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Criminal Law

  • The Statutory Law of Self-Defense in North Carolina
    Several years ago (some might say that’s an understatement) I wrote The Law of Self-Defense in North Carolina, in which I looked at over 200 years’ worth of North Carolina court opinions on self-defense and related defenses, such as defense of others and defense of habitation. The book’s approach reflected… Read more »
  • Court of Appeals “Capps” Prosecutors’ Use of Statements of Charges in Superior Court
    The ability to file a misdemeanor statement of charges is a superpower for district court prosecutors, enabling them to overcome virtually any error in a criminal pleading with the stroke of a pen. Arraignment in district court is kryptonite, robbing the superpower of its efficacy. This dynamic was on full… Read more »
  • News Roundup
    Late last week a federal judge in Raleigh vacated Charles Ray Finch’s 1976 state conviction for murder and ordered that he be released from North Carolina prison after being incarcerated for 43 years for a killing that he did not commit.  Finch is a client of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic… Read more »
  • PJCs for Serious Felonies
    Sometimes prayer for judgment is continued on a serious (Class B1–E) felony conviction to give a defendant time to demonstrate good behavior before sentencing. What happens if that PJC extends beyond the time limitations set out in G.S. 15A-1331.2? Does the court lose jurisdiction to enter judgment in the case… Read more »
  • Improving North Carolina’s Criminal Court Date Notification System
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    Failures to appear in court (FTAs) are expensive and inconvenient. There is wasted preparation and court time, along with cost and inconvenience for witnesses, jurors, defense lawyers, prosecutors and victims. The defendant may be subject to arrest and possibly pretrial incarceration. Additionally, when an order for arrest issues after a… Read more »
  • When Does Delinquency Result in Abuse, Neglect, or Dependency?
    A juvenile may be involved with both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. These youth are sometimes referred to as “dual jurisdiction” or “crossover youth.” Two of the ways a juvenile in North Carolina may be involved with both systems is when the juvenile is the subject of a… Read more »
  • News Roundup
    The Herald Sun reported this week that Durham and several other cities across the state are moving previously untested rape kits into the evidence analysis process in an effort to clear North Carolina’s significant backlog of untested kits.  Asheville has submitted the most kits for testing, followed closely by Durham… Read more »
  • A Visit to the Burke CRV Center
    Another stop on the recent North Carolina Judicial College Correctional Facilities Tour was the Burke CRV Center in Morganton. Today’s post shares what we learned about defendants ordered to serve 90 days of confinement in response to violation for a technical violation of probation or post-release supervision. CRV Background. Confinement in… Read more »
  • To Prove Aggravating Factors for DWI in Superior Court, State Must Provide Notice
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    One person convicted of misdemeanor impaired driving may be placed on probation and ordered to complete 24 hours of community service. Another may receive an active sentence of three years’ imprisonment. The severity of the sentence depends largely on the presence of aggravating factors, which must be proved by the… Read more »
  • Hemp or Marijuana?
    Back in November of last year, I wrote about hemp and CBD laws here. I have been teaching quite a bit on the subject lately and wanted to follow up that post with an examination of how legal use of hemp products may affect marijuana prosecutions in North Carolina. The… Read more »
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Civil Law

  • When Does Delinquency Result in Abuse, Neglect, or Dependency?
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    A juvenile may be involved with both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. These youth are sometimes referred to as “dual jurisdiction” or “crossover youth.” Two of the ways a juvenile in North Carolina may be involved with both systems is when the juvenile is the subject of a… Read more »
  • Apply Now! Elder Abuse Workshop at the School of Government
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      Yesterday, the application period opened for a free workshop we will be hosting September 26-27, 2019 at the School of Government in Chapel Hill.* The purpose of the workshop is to bring together stakeholders from around North Carolina to create and grow multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) to address elder abuse… Read more »
  • No Kids in Court?
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    **This post was written by SOG faculty member Jeff Welty (although I made a few very minor edits) and posted on the NC Criminal Law Blog on April 30, 2019.   A few weeks ago, WRAL reported that a courtroom deputy and district court judge told a woman waiting in… Read more »
  • Default and Summary Judgment in ‘Divorce’ Cases
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    In a recent opinion, the court of appeals held that a trial court has no authority to annul a marriage by summary judgment. Hill v. Durette, (N.C. App, March 19, 2019). This case reminds us that while the Rules of Civil Procedure apply to domestic relations cases generally, there are… Read more »
  •  A Lease or a License?
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    Every small claims magistrate knows that a “simple landlord-tenant relationship” is a jurisdictional requirement in summary ejectment actions. In most cases the existence of such a relationship is quite clear, but that’s not always so. When the property in question is something other than a home or business, questions sometimes… Read more »
  • Eight Common Mistakes by Guardians of an Incompetent Adult’s Estate
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    In connection with an upcoming class on guardianship, I recently surveyed a number of clerks of superior court (judicial officials who preside over guardianship cases in NC) about common post-appointment problems among guardians.  My questions focused on non-attorney individuals serving as general guardians and guardians of the estate.  Here are… Read more »
  • Who Can Access a Delinquency or Undisciplined Juvenile Court Record?
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    I have had the pleasure of working here at the School of Government for eight months now. In that time I have gotten some interesting questions about North Carolina’s delinquency laws. Most often, those questions relate to the confidentiality of juvenile court records. When I first read the statute –… Read more »
  • Grandparent visitation: termination of parent’s rights does not terminate grandparent’s court ordered visitation
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    The court of appeals recently reversed a trial court decision that a judgment terminating a mother’s parental rights voided a court order entered five years earlier granting her mother visitation with her grandchild. In Adams v. Langdon, (NC App March 19, 2019), the court of appeals held that the termination… Read more »
  • Today is GiveUNC Day: A Message from the School’s Dean
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    It’s the annual GiveUNC day. If you value the work of the School of Government, like our many blogs including “On the Civil Side,” please consider making a donation today. We would really appreciate your support. Below is a message from the School’s Dean, Mike Smith. Today is the day!… Read more »
  • 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 »
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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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