Justia North Carolina Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Real Estate & Property Law
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The Supreme Court reversed in part the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the superior court dismissing Plaintiff's lawsuit against Defendants asserting claims under North Carolina's Uniform Voidable Transactions Act (UVTA), holding that remand was required for further proceedings.Defendants were co-principals in a joint real estate development venture with a party that intended to defraud creditors by way of the party's insider conveyance to Defendants of certain real property. In dismissing Plaintiff's UVTA lawsuit, the trial court concluded that Defendants were good faith purchasers for value and therefore possessed a legitimate defense against Plaintiffs' claims. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding that Defendants were imputed with the knowledge of their co-principal's fraudulent intent by virtue of the principal-agent relationship existing between the parties pursuant to common law. View "Cherry Community Organization v. Sellars" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the court of appeals affirming in part and reversing in part the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants and dismissing Plaintiffs' claims for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and breach of fiduciary duty, holding that a trial was required as to certain claims.This case arose from a dispute surrounding the purchase of an oceanfront beach house by Plaintiffs. When Plaintiffs later discovered significant structural damages to the house arising from past water intrusion Plaintiffs brought this complaint. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. The trial court reversed in part and remanded the case for a trial on the merits on certain claims, holding that the court of appeals (1) correctly held that the trial court erred by granting summary judgment with respect to Plaintiffs' claims of negligence and fraud against Re/Max Community Brokers and Robert Carroll; and (2) erred by reversing the trial court's summary judgment in favor of Rudd & Associates, Inc., Brooke Rudd-Gaglie, and James Goodman as to Plaintiffs' breach of fiduciary claim. View "Cummings v. Carroll" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the order of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff reforming a deed of trust and allowing foreclosure, holding that Plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment on its claims for reformation and judicial foreclosure.At issue in this case was when a cause of action accrues for reformation of a deed of trust based on mutual mistake. The Supreme Court held (1) a party discovers a mistake for purposes of N.C. Gen. Stat. 1-52(9), which provides a three-year statute of limitations for relief based on a mistake, when that party knows of the mistake or should have known in the exercise of due diligence; (2) Plaintiff's action was timely filed; and (3) there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether the parties intended the deed of trust to secure the defaulted promissory note. View "Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Stocks" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the court of appeals affirming in part and reversing in part an order of the trial court concluding that two purchasers, the first of whom bought a tract of property at a nonjudicial foreclosure sale, and the second of whom bought a property tract from the initial purchaser, were not good faith purchasers for value, holding that the trial court abused its discretion.When the property owners' brought a motion for relief from the foreclosure order, the trial court determined that it lacked jurisdiction over one of the property owners due to insufficient notice and deficient service of process, and therefore, the transfers to both subsequent purchasers should be declared null and void. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court erred by determining that the two purchasers were not good faith purchasers for value entitled to the protections available pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 1-108. View "In re George" on Justia Law

