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Tag Archives: subject-matter jurisdiction

Civil Practice – Appeals – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Distributive Award – Enforcement Pending Appeal (access required)

Romulus v. Romulus Where the trial court’s equitable distribution order required the defendant-husband to make a distributive award to the plaintiff-wife in monthly installments over seven years, once the husband appealed the order, the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enforce the payment of the installments. Vacated and remanded.

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Constitutional – Freedom of Religion – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction — Nonprofit Corporation – Tort/Negligence – Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (access required)

Johnson v. Antioch United Holy Church, Inc. Even though defendants are a church and three of its members, the trial court need not delve into eccliastical law to decide whether defendants’ actions were authorized by the church’s bylaws. We reverse the trial court’s order granting defendants’ motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for Rule 11 sanctions.

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Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Constitutional – Full Faith & Credit – Florida Ruling – Trusts & Estates  (access required)

Melvin v. Wachovia Bank, N.A. Petitioner’s decedent lived in Florida, and respondent was the executor of her Florida estate. Even though the executor opened an ancillary estate in Macon County, N.C. in order to transfer real property to one of decedent’s trusts, since the fees for the executor’s services in the ancillary N.C. estate were included in an un-appealed order in the Florida estate proceedings, the Florida fee award is entitled to full faith and credit and may not be collaterally attacked in N.C. courts.

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Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – First Impression — Judgments – Execution – Supplemental Proceedings – Corporate – Piercing the Veil (access required)

Travelers Indemnity Co. of Connecticut v. Triple S Marketing Group North Carolina’s supplemental proceedings statutes do not afford a trial court jurisdiction over a motion to pierce the corporate veil of a judgment debtor. We reverse the trial court’s order allowing plaintiff to execute its judgment against individuals who were not party to the underlying lawsuit.

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Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction — Administrative – Failure to Exhaust Remedies – Tort/Negligence – Urine Test – Labor & Employment – Public Employees (access required)

Vanwijk v. Professional Nursing Services, Inc. Defendant is the private company that conducted the urine test that resulted in the loss of plaintiff’s job as a police officer. Although both parties are private, the trial court correctly ruled that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction because plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies that would have decided the same issues that he alleges in this action. We affirm the trial court’s order granting defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

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Domestic Relations – Constitutional — Parent & Child – Custody – Paternal Grandparents – Insufficient Findings – Subject Matter Jurisdiction (access required)

Powers v. Wagner Although the defendant-mother left her son with his paternal grandparents for two years, the trial court failed to make findings as to whether the mother intended for the arrangement to be temporary or permanent. The trial court should not have proceeded to the issue of the child’s best interests before ruling on the issue of the mother’s intentions. We vacate the order granting custody to the grandparents and remand for further proceedings.

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

Brown v. N.C. Department of Transportation Plaintiff’s assertion that defendant’s agents and employees engaged in “poor driveway construction practice” may state a claim that defendant breached its contract to reconfigure and reconnect plaintiff’s driveway as part of its highway project, but it does not state a claim for negligence under the State Tort Claims Act.

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Civil Practice – Appeals – Interlocutory – Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice – Intellectual Property – Foreign Patents – Subject Matter Jurisdiction (access required)

Revolutionary Concepts, Inc. v. Clements Walker, PLLC Plaintiffs; legal malpractice claim against defendants alleges that defendants’ actions prevented plaintiffs from obtaining foreign patents, not a U.S. patent; therefore, this case does not fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts. Even if an unsuccessful challenge to subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a) were entitled to immediate appellate review, this case does not fall under § 1338(a). We dismiss as interlocutory defendants’ appeal of the trial court’s denial of their motion to dismiss.

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Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Summary Judgment Motions – One Superior Court Judge to Another (access required)

Shelf v. Wachovia Bank, NA Respondent N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS’) motion to dismiss and its subsequent motion for summary judgment were both based on the contention that petitioners were not entitled to any further trust disbursements after the death of the trust beneficiary. Where Superior Court Judge Hight converted DHHS’ motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment and then denied it, Judge Titus impermissibly overruled Judge Hight when he granted DHHS’s subsequent summary judgment motion. We vacate Judge Titus’ order granting summary judgment for DHHS.

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Prisons & Jails – Tort/Negligence – Administrative Discipline – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction — Nutra-loaf (access required)

Stevenson v. N.C. Department of Correction Plaintiff alleged that he was mistakenly accused of violating a prison rule and that his punishment was receiving only “Nutra-loaf” — which he could not eat – as food for three days. Plaintiff made no argument that the defendant’s actions exceeded the broad grant of legislative authority allowing defendant to govern prison discipline; therefore, plaintiff has not alleged any judicial matters.

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