Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility


Sep 25, 2023

Constitutional – Reasonable Suspicion – Motion to Suppress Evidence – Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

Defendant failed to demonstrate that the arresting officer lacked reasonable suspicion to initiate the stop of his vehicle. Defendant argued the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress evidence because the arresting officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop his vehicle, in violation of his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Defendant […]

Sep 25, 2023

Constitutional – Revival of Statute of Limitations – Facial Constitutional Challenge – Law of the Land Clause – Substantive Due Process

Defendant Gaston County Board of Education (the “Board”), which allegedly failed to protect the children in its care from a sexually abusive employee over a period of years, asked us to elevate a purely procedural statute of limitations defense into an inviolable constitutional right to be free from any civil liability for whatever misdeeds would […]

Sep 22, 2023

Constitutional – Sovereign Immunity – Bar Closures – State of Emergency – COVID-19

The plaintiff-bar owners allege defendants violated their constitutional right to earn a living when the defendant-governor ordered their bars to close during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plaintiffs have stated direct claims under the N.C. Constitution for which they have no other adequate state remedy. Consequently, the doctrine of sovereign immunity does not bar plaintiffs’ claims. We […]

Aug 31, 2023

Constitutional – Schools & School Boards – Retirement Contributions – Labor & Employment – Contracts

The General Assembly enacted a statute raising the retirement contributions required for highly paid state or public-school employees who retired after the statute went into effect. This statute did not impermissibly apply retroactively or unconstitutionally impair contracts. We reverse the superior court’s grant of summary judgment for the petitioner-school board. Background In 2014, the Genera[...]

Jul 12, 2023

Constitutional – Free Speech – Labor & Employment – Public Employees – University Professor

The plaintiff-professor’s comments at a faculty meeting and in an email to faculty were job-related, so he was speaking as an employee rather than as a citizen. While his comments on his personal blog dealt with matters of public concern, he has failed to sufficiently allege that actions taken against him ten months later were […]

Apr 11, 2023

Constitutional – Fruits of Labor – Discretionary Review Improvidently Allowed – No Precedential Value

We granted discretionary review of a unanimous Court of Appeals decision which (1) upheld the trial court’s dismissal of due process and equal protection claims arising out of the termination of a police officer but (2) reversed the dismissal of the officer’s claim under our state constitution’s guarantee of each person’s right to enjoy the […]

Mar 13, 2023

Constitutional – Vagueness – Free Speech – Schools & School Boards – Disorderly Conduct & Disruption of School Statutes – Expungement Remedy

As they are ordinarily understood, the terms used in South Carolina’s disorderly conduct statute – “disorderly,” “boisterous,” “obscene,” and “profane” – make it hard to escape the conclusion that any person passing a schoolyard during recess is likely witnessing a large-scale crime scene. The pre-2018 version of South Carolina’s disturbing schools statute’s prohibition o[...]

Mar 13, 2023

Constitutional – First Amendment – Undercover Reporting – Property Protection Act

To the extent several subsections of North Carolina’s Property Protection Act punish newsgathering activities, those subsections violate the First Amendment. We affirm the district court’s determination that the subsections or the Property Protection Act (the Act) violate plaintiffs’ constitutional rights but reverse the district court’s striking of two subsections in their entirety. Peopl[...]

Feb 22, 2023

Constitutional – First Amendment – Traffic Stop – Livestreaming Encounter with Police

Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged a town policy that violates his right to free speech: a ban on livestreaming a traffic stop by police. At the motion-to-dismiss stage, the town has not shown that the alleged policy is sufficiently grounded in and tailored to strong government interests to survive First Amendment scrutiny. However, plaintiff has not […]

Feb 22, 2023

Constitutional – First Amendment – Political Campaign – Derogatory Statements – Reckless Disregard for Truth

A North Carolina statute, G.S. § 163-274(a)(9) (the Act), may be unconstitutional because it outlaws any derogatory comment “made in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity.” Such a comment may be true, and the First Amendment does not permit outlawing truthful speech. Moreover, under the Act, speakers may lie with impunity about others but […]

Feb 10, 2023

Constitutional – Takings Clause – COVID-19 Restrictions – 45-Day Lockdown – Nonresident Real Property Owners

Starting in late March 2020, Dare County, North Carolina, prohibited non-resident property owners from entering the county. Although the Virginia plaintiffs were unable to reside in their property for 45 days because of the lockdown, Dare County did not “take” their property within the meaning of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. We affirm […]

Jan 25, 2023

Constitutional – Breach of Contract – Statutory Immunity – COVID-19 Response – University Distance Learning

The plaintiff-students have stated claims for breach of contract, based on the defendant-university system’s transition to online-only learning during the spring semester of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, defendant is entitled to immunity under G.S. § 116-311, and plaintiffs have failed to show the statute is unconstitutional as applied to them. We […]

Top Legal News

See All Top Legal News


See All Commentary