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In this dispute between petitioner Ashe County Board of Commissioners and respondents Ashe County Planning Board and Appalachian Materials, LLC arising from Appalachian Materials' application for a permit pursuant to the County's Polluting Industries Development Ordinance authorizing Appalachian Materials to operate a portable asphalt production facility on property located in Ashe County, the Supreme Court held that the case should be remanded due to errors by the court of appeals.After the Planning Board ordered that a permit be issued to Appalachian Materials Ashe County sought judicial review. The trial court ordered the County to issue the requested permit within ten business days. The court of appeals affirmed the challenged trial court order. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether the County's failure to appeal a letter written by the Planning Director gave that letter partially binding effect. The Supreme Court reversed in part and remanded the case, holding that the court of appeals erred by holding that Ashe County lost its right to challenge the issuance of the contested permit because it failed to seek review of opinions that the Planning Director expressed in the letter. View "Ashe County v. Ashe County Planning Board" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the trial court awarding Plaintiffs compensation for a taking of various portions of their property with pre-judgment interest, holding that the portion of the trial court's order concerning the proper evaluation of the pre-judgment interest rate was contrary to this Court's precedents.In 1987, the General Assembly adopted the Roadway Corridor Official Map Act. In 1992 and 2006, portions of Plaintiffs' property were designated as within a roadway corridor pursuant to that statute. Plaintiffs filed an inverse condemnation complaint against the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) seeking compensation for the taking. Final judgment was issued awarding Plaintiffs $137,247 for the 1992 taking and $6,139 for the 2006 taking, both with pre-judgment interest at eight percent compounded annually. NCDOT appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the trial court did not err in proceeding to trial on the inverse condemnation complaint; (2) any error in the court's characterization of the taking was harmless; (3) the court's treatment of the reduced property taxes was proper; but (4) the trial court erred concerning the proper evaluation of the pre-judgment interest rate. View "Chappell v. N.C. Department of Transportation" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decisions of the court of appeals and the trial court holding that the City of Asheville improperly denied an application for the issuance of a conditional use permit submitted by PHG Asheville, LLC seeking authorization to construct a hotel in downtown Asheville, holding that the City lacked the authority to deny the requested conditional use permit.The trial court determined that PHG was entitled to the issuance of the requested conditional use permit because the City had improperly concluded that PHG failed to present competent, material, and substantial evidence tending to show that the proposed hotel satisfied the standards of a conditional use permit set out in the City's unified development ordinance. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that PHG presented competent, material, and substantial evidence that the proposed hotel satisfied the relevant conditional use permit standards set out in the City's unified development ordinance. View "PHG Asheville, LLC v. City of Asheville" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's summary judgment for the Town of Pinebluff, holding that the court of appeals erred in concluding that Session Law 1999-35 required Moore County to approve Pinebluff's expansion request.Session Law 1999-35 amended North Carolina's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) statute, N.C. Gen. Stat. 160A-360, as it pertained to Pinebluff. After Pinebluff annexed land extending beyond the town's corporate boundaries, Pinebluff requested that the Moore County Board of Commissioners adopt a resolution to authorize the expansion of Pinebluff's ETJ two miles beyond the annexed boundary, pursuant to section 160A-360. The Board denied the request. Pinebluff filed a complaint against Moore County seeking a writ of mandamus. The trial court granted summary judgment for Pinebluff and directed Moore County to adopt a resolution authorizing Pinebluff to exercise its ETJ within the proposed area. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that there is no irreconcilable conflict between subsections (e) and (f) of section 160A-360, as modified by Session Law 1999-35, and that subsection (e) prohibits Pinebluff from extending its ETJ into the requested areas within an agreement between Pinebluff and Moore County. View "Town of Pinebluff v. Moore County" on Justia Law

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In this case involving a disputed property line the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's dismissal of Plaintiffs' claim and granting summary judgment and other relief to Defendant, holding that, under the circumstances, the intent of the parties concerning the boundary line was a question of fact to be determined by a jury.Only by reference to a recorded map, Defendant took ownership of the contested property. Plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment and to quiet title. Defendants answered claiming the disputed land to be within its boundary. The conveyances at issue only referenced lot numbers on a recorded map, and the disputed property line as shown on the map was ambiguous. The trial court granted summary judgment for Defendant. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the intent of the parties as shown on the map is ambiguous, a jury issue existed, and therefore, summary judgment was improperly granted. View "Daughtridge v. Tanager Land, LLC" on Justia Law

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At issue was when the claims that Plaintiffs asserted against Defendant, the Town of Carthage, accrued and whether Plaintiffs’ claims were barred by a one-year, two-year, three-year, or ten-year statute of limitations and the doctrine of estoppel by the acceptance of benefits. The Supreme Court held (1) Plaintiffs’ cause of action accrued upon the Town’s exaction of the unlawful impact fees against Plaintiffs; (2) Plaintiffs’ claims against the Town arose from a liability created by statute that was subject to the three-year statute of limitations set out in N.C. Gen. Stat. 1-52(2); and (3) Plaintiffs’ claims against the Town were not barred by the doctrine of estoppel by the acceptance of benefits. View "Quality Built Homes Inc. v. Town of Carthage" on Justia Law