N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-31

Updated February 18, 2019
§ 7A-31. Discretionary review by the Supreme Court

(a) In any cause in which appeal is taken to the Court of Appeals, including any cause heard while the Court of Appeals was sitting en banc, except a cause appealed from the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the North Carolina State Bar pursuant to G.S. 84-28, the Property Tax Commission pursuant to G.S. 105-345, the Board of State Contract Appeals pursuant to G.S. 143-135.9, the Commissioner of Insurance pursuant to G.S. 58-2-80 or G.S. 58-65-131(c), a court-martial pursuant to G.S. 127A-62, a motion for appropriate relief, or valuation of exempt property pursuant to G.S. 7A-28, the Supreme Court may, in its discretion, on motion of any party to the cause or on its own motion, certify the cause for review by the Supreme Court, either before or after it has been determined by the Court of Appeals. A cause appealed to the Court of Appeals from any of the administrative bodies listed in the preceding sentence may be certified in similar fashion, but only after determination of the cause in the Court of Appeals. The effect of such certification is to transfer the cause from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court for review by the Supreme Court. If the cause is certified for transfer to the Supreme Court before its determination in the Court of Appeals, review is not had in the Court of Appeals but the cause is forthwith transferred for review in the first instance by the Supreme Court. If the cause is certified for transfer to the Supreme Court after its determination by the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court reviews the decision of the Court of Appeals.

Except in courts-martial and motions within the purview of G.S. 7A-28, the State may move for certification for review of any criminal cause, but only after determination of the cause by the Court of Appeals.

(b) In causes subject to certification under subsection (a) of this section, certification may be made by the Supreme Court before determination of the cause by the Court of Appeals when in the opinion of the Supreme Court any of the following apply:

(1) The subject matter of the appeal has significant public interest.

(2) The cause involves legal principles of major significance to the jurisprudence of the State.

(3) Delay in final adjudication is likely to result from failure to certify and thereby cause substantial harm.

(4) The work load of the courts of the appellate division is such that the expeditious administration of justice requires certification.

(5) The subject matter of the appeal is important in overseeing the jurisdiction and integrity of the court system.

(c) In causes subject to certification under subsection (a) of this section, certification may be made by the Supreme Court after determination of the cause by the Court of Appeals when in the opinion of the Supreme Court any of the following apply:

(1) The subject matter of the appeal has significant public interest.

(2) The cause involves legal principles of major significance to the jurisprudence of the State.

(3) The decision of the Court of Appeals appears likely to be in conflict with a decision of the Supreme Court.

Interlocutory determinations by the Court of Appeals, including orders remanding the cause for a new trial or for other proceedings, shall be certified for review by the Supreme Court only upon a determination by the Supreme Court that failure to certify would cause a delay in final adjudication which would probably result in substantial harm.

(d) The procedure for certification by the Supreme Court on its own motion, or upon petition of a party, shall be prescribed by rule of the Supreme Court.

(1967, c. 108, s. 1; 1969, c. 1044; 1975, c. 555; 1977, c. 711, s. 5; 1981, c. 470, s. 2; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1224, s. 17; c. 1253, s. 1; 1983, c. 526, s. 3; c. 761, s. 189; 2010-193, s. 19; 2016-125, 4th Ex. Sess., s. 22(d); 2017-7, s. 3.)