Hogue v. Hogue (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-007-17, 6 pp.) (Rick Elmore, J.) Appealed from Lincoln County District Court (Jeannette Reeves, J.) N.C. App.
Holding: After the parties separated, obtained an equitable distribution order, reconciled for three years, and separated again, plaintiff sought an order holding defendant in contempt for failing to abide by the equitable distribution order. In this context, since it does not appear that the trial court was acting sua sponte to grant relief under N.C. R. Civ. P. 60(b), the trial court lacked authority to declare the equitable distribution order void.
We vacate the order declaring the equitable distribution void; however, our decision does not preclude defendant from seeking relief from the equitable distribution order pursuant to Rule 60(b), or the trial court from acting sua sponte to grant such relief pursuant to Rule 60(b).