• State: New Election Maps Would Cause Confusion, Add Costs

    If a three-judge federal court panel does not freeze its order to redraw a new congressional election map by Feb. 19 the result would be voter confusion, inability to protect the integrity of the electoral process, suppressed voter and candidate turnout, and more than $12 million of increased taxpayer expenses,…

  • Court: Manmade Ditch Is A Navigable Waterway

    RALEIGH — Is a manmade ditch considered navigable under state law, and thus public property, if fishing boats use it? The state’s second-highest court ruled May 18 that it is — and such manmade waters are subject to the state’s public trust doctrine.

  • Appeals Court Strikes Down Random Drug Tests in Schools

    RALEIGH — The North Carolina Court of Appeals has rejected the Graham County Board of Education’s plans to conduct random, suspicionless drug testing of all its employees. The appeals court found that such testing violated the North Carolina Constitution’s guarantees against unreasonable searches and seizures.

  • Court Rules on Testimonial Evidence

    RALEIGH — In a significant reversal, the N.C Supreme Court has awarded a new trial for a Raleigh woman. The ruling came after the U.S. Supreme Court clarified an issue of constitutional law and ordered the state Supreme Court to rehear the case.

  • When Cities Take On Businesses

    RALEIGH — North Carolina’s second highest court last week clarified under what circumstances a city or town can engage in activities that private business ordinarily provide. The ruling comes in a case about the legality of the fiber-optic network Laurinburg was using to provide Internet access to itself and outside…

  • Church, Court, and Dividing Lines

    RALEIGH — The U.S. and N.C. constitutions divide church and state into different spheres. Government cannot legally establish a state religion or to become involved in church disputes. This doctrine was highlighted by a recent N.C. Court of Appeals ruling about a couple ejected from church membership after they sought…

  • Court Upholds Regulator Discretion

    RALEIGH — North Carolina law often grants state environmental agencies a great deal of discretion in determining whether to issue a permit for a specific activity. A recent N.C. Court of Appeals decision highlights that state courts will ordinarily not second-guess regulators even if a different weighing of factors might…

  • Legal Rules Change for Testimony

    RALEIGH — The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides in part that “in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” While a seemingly simple concept, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has changed the standards for determining what…