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Constitution of North Carolina

ARTICLE I Declaration of Rights

Section 1. The equality and rights of persons.

We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness.

History Note. - The provisions of this section are similar to those of Art. I, § 1, Const. 1868.

Legal Periodicals. - For article on the continuous revision of the Constitution, see 36 N.C.L. Rev. 297 (1958).

For case law survey as to constitutional law, see 45 N.C.L. Rev. 855 (1967).

For comment on the public purpose doctrine, see 3 Wake Forest Intra. L. Rev. 37 (1967).

For note on the use of state constitutional law to void occupational licensing statutes which unreasonably restrict freedom of occupational choice, see 13 Wake Forest L. Rev. 507 (1977).

For survey of 1980 constitutional law, see 59 N.C.L. Rev. 1116 (1981).

For essay, "'Fundamental Principles' in North Carolina Constitutional History," see 69 N.C.L. Rev. 1357 (1991).

For article, "Rediscovering State Constitutions," see 70 N.C.L. Rev. 1741 (1992).

For article, "North Carolina Constitutional History," see 70 N.C.L. Rev. 1759 (1992).

For note, "The Cause of Action for Damages Under North Carolina's Constitution: Corum v. University of North Carolina," see 70 N.C.L. Rev. 1899 (1992).

For essay, "Liberty, the 'Law of the Land,' and Abortion in North Carolina," see 71 N.C.L. Rev. 1839 (1993).

For article discussing the rise and decline of the North Carolina Abortion Fund, see 22 Campbell L. Rev. 119 (1999).

For article, "The Rising Tide of North Carolina Constitutional Protection in the New Millenium," see 27 Campbell L. Rev. 223 (2005).

For article, "Thomas Ruffin and the Perils of Public Homage: When Analogy Fails: The Common Law & State v. Mann," see 87 N.C.L. Rev. 979 (2009).

For comment, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Indefinite Confinement and the Unconstitutional Treatment of North Carolinians with Mental Retardation," see 35 Campbell L. Rev. 257 (2013).

For article, " 'Going Once, Going Twice….': The Dubious Legality and Necessity of North Carolina's Auctioneer License Statute," see 91 N.C. L. Rev. 1887 (2013).

For article, "Thirty Years of Disappointment: North Carolina's Remarkable Appellate Batson Record," see 94 N.C.L. Rev. 1957 (2016).

For article, "Labor, Exclusion, and Flourishing in Property Law," see 95 N.C.L. Rev. 415 (2017).

CASE NOTES





I. General Consideration.

II. Occupations and Business.

III. Health and Public Safety.

IV. Judicial Process.



I. GENERAL CONSIDERATION.



Editor's Note. - Some of the cases cited below were decided under former Art. I, § 1, Const. 1868.

"Person". - A human fetus is not a "person" within the protection guaranteed by this section and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19. Stam v. State, 302 N.C. 357, 275 S.E.2d 439 (1981).

"Liberty". - The term "liberty," as used in this section and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19, does not consist simply of the right to be free from arbitrary physical restraint or servitude, but is deemed to embrace the right of man to be free in the enjoyment of the faculties with which he has been endowed by his Creator, subject only to such restraints as are necessary for the common welfare. It includes the right of the citizen to be free to use his faculties in all lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling; to pursue any livelihood or vocation, and for that purpose to enter into all contracts which may be proper, necessary and essential to his carrying out these purposes to a successful conclusion. State v. Ballance, 229 N.C. 764, 51 S.E.2d 731 (1949).

"Liberty" Qualified by Common-Law Doctrines. - It is a recognized principle that a personal liberty is a constitutional right, and any act of Assembly which violates this right is not the law of the land and would be void by N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19. However, the meaning of general expressions such as "liberty" is qualified by the doctrines of the common law, which as modified to suit our institutions have been held a part of the law of this State. London v. Headen, 76 N.C. 72 (1877).

Sovereign Immunity. - Sovereign immunity was not available as a defense to the claims of temporary employees that were brought directly under the North Carolina Constitution against state agencies and employees. Sanders v. State Pers. Comm'n, 183 N.C. App. 15, 644 S.E.2d 10 (2007).

