of 2018. In February of 2021, Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit and attempted to serve defendant by certified mail pursuant to Rule 4 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiffs mailed the summons and complaint to a Ridge Lane Road address in Charlotte. USPS delivered the envelope, but marked “C-19” on the return receipt, as part of the contactless delivery policy the USPS enacted during Covid. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss for failure to serve, stating that Defendant did not receive the summons and complaint, did not sign the certified mail receipt, and had not lived at the Ridge Lane Road property since May of 2018 when it was sold. Trial court granted.
AMAN V. NICHOLSON, 2023-NCCOA-________ (2023).
- Facts: Plaintiff and Defendant are parents of a minor child. They separated in fall of 2019. Plaintiff filed for custody, and a temporary order was entered. The temporary order granted joint legal custody (decision making) and primary physical custody to Plaintiff, visitation to Defendant. It further required each party to obtain and exchange psychological evaluations and to attend counseling. Eventually, the custody matter was set for trial in spring of 2021. On the first day of trial, Defendant provided a list to Plaintiff containing three expert witnesses that he planned on calling to testify. Defendant also provided the witnesses’ CVs and the written reports of two of the witnesses. Plaintiff objected and wanted to exclude the expert testimony. The trial court agreed, and entered an Order that excluded Defendant’s three expert witnesses from testifying. When trying to settle the record on appeal, Defendant wanted the CVs and written reports of the experts included, while Plaintiff objected to their inclusion. In judicial settlement of the record, the trial court ordered that the reports and CVs not be included. Defendant appealed.
Becker Williams, F. Supp. 3d , 2016 WL 878492 (W.D. Wash. 2016)
Facts: Husband and wife were married and in 2002, the husband designated the wife as survivor beneficiary of his retirement plans with Xerox. Continue reading →
“Objection – Hearsay!” From Perry Mason to Saul Goodman, anyone who’s watched a courtroom drama has heard it said, but what does it really mean? The technical definition of “hearsay” sounds like complicated nonsense to most people: “an out of court statement used to show the truth of the matter asserted.” The important thing for you to remember on the witness stand is that hearsay is second-hand information, and it’s usually not allowed in court except in special circumstances. Continue reading →
Shebalin v. Shebalin, 2022-NCCOA-410.
This appeal arose from the appointment of a parenting coordinator. Parenting coordinators are often appointed to child custody cases when the parents absolutely cannot get along. Plaintiff and Defendant had a minor child together who was at the center of their custody dispute. The trial court’s finding was that the case had become “high conflict” and thus a parenting coordinator was appointed for a term of years. In 2019, Defendant filed a motion to appoint again and was met with a motion to dismiss. At the hearing on these motions in 2020, the trial court again labeled the case high conflict, denied the motion to dismiss, and then set out a future date for the appointment of a coordinator. Continue reading →
Wake Co. obo Williams v. Wiley, 2022-NCCOA-402.
Facts: Defendant was ordered to pay child support to Plaintiff in an order from Maryland entered in 2007. For enforcement, the order was to be filed in Wake County. At that time, Defendant was over $42,000 in arrears. Plaintiff filed their notice for registration of the Maryland order and later confirmed the registration through a default judgment in 2018. Defendant next filed a motion to set aside the confirmation because she alleged that she was not properly noticed of the hearing. The trial court denied. Defendant also sought to dismiss the confirmation pursuant to a motion filed under Rule 12(b)(2), (4), and (5). These were also denied. Defendant appealed. Continue reading →