Johnson v. Robertson Under N.C. R. Evid. 1101, the Rules of Evidence apply “to all actions and proceedings in the courts of this State” and if otherwise provided by statute. Rule 1101 further provides that the Rules of Evidence do not apply in certain proceedings, including preliminary questions of fact, grand jury proceedings, sentencing hearings, probation revocation hearings, and probable cause hearings. Petitioner has cited no other statute that otherwise provides for the application of the Rules of Evidence to hearings pursuant to G.S. § 20-16.2. After reviewing applicable statutes, we hold the Rules of Evidence do not apply to DMV hearings held pursuant to § 20-16.2.
Karimi v. Holder The 4th Circuit grants an Afghan citizen’s petition for review of a final order of removal, and says the government failed to prove that his act of “grabbing” the hand of a police officer who was processing his Maryland DUI charge was not a “crime of violence” and thus an “aggravated felony” that would trigger his removal under federal immigration law.
K.C. v. Shipman In this case involving a cutback in Medicaid services to a class of North Carolina recipients with severe developmental disabilities, the 4th Circuit dismisses an appeal of a preliminary injunction ordering the state Medicaid agency not to reduce services without a hearing; the state agency that administers the Medicaid program has not joined in this appeal filed by the contract healthcare provider that manages the services and its director.
Coleman v. Drug Enforcement Administration Despite a statutory mandate requiring federal agencies to respond to FOIA requests and appeals within 20 working days, defendant Drug Enforcement Administration ultimately took two and one-half years to respond to plaintiff’s request for documents concerning the federal government’s regulation of the drug carisoprodol, and the 4th Circuit says the exhausted plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies, reverses the district court judgment for the agency, and remands the case for further proceedings.
In re Suttles Surveying, P.A. Even though there was a contract dispute between the respondent-surveyor and his customer, the N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors did not adjudicate this dispute.
S.C. Dep’t of Education v. Duncan, Sec’y of Dep’t of Educ. The 4th Circuit has jurisdiction to hear a state’s challenge to the federal Department of Education’s refusal to waive the entire amount of money the state owed for failing to match federal special education funds with state funding; the State of South Carolina is entitled to notice and a hearing before the federal agency makes its decision.
Hegab v. Long An employee of a federal intelligence agency who alleges he lost his top-secret security clearance and his job after he married a Muslim woman cannot sue the agency for violation of his constitutional rights, reinstatement and back pay; the 4th Circuit says plaintiff was merely restating “speculative and conclusory” allegations of constitutional violations which the court does not have jurisdiction to review.
Suarez-Valenzuela v. Holder A Peruvian petitioner loses his appeal of a BIA decision that says he must be deported despite his fear of torture by government officials for his trial testimony about a police officer murdering petitioner’s companion; the 4th Circuit upholds the BIA decision based on current conditions in Peru, evidence of petitioner’s past torture and the possibility of his relocation within Peru.
Mark Beason v. North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State : The General Assembly gave the N.C. Ethics Commission – and not respondent – authority to interpret lobbying laws; therefore, respondent had no authority to interpret lobbying laws to encompass an “acting in concert” theory of liability.
We affirm the superior court’s order setting aside the civil fine assessment against petitioner.
Since petitioner’s state constitutional claim is still pending, this appeal is interlocutory. Nevertheless, where the trial court found that respondent was improperly interpreting statutes that it is responsible for investigating and enforcing, respondent suffers the risk of injury if we do not consider the merits of this interlocutory appeal.
G.S. § 120C-101(a) sets out the rulemaking responsibilities of the Ethics Commission and respondent. Respondent is required to adopt any rules, orders, and forms necessary to administer the provisions of Articles 2, 4, and 8 of the lobbying laws. However, the Ethics Commission is responsible for adopting rules necessary to interpret all provisions of the lobbying laws and for adopting rules necessary to administer Articles 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 of the lobbying laws.
Respondent has no power to interpret any of the provisions of the lobbying laws. Any interpretation by respondent that expands or defines terms in a way that conflicts with the plain language of the statutes would be outside its statutory powers.
The trial court correctly concluded that respondent’s interpretation of the lobbying laws was “not entitled to traditional deference.”
We also agree with the trial court that the lobbying laws are penalty statutes, so they must be strictly construed.
Strictly construing § 120C-100(a)(9), we conclude that respondent improperly construed the definition of “lobbying” to find violations based on “coordinated efforts” or “acting in concert” with another.
Respondent only contended that petitioner engaged in “lobbying” as defined in subparagraph (a), which states that lobbying only includes direct communication or activities. Therefore, indirect communications, such as those that could be based on “acting in concert” or imputed liability, would not constitute lobbying. By finding violations of the lobbying laws based on imputed liability, respondent impermissibly expanded the definition of lobbying.
The trial court concluded that the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) was not a lobbyist principal for two primary reasons: (1) petitioner had no knowledge of EEPC, and (2) petitioner was not paid by EEPC.
Donald Beason v. North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State While the superior court found that petitioner never directly communicated with any individual on behalf of his alleged principals, the superior court failed to address whether petitioner engaged in lobbying “activities” on behalf of those principals.