Court of appeal erred in reversing a trial court's order denying a board of education summary judgment in a mentally disabled student's action alleging that the board failed to protect him from sexual assault because the student's common law negligence claim was not an adequate remedy at state law when it was entirely precluded by the application of the doctrine of sovereign immunity since although the student had a negligence claim under the common law, that claim was automatically precluded by sovereign immunity due to the language of the board's excess liability insurance policy excluding coverage for negligent acts; constitutional rights should not be determined by the specific language of the liability insurance policies carried by the boards of education in each county. Craig v. New Hanover County Bd. of Educ., 363 N.C. 334, 678 S.E.2d 351 (June 18, 2009).

The policy power may be exercised in the form of State legislation where otherwise the effect may be to invade rights granted by U.S. Const., Amend. XIV only when such legislation bears a real and substantial relationship to the public health, safety, morals or some other phase of the public welfare. State v. Anderson, 275 N.C. 168, 166 S.E.2d 49 (1969).

This section does not preclude the legislature from making classifications and distinctions in the application of laws provided they are reasonable and just and not arbitrary. Motley v. State Bd. of Barber Exmrs., 228 N.C. 337, 45 S.E.2d 550, 175 A.L.R. 253 (1947).

Penalty for Refusing to Accept Office. - It is a doctrine of the common law that every citizen, in peace as well as in war, owes his services to the State when they are demanded, and a thus legislative enactment prescribing a penalty of $25.00 against any person who is duly elected or appointed town constable and who refuses to qualify is not violative of N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19 which is a protective provision of the personal liberty referred to in this section. London v. Headen, 76 N.C. 72 (1877).

Local bond issue of town of Lake Lure held not to violate this section. Keeter v. Town of Lake Lure, 264 N.C. 252, 141 S.E.2d 634 (1965).

Challenge to School Financing. - Action for declaratory and injunctive relief brought by minors who were, or would be in the future, enrolled in public schools in the county, and their parents or legal guardians, alleging that the present statutory system of financing public schools in this state resulted in inequities in educational programs and facilities between the public schools within that county, which had a relatively low tax base from which to draw funds, and those in other counties with relatively high tax bases, and that the operation of five separate school systems in that county prohibited effective use of facilities and staff and promoted inequitable use of state and local funds, thus depriving them of equal opportunity to a free public school education in violation of this section, N.C. Const., Art. I, §§ 15 and 19, and Art. IX, § 2(1), failed to allege facts entitling them to relief or conferring jurisdiction on the courts of this State. Britt v. North Carolina State Bd. of Educ., 86 N.C. App. 282, 357 S.E.2d 432 (1987).

Provisions Held Unconstitu-

tional.
- For case holding subdivision (a2) of former G.S. § 153-9(58) unconstitutional since, because of the possible retroactive application of the grandfather rights provided for, it invaded the personal and property rights guaranteed and protected by this section and N.C. Const., Art. I, §§ 19, 32 and 34, see Whaley v. Lenoir County, 5 N.C. App. 319, 168 S.E.2d 411 (1969).

For case holding amendment to G.S. § 93A-2(a) enacted by Session Laws 1975, c. 108, unconstitutional as repugnant to this section and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19, see North Carolina Real Estate Licensing Bd. v. Aikens, 31 N.C. App. 8, 228 S.E.2d 493 (1976).

A county ordinance subjecting businesses which provide male or female "companionship" to various licensing requirements was held to lack any rational, real and substantial relation to any valid objective of the county and thus to offend this section and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19. Treants Enters., Inc. v. Onslow County, 83 N.C. App. 345, 350 S.E.2d 365 (1986).

An ordinance enacted to regulate the business of providing male and female companionship was overbroad and not rationally related to a substantial government purpose and violated the State Constitution. Treants Enters., Inc. v. Onslow County, 320 N.C. 776, 360 S.E.2d 783 (1987).

This Section Does Not Give Individuals a Remedy Against Corporate Defendants in a Private Dispute. - Employee's N.C. Const., Art. I, § 1 claims against his former employer were dismissed because N.C. Const., Art. I, § 1 did not give individuals a remedy against a corporate defendant in a private dispute. Freeman v. Duke Power Co., - F. Supp. 2d - (M.D.N.C. Aug. 15, 2003).

It is inherently arbitrary for a government entity to establish and promulgate policies and procedures and then not only utterly fail to follow them, but further to claim that an employee subject to those policies and procedures is not entitled to challenge that failure; if a government entity can freely disregard its policies at its discretion, why have a test or a grievance process or any promotional policies at all? Tully v. City of Wilmington, - N.C. App. - , 790 S.E.2d 854 (2016).

Property and Liberty Interest in Requiring Agency to Comply with Policies and Procedures. - Trial court erred in granting judgment on the pleadings in favor of a city because a police officer alleged a valid property and liberty interest in requiring the city to comply with its established promotional process; the officer sufficiently alleged constitutional claims, and genuine issues of material fact remained. Tully v. City of Wilmington, - N.C. App. - , 790 S.E.2d 854 (2016).

Applied in Heritage Village Church & Missionary Fellowship, Inc. v. State, 40 N.C. App. 429, 253 S.E.2d 473 (1979); State v. Barrett, 58 N.C. App. 515, 293 S.E.2d 896 (1982); State v. Willis, 61 N.C. App. 23, 300 S.E.2d 420 (1983); Davis v. Town of Southern Pines, 116 N.C. App. 663, 449 S.E.2d 240 (1994), cert. denied, 339 N.C. 737, 454 S.E.2d 648 (1995); Munn-Goins v. Bd. of Trs. of Bladen Cmty. College, 658 F. Supp. 2d 713 (E.D.N.C. 2009), aff'd, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 17941 (4th Cir. N.C. 2010); Bostic v. Rodriguez, 667 F. Supp. 2d 591 (E.D.N.C. 2009); Krueger v. N.C. Crim. Justice Educ. & Training Stds. Comm'n, 230 N.C. App. 293, 750 S.E.2d 33 (2013); E. Carolina Reg'l Hous. Auth. v. Lofton, - N.C. - , 789 S.E.2d 449 (2016).

Cited in In re Reddy, 16 N.C. App. 520, 192 S.E.2d 621 (1972); In re Certificate of Need for Aston Park Hosp., 282 N.C. 542, 193 S.E.2d 729 (1973); North Carolina State Bd. of Registration v. IBM Corp., 31 N.C. App. 599, 230 S.E.2d 552 (1976); In re Ordinance of Annexation No. § 1977-4, 296 N.C. 1, 249 S.E.2d 698 (1978); In re Arcadia Dairy Farms, Inc., 43 N.C. App. 459, 259 S.E.2d 368 (1979); Heritage Village Church & Missionary Fellowship, Inc. v. State, 299 N.C. 399, 263 S.E.2d 726 (1980); DiDonato v. Wortman, 80 N.C. App. 117, 341 S.E.2d 58 (1986); Johnson v. Ruark Obstetrics & Gynecology Assocs., 89 N.C. App. 154, 365 S.E.2d 909 (1988); Woodard v. North Carolina Local Governmental Employees' Retirement Sys., 108 N.C. App. 378, 424 S.E.2d 431 (1993); Petersen v. Rowe, 337 N.C. 397, 445 S.E.2d 901 (1994); Glen ex rel. Glen v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sch. Bd. of Educ., 903 F. Supp. 918 (W.D.N.C. 1995); Seaton v. Owens, - F. Supp. 2d - (M.D.N.C. Dec. 8, 2003); State v. Sinnott, 163 N.C. App. 268, 593 S.E.2d 439 (2004); Sheaffer v. County of Chatham, 337 F. Supp. 2d 709 (M.D.N.C. 2004); Copper v. Denlinger, 193 N.C. App. 249, 667 S.E.2d 470 (2008), review granted, in part, 363 N.C. 124 (2009); In re W.B.M., 202 N.C. App. 606, 690 S.E.2d 41 (2010); Adkins v. Stanly County Bd. of Educ., 203 N.C. App. 642, 692 S.E.2d 470 (2010); Libertarian Party v. State, 365 N.C. 41, 707 S.E.2d 199 (2011); Release of the Silk Plant Forest Citizen Review Committee's Report & Appendices v. Barker, 216 N.C. App. 268, 719 S.E.2d 54 (2011), review denied, 720 S.E.2d 670, 2012 N.C. LEXIS 58 (2012); Smith v. City of Fayetteville, 220 N.C. App. 249, 725 S.E.2d 405 (2012); King v. Town of Chapel Hill, 367 N.C. 400, 758 S.E.2d 364 (2014); Adams v. City of Raleigh, - N.C. App. - , 782 S.E.2d 108 (2016), review denied, 793 S.E.2d 224, 2016 N.C. LEXIS 845 (2016); ACTS Retirement-Life Cmtys., Inc. v. Town of Columbus, - N.C. App. - , 789 S.E.2d 527 (2016).

II. OCCUPATIONS AND BUSINESS.



Pursuit of Occupation - In General. - While the legislature, in the exercise of the State police power, may protect the public against incapacity, fraud and oppression by establishing standards of personal fitness and requiring the examination and licensing of those desiring to engage in the learned professions and occupations requiring scientific or technical knowledge or skill, or which involve a trust relationship with the public, it may not impose such restrictions upon those wishing to engage in the ordinary trades or occupations which are harmless in themselves, since the right to choose and pursue a means of livelihood is a property right and a personal liberty guaranteed by the Constitution, which right may be interfered with only when necessary to the protection of the public safety or welfare. State v. Harris, 216 N.C. 746, 6 S.E.2d 854, 128 A.L.R. 658 (1940).

This section guarantees the right to pursue ordinary and simple occupations free from governmental regulation. North Carolina Real Estate Licensing Bd. v. Aikens, 31 N.C. App. 8, 228 S.E.2d 493 (1976).

Barbering. - Statute making certain war veterans eligible for license to practice barbering without being examined does not violate this section. Motley v. State Bd. of Barber Exmrs., 228 N.C. 337, 45 S.E.2d 550, 175 A.L.R. 253 (1947).

Optometry. - A portion of G.S. § 90-115, relating to the practice of optometry, was held violative of this section. Palmer v. Smith, 229 N.C. 612, 51 S.E.2d 8 (1948).

Photography. - Statute providing for the licensing and supervision of photographers held violative of this section. State v. Ballance, 229 N.C. 764, 51 S.E.2d 731 (1949).

Restaurant Business. - The constitutional right to earn a livelihood by engaging in the restaurant business is not infringed by statutes controlling alcoholic beverages. D & W, Inc. v. City of Charlotte, 268 N.C. 577, 151 S.E.2d 241 (1966).

Tile Contracting. - Former G.S. § 87-28 et seq., requiring a license for any person, firm or corporation undertaking to lay, set or install ceramic tile, marble or terrazzo floors or walls, violated this section. Roller v. Allen, 245 N.C. 516, 96 S.E.2d 851 (1957).

Provision Not Applicable to Private Action for Termination of Employment. - This provision did not give former employee a remedy against former employer for termination of his employment, because the provision exists chiefly to protect the individual from the State, and employee did not seek redress for any governmental action. Teleflex Info. Sys. v. Arnold, 132 N.C. App. 689, 513 S.E.2d 85 (1999).

Dialysis Center Not Barred From Competing. - Dialysis firm (DF) had no constitutional right to be protected from lawful competition and it was unable to overcome the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) sovereign immunity on constitutional grounds since the DF was not precluded from applying for the additional certificates of needs for 10 additional dialysis centers by the DHHS's refusal to amend a Semiannual Dialysis Report; the DF was not being prevented from benefitting from the fruits and advantages of its own enterprise, industry, skill and credit, but was merely being required to compete for such benefit. Bio-Medical Applications of N.C. Inc. v. N.C. HHS, 179 N.C. App. 483, 634 S.E.2d 572 (2006), appeal dismissed, 361 N.C. 350, 644 S.E.2d 3 (2007), appeal dismissed, 361 N.C. 350, 644 S.E.2d 4 (2007), appeal dismissed, 361 N.C. 229, 641 S.E.2d 303 (2007), reh'g denied, 361 N.C. 370645 S.E.2d 762 (2007).

A business involved in the buying and selling of military property has features which distinguish it from other types of retail sales in a way which justifies its regulation. Poor Richard's, Inc. v. Stone, 322 N.C. 61, 366 S.E.2d 697 (1988).

Article 1, Chapter 127B, regulating businesses dealing in military goods, is constitutional under the due process and equal protection provisions of the State and federal Constitutions. Poor Richard's, Inc. v. Stone, 322 N.C. 61, 366 S.E.2d 697 (1988).

The classification created by G.S. § 127B-1 is not so arbitrary or unreasonable as to be violative of the equal protection requirement. Poor Richard's, Inc. v. Stone, 322 N.C. 61, 366 S.E.2d 697 (1988).

The provisions of G.S. § 127B-1 are not unreasonably burdensome within the meaning of this section and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19. Poor Richard's, Inc. v. Stone, 322 N.C. 61, 366 S.E.2d 697 (1988).

Terminable at Will Employee Had No Legitimate Claim of Entitlement Under Due Process Clause. - Where there was nothing in the record which suggested that plaintiff had a contract for a definite term, her contract of employment was terminable at the will of either party, irrespective of the quality of performance, and plaintiff had no property interest in employment and no legitimate claim of entitlement under the due process clause. Peele v. Provident Mut. Life Ins. Co., 90 N.C. App. 447, 368 S.E.2d 892, appeal dismissed, 323 N.C. 366, 373 S.E.2d 547 (1988).

The classification created by G.S. § 127B-1 is not so arbitrary or unreasonable as to be violative of the equal protection requirement. Poor Richard's, Inc. v. Stone, 322 N.C. 61, 366 S.E.2d 697 (1988).

The provisions of G.S. § 127B-1 are not unreasonably burdensome within the meaning of this section and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19. Poor Richard's, Inc. v. Stone, 322 N.C. 61, 366 S.E.2d 697 (1988).

This section creates a right to conduct a lawful business or to earn a livelihood that is "fundamental" for purposes of state constitutional analysis. Treants Enters., Inc. v. Onslow County, 83 N.C. App. 345, 350 S.E.2d 365 (1986).

But this section and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19 permit the State, through the exercise of its police power, to regulate economic enterprises, provided the regulation is rationally related to a proper governmental purpose. This is the test used in determining the validity of state regulation of business under both N.C. Const., Art. I, § 1 and Art. I, § 19. Poor Richard's, Inc. v. Stone, 322 N.C. 61, 366 S.E.2d 697 (1988).

Statute Making Insurance Carrier of Assigned Risk Policy Absolutely Liable. - Subdivision (f)(1) of G.S. § 20-279.21, when applied to an assigned risk insurance policy issued in compliance with the plan set forth in former G.S. § 20-279.34 and regulations pursuant thereto, does not deprive an insurance company of its property without due process of law and otherwise than by the law of the land in contravention of U.S. Const., Amend. XIV, this section, and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19. Jones v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 270 N.C. 454, 155 S.E.2d 118 (1967).

Contract Rights of State Employees. - State Governor, Controller and Budget Officer violated the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution, N.C. Const., Art. V, § 6(2) and Art. I, §§ 1 and 19 by issuing an executive order requiring state employers to forward their retirement system contributions for certain months to the state treasury to assist in balancing the budget. The actuarially unsound diversion of funds impaired the state employees' contract rights. Stone v. State, 191 N.C. App. 402, 664 S.E.2d 32 (2008), review denied, appeal dismissed, 363 N.C. 381, 680 S.E.2d 712 (2009).

North Carolina State Personnel Commission regulated employment scheme, which was meant to delineate state employees and their appointments, was constitutional because the regulations did not exhibit a situation in which the North Carolina Legislature was interfering with an ordinary and simple occupation, nor was the employment scheme intended to be free from governmental regulation. Moreover, the regulations were rationally related to a substantial governmental interest, and nothing in the governmental action arbitrarily or irrationally limited temporary state employees' rights to earn a livelihood. Sanders v. State Personnel Comm'n, 197 N.C. App. 314, 677 S.E.2d 182 (2009), review denied, 363 N.C. 806, 691 S.E.2d 19 N.C. LEXIS 286 (2010).

Department of Health And Human Services. - Given the evidence showing the impact of the administrative action of the Department of Health and Human Services on a child care center owner's livelihood, the owner arguably suffered a deprivation of her liberty interests, necessitating a procedural due process analysis; a statutory construction treating a local department of social services substantiation as sufficient to support administrative action raised a serious concern with respect to the owner's due process rights. Nanny's Korner Care Ctr. v. N.C. HHS - Div. of Child Dev., 234 N.C. App. 51, 758 S.E.2d 423 (2014).

III. HEALTH AND PUBLIC SAFETY.

.

Department of Health And Human Services. - Given the evidence showing the impact of the administrative action of the Department of Health and Human Services on a child care center owner's livelihood, the owner arguably suffered a deprivation of her liberty interests, necessitating a procedural due process analysis; a statutory construction treating a local department of social services substantiation as sufficient to support administrative action raised a serious concern with respect to the owner's due process rights. Nanny's Korner Care Ctr. v. N.C. HHS - Div. of Child Dev., 234 N.C. App. 51, 758 S.E.2d 423 (2014).

Compulsory vaccination is a valid exercise of governmental police power for the public welfare, health and safety. But in an exceptional case, where vaccination would be dangerous, then the legislature cannot validly compel a person to submit to such protective measure, since this would be in violation of the rights recognized by this section as preexisting and inherent in the individual. State v. Hay, 126 N.C. 999, 35 S.E. 459 (1900).

Statute Requiring Motorcycle Operator to Wear Protective Helmet. - Statutory requirement that the operator of a motorcycle on a public highway wear a protective helmet is constitutional as a valid exercise of the police power, since the statute bears a real and substantial relationship to public safety. State v. Anderson, 275 N.C. 168, 166 S.E.2d 49 (1969).

Restrictions on Funding Medically Necessary Abortions for Indigent Women. - The action of the General Assembly in placing severe restrictions on the funding of medically necessary abortions for indigent women is valid and does not violate Article I, Section 1; Article 1, Section 19; or Article XI, Section 4 of the Constitution of North Carolina. Rosie J. v. North Carolina Dep't of Human Resources, 347 N.C. 247, 491 S.E.2d 535 (1997).

Smoking Ban Constitutional As Applied. - G.S. § 130A-492(11) and G.S. § 130A-496(b)(3) as applied to petitioners were not in violation of the Equal Protection Clauses, U.S. Const., amend. XIV and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 1, as: (1) a country club needed only to be a country club in order to be exempted from the smoking ban as a private club; (2) the stated intent of the smoking ban in G.S. § 130A-491(b) was to protect individuals in public places from secondhand smoke; (3) an interpretation of country club that gave effect to the legislative intent was one that only exempted private country clubs; and (4) there was a rational basis for allowing smoking in private, nonprofit country clubs, but disallowing smoking in private, for-profit noncountry clubs, including the potential impairment of the legislative intent and more objective enforcement. Edwards v. Morrow, 219 N.C. App. 452, 725 S.E.2d 366 (2012).

IV. JUDICIAL PROCESS.

.

Default Judgment Restraining Pastor from Appearing at Church. - A judgment by default final restraining defendant, whom a majority of the members of a church had voted not to employ as its pastor after the year 1959, from appearing at the church after the year 1959 and from acting or attempting to act as its pastor at a religious service or at any other church meeting so long as he was not its pastor violated no rights guaranteed to defendant by N.C. Const., Art. I. Collins v. Simms, 254 N.C. 148, 118 S.E.2d 402 (1961); Collins v. Simms, 257 N.C. 1, 125 S.E.2d 298 (1962).

Requiring Insurance Company to Pay Default Judgment Obtained Against Insured Under Assigned Risk Policy. - An insurance company which has been required to issue an assigned risk policy in accordance with former G.S. § 20-279.34 is not denied due process in violation of U.S. Const., Amend. XIV or in violation of this section and of N.C. Const., Art. I, § 19 by being required to pay an injured third party damages established by a default judgment obtained against its insured, even though the insurer had no notice of the accident or the action against its insured, nothing else appearing and there being no question of collusion between insured and the injured third party. Jones v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 270 N.C. 454, 155 S.E.2d 118 (1967).

Discovery Methods. - G.S. § 1A-1, Rule 26(b) is not unconstitutional on the grounds that it deprives property without due process of law, authorizes an unreasonable search and seizure, denies equal protection of the laws, or impairs the right to contract. Marks v. Thompson, 282 N.C. 174, 192 S.E.2d 311 (1972).

Batson Jury Challenges. - Because defendant failed to