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Criminal Law

  • Do Expunctions Matter?
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    Intuitively, the answer seems obvious—a clean record should reduce reentry barriers for employment and other opportunities. Yet, data on the impact of expunctions is elusive because, by their nature, expunged records are unavailable to analyze. No longer. A recent study by J.J. Prescott and Sonja B. Starr, law professors and… Read more »
  • United States Supreme Court Rejects Another Challenge to Another Method of Lethal Injection But Leaves the Door Open to Future Litigation
    The Supreme Court decided Bucklew v. Precythe today, rejecting a death row inmate’s challenge to Missouri’s single-drug execution protocol. Challenges to lethal injection are now 0-for-3 in the Supreme Court, but the Court did not foreclose future litigation. To the contrary, it left the door open to further challenges, and… Read more »
  • News Roundup
    Late last week Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report on the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.  Attorney General William Barr wrote a summary of the report to members of Congress on Sunday, saying that the report has two parts, one focusing on whether the Trump… Read more »
  • A Case of Actual Absconding
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    A string of recent cases have shown what absconding isn’t. A case from the court of appeals this week gives us an example of what absconding is. In State v. Newsome, the defendant was on felony probation for a drug offense. About two years into the probation, the probation officer… Read more »
  • Appellate Bracketology
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    This March, you almost need a bracket to keep up with recent personnel changes in the state’s judicial branch. Not only were a handful of new appellate judges elected to office in 2018, but, just in the last month, the governor appointed a new chief justice and announced plans to… Read more »
  • Juvenile Justice Changes in Federal Law
    The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA) is the central federal law that establishes core requirements for state juvenile justice systems. 34 USC §111. In return for compliance with these core requirements, the statute authorizes federal funding for states to use in their juvenile justice systems. The… Read more »
  • Is a Single Drug Sale from a Residence Enough to Support a Conviction for Maintaining a Dwelling?
    Last week, the court of appeals decided State v. Miller, a case in which the defendant was convicted of maintaining a dwelling based almost entirely on the fact that he conducted a drug sale there. Would the court of appeals find the evidence sufficient under State v. Rogers, __ N.C.… Read more »
  • News Roundup
    A stunning and tragic mass shooting in New Zealand late last week is one of the biggest international criminal law news stories in recent memory.  Last Friday, an Australian man motivated by racism killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch.  In a disturbing use of modern technology, the attack… Read more »
  • Overcriminalization & Ordinance Violations as Crimes
    Think you can consult the North Carolina General Statutes to know everything that’s been made criminal in North Carolina? Think again. Under state law, counties, cities, towns, and metropolitan sewerage districts have authority to create crimes through local ordinances. G.S. 14-4(a) (providing that, as a general rule, violation of such… Read more »
  • Court Vacates Stalking Convictions on First Amendment Grounds
    Yesterday the court of appeals vacated Brady Lorenzo Shackelford’s convictions for felony stalking on the basis that the prosecution of Shackelford for violating G.S. 14-277.3A impermissibly infringed upon his constitutional right to free speech. This post will review the court’s opinion in State v. Shackelford, ___ N.C. App. ___ (March… Read more »
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Civil Law

  • Juvenile Justice Changes in Federal Law
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    The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA) is the central federal law that establishes core requirements for state juvenile justice systems. 34 USC §111. In return for compliance with these core requirements, the statute authorizes federal funding for states to use in their juvenile justice systems. The… Read more »
  • Big Changes to Appeals of A/N/D – TPR Orders Designated in G.S. 7B-1001
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    On January 1, 2019, the process to appeal abuse, neglect, dependency (A/N/D) and termination of parental rights (TPR) orders designated in G.S. 7B-1001 changed significantly. Amendments to G.S. 7B-1001 now require that some orders be appealed directly to the NC Supreme Court, bypassing the Court of Appeals (COA). Other orders… Read more »
  • A Frequent Flyer in Estates: The Spousal Year’s Allowance
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      If I had to guess, I would say the most common filing in a decedent’s estate is the year’s allowance.  Last year in NC, there were 18,000 filings for a year’s allowance.   There are two types of year’s allowance: one for children of the decedent and one for the… Read more »
  • “You’ve Been Served?”: Private Process Servers in North Carolina
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    According to Hollywood, court process is served by guys wearing backward baseball caps pretending to deliver pizzas. They roll up, toss a summons-stuffed cardboard box at an unsuspecting defendant-to-be, then ride away proclaiming, “You’ve been served, dude!” (Remember Seth Rogan practicing for the gig in Pineapple Express? Oh, wait. I… Read more »
  • Getting Ready for Raise the Age Implementation
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    North Carolina now sits ten months away from implementation of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act (JJRA), widely referred to as “Raise the Age.” I had the opportunity to attend a summit hosted by Justice Initiatives in Charlotte last week focused on readiness for raise the age implementation. The recent report… Read more »
  • New Listserv Available for Appointed GAL Attorneys: Subscribe Now!
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    I am excited to announce our new listserv for appointed guardian ad litem (GAL) attorneys in G.S. Chapter 35A adult guardianship cases. This new listserv administered by the School of Government is available for guardian ad litem (GAL) attorneys appointed in G.S. Chapter 35A adult guardianship proceedings across North Carolina.… Read more »
  • What the law says about ex parte custody orders
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    While there are no doubt numerous ex parte custody orders entered by North Carolina courts daily throughout the state, there is very little appellate guidance regarding the circumstances under which such orders are appropriate and regarding the procedure that should be followed after such an order has been entered. Because… Read more »
  • Small Claims Magistrates: Don’t Make These Mistakes in Summary Ejectment Cases!
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    After teaching and advising magistrates about landlord-tenant law for a little more than a decade, I’ve become familiar with their most common errors – which have, somewhat discouragingly, remained pretty much the same throughout that time. All of these errors arise from neglecting to independently analyze the requirements and defenses… Read more »
  • You May Not Need that Guardian of the Estate After All: Other Methods of Distributing Property to Minors
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    A guardian of the estate for any unemancipated minor may be appointed under G.S. Chapter 35A to receive and administer property on the minor’s behalf.  G.S. 35A-1221; G.S. 35A-1251; G.S. 35A-1202(12) (requiring also that the minor must not be married).  This is because such minors are legally incompetent to transact… Read more »
  • Mental Health Evaluations Required Prior to Delinquency Dispositions
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    Please note that the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a temporary stay in this case on January 31, 2019. Last week the Court of Appeals breathed new life into a decades-old law that requires district courts to refer juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent, prior to disposition, to the area… Read more »
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The article feeds on this page are from the UNC School of Government, do not constitute legal advice and do not represent the opinions of Song Law, PLLC or or it’s representatives.

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