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Constitutional

Constitutional – Commerce & Contract Clauses – Real Property – Environmental – Landfill – Municipal – Administrative – Out-of-State Waste (access required)

Waste Industries USA v. State New landfill legislation affected in-state and out-of-state waste equally and was rationally related to public health and other benefits. It did not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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Constitutional – Freedom of Religion – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Church Membership – Ecclesiastical Matter (access required)

Vuncannon v. North Carolina Institute of Christian Development, Inc. Plaintiffs’ standing to bring this action (relating to the defendant-church’s sale of real property) depends on plaintiffs’ membership in the church. Defendants deny that plaintiffs are members of the church and provided the trial court with a document showing that plaintiffs had terminated their membership prior to the filing of this lawsuit by violating membership requirements established in the church’s bylaws. The trial court correctly held that it lacked jurisdiction to determine whether plaintiffs are members of the church.

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Constitutional – Equal Protection – Smoking Ban – Exemptions – Private Clubs – For Profit vs. Nonprofit (access required)

Edwards v. Morrow We read G.S. § 130A-496 to exempt private, nonprofit country clubs from the general prohibition on smoking in restaurants and bars; however, private, for-profit country clubs are not exempt from the ban. Given the General Assembly’s motive for enacting the ban – protection of the public from secondhand smoke – this is a rational, and therefore constitutional, distinction.

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Constitutional – Full Faith & Credit – Iowa Default Judgment – Contract – Floating Forum Selection Clause (access required)

Professional Solutions Financial Services v. Richard Yeager & Associates, D.D.S., P.A. Where plaintiff obtained a default judgment against defendants in Iowa and sought to enforce it here, our trial court was required to give full faith and credit to the Iowa judgment unless the judgment violated the public policy of Iowa, not the public policy of North Carolina.

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Constitutional – First Amendment – Free Speech – Video Games – Sweepstakes Results (access required)

Sandhill Amusements v. State ex rel. Purdue The trial court determined that G.S. § 14-3-6.4 was constitutional, dismissed plaintiffs’ complaint for a declaration that their sweepstakes systems did not violate N.C. gaming or gambling laws, and dissolved a preliminary injunction prohibiting defendants from taking enforcement action against plaintiffs. Since Hest Technologies, Inc. v. State ex rel. Purdue [Lawyers Weekly No. 12-07-0254] declared § 14-306.4 void as unconstitutionally overbroad, we must reverse the trial court’s order.

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Constitutional – Due Process & Equal Protection – No Property Interest – DMV Contract – Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device Provider (access required)

Monitech Inc. v. Robertson Since plaintiff - a longtime vendor of breath alcohol ignition interlock devices — has no property interest in the N.C. DMV’s 2008 guidelines for certification and request for certification (the 2008 RFC), plaintiff lacks standing to challenge DMV’s termination of the 2008 RFC.

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Constitutional – Preemption – Ethanol Blending Statute – Federal Renewable Fuel Program – Intellectual Property – Lanham Act – PMPA – Commerce Clause (access required)

American Petroleum Institute v. Cooper North Carolina’s Ethanol Blending Statute – which allows gasoline marketers in our state to participate in the blending of ethanol and gasoline (and the tax credits that go along with such blending) – does not conflict with and is not preempted by the Federal Renewable Fuel Program, the Lanham Act, or the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act, nor does the Ethanol Blending Statute violate the Commerce Clause. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted.

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Constitutional – Search & Seizure – DWI Stop – Due Process – Motorcycle Seizure (access required)

Northrup v. Albert Where defendant Deputy Goudelock had the impression that plaintiff was speeding, this was sufficient to warrant the deputy’s initial stop of plaintiff. In addition, Deputy Goudelock began to follow plaintiff (and only observed the alleged speeding) following what he believed to be plaintiff leaving the scene of an accident in which plaintiff was involved.

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Constitutional – Free Speech – Woman’s Right to Know Act – Speech & Display Requirements – Coerced Speech – Strict Scrutiny – Civil Practice – Preliminary Injunction (access required)

Stuart v. Huff G.S. § 90-21.85 requires a medical provider to display images of an abortion patient’s ultrasound so she may see them and to simultaneously explain the display, including the presence, location, and dimensions of the fetus along with the presence of external members and internal organs, if present and viewable. This compelled speech does not withstand strict scrutiny.

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