Opinion Digests

Jun 1, 2023

Reckless driving conviction affirmed

Where appellant was convicted of reckless driving after he failed to negotiate a curve, causing his 18-wheel truck with a load of hogs to flip on its side, a rational trier of fact could reasonably infer that the crash was a result of appellant’s recklessness. Analysis “Multiple factors may indicate recklessness, ‘includ[ing] erratic driving, “the […]

Jun 1, 2023

Traffic stop law not retroactive

Where police stopped appellant’s vehicle in 2019 for a burned out taillight, he is not entitled to retroactive application of a 2021 change in the law that would have made the stop illegal. A shotgun in plain view in the vehicle was admissible evidence at appellant’s trial for being a felon in possession of a […]

Jun 1, 2023

Reasonable suspicion to search appellant

Where appellant tried to evade the police, who observed an “L-shaped” outline near his right front pocket, the officers had a reasonable, articulable suspicion of illegal activity, which justified a pat-down search. A gun that fell from appellant’s pant leg was properly admitted as evidence. Analysis “Under the totality of the circumstances here, the officers […]

Jun 1, 2023

Evidence supports domestic assault and battery conviction

Where appellant was convicted of domestic assault and battery and strangulation, and called the victim as a witness, the trial court correctly refused to let him impeach her with inconsistent statements. Background “Olivia Overstreet and Jones have a child together. On June 14, 2021, Overstreet and her child spent the night at Jones’s house. During […]

Jun 1, 2023

‘Transcript’ precluded for impeachment purposes

The trial court correctly prevented appellant from using an unauthenticated document to impeach a witness with a prior inconsistent statement. Further, in this case where appellant was convicted of raping his wife, there was sufficient evidence to convict despite appellant’s attack of his wife’s credibility. ‘Transcript’ “Before trial, defense counsel had an employee transcribe an [&hell[...]

Jun 1, 2023

Motion for separate trial correctly denied

Where appellant argues that joinder of his trial with that of a co-defendant’s was prejudicial, “his claims of prejudice are unpersuasive. …” “This lack of actual prejudice is especially clear when considering the evidence introduced solely against appellant: namely, his multiple confessions and statements to his cousin about his plans to rob [the victim].” Background [&hel[...]

May 31, 2023

No modification of custody and visitation

Where the trial court declined to modify its custody and visitation order to give father more time with the parties’ child, there was no error. Best interest “Father argues that the trial court erred by not modifying the custody and visitation order and granting him more time with the [parties’ nine-year-old] child. … “Father asks […]

May 31, 2023

No evidence for prima facie negligence case

Where no evidence was presented to establish a prima facie case of negligence in this car collision case, a $7 million jury verdict for appellee is reversed. There were three possible theories of causation: appellant caused the accident, appellant and the other driver caused the accident, or appellant was not a proximate cause despite her […]

May 31, 2023

Standing to challenge alleged medical payment shortfall

Although a workers’ compensation claimant had standing to challenge an alleged medical payment shortfall, the claim fails on the merits because there were no outstanding medical bills and the medical providers are not seeking to recover any shortfall. Overview On Aug. 16, 2015, Greatheart, a Hampton police officer, injured his ankle while on the job. […]

May 31, 2023

Sentence reduction for substance abuse treatment

Where defendant has moved for a sentence modification after completing several substance abuse treatment programs, the court finds that it has jurisdiction to hear the motion and that the programs meet statutory requirements. Overview Defendant Spangler is currently serving two sentences, one for distributing Schedule I and II narcotics, another for violating the terms and […]

May 23, 2023

Compulsory counterclaim not subject to exhaustion

In an issue of first impression, the court joined the Third and Fifth Circuits in concluding that the pre-suit requirements of 20 U.S.C. § 1415(i)(2) apply only to the party “bringing the action.” Because the counterclaim brought by a student and parent here was compulsory, they were not required to first exhaust their administrative remedies. […]

May 23, 2023

Firm’s claims for fees from former clients dismissed

Where a law firm sued its former clients to recover unpaid legal fees and expenses, but the North Carolina state bar had previously found the firm’s lead partner misled the clients into retaining the firm and engaged in other unethical conduct, the district court did not err dismissing the firm’s claims. Background Halscott Megaro PA […]

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