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Tag Archives: subject-matter jurisdiction

Criminal Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Habitual Felon Indictment – Subsequent Offenses – Felony Classification – Attempted Bribery of a Juror (access required)

State v. Ross Defendant was originally indicted for having attained the status of a habitual felon in connection with a weapons possession charge, but the habitual felon charge came before the trial court, not in connection with the weapons charge, but in connection with offenses which defendant had committed months after the habitual felon indictment was issued. The trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to accept defendant’s plea of guilty to having attained the status of a habitual felon.

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Criminal Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Indictment – Insufficient Allegations (access required)

State v. Herman Where the indictment failed to allege that defendant was convicted of an offense enumerated in G.S. Chapter 14, Article 7A or an offense involving a victim who was under the age of 16 at the time of the offense, the trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to consider a charge against defendant based on G.S. § 14-208.18(a). Therefore, the trial court’s order declaring the statute unconstitutional is a nullity.

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Civil Practice – Motion for Relief – Untimely – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Credit Card Debt (access required)

Portfolio Recovery Associates, LCC v. Hammonds The pro se defendant filed her motion for relief under N.C. R. Civ. P. 60(b) exactly one year after entry of the final judgment against her. Where all of the facts which informed defendant’s Rule 60(b) arguments were available to her at the time of trial had she exercised due diligence, and where the new legal arguments which defendant raised in her Rule 60(b) motion could also have been raised at trial, the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied defendant’s Rule 60(b) motion as untimely.

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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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Labor & Employment – ERISA — Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Remand to Plan Administrator — Collateral Order Doctrine (access required)

Dickens v. Aetna Life Ins. Co. The 4th Circuit dismisses for lack of subject matter jurisdiction a plaintiff’s ERISA suit challenging termination of his long-term disability benefits; the district court order denying both parties’ motions for summary judgment and remanding the case to the plan administrator was not appealable under the collateral order doctrine.

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Real Property – Mortgages – Foreclosure – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Arbitration – Mootness (access required)

In re Foreclosure of Cornblum In a power of sale proceeding initiated under G.S. § 45-21.16, the clerk of court, and the superior court on appeal from the clerk’s decision, lack subject matter jurisdiction to consider and rule on a party’s motion to compel arbitration. In re Foreclosure of Pugh (March 6, 2012; Lawyers Weekly No. 12-07-0257)

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Criminal Practice Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Flawed Indictment – Removal of Anti-Theft Device – ‘Merchandise’ – Too Vague – Attempted Larceny (access required)

State v. Justice The indictment against defendant alleged that she “did remove a component of an anti-theft or inventory control device to prevent the activation of the anti-theft or inventory control device. This act was committed in an effort to steal merchandise from Belks of Hendersonville, NC.”

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Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Domestic Relations – Child Support – Incompetent Parent

Clements v. Clements Where the parties initiated their domestic litigation in district court before the defendant-mother was ruled incompetent, the district court retains jurisdiction over the issue of child support, despite the fact that, ordinarily, the clerk of superior court has jurisdiction over expenditures from an incompetent’s estate.

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Bankruptcy – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Tort/Negligence (access required)

McDaniel v. Blust The 4th Circuit upholds a district court’s dismissal of claims by former officers of debtor corporation against the trustee’s law firm, hired to pursue an adversary action against the officers and sued by the former officers for invasion of privacy, breach of fiduciary duty and civil conspiracy; the trial court did not err in applying the Barton doctrine to dismiss the officers’ claims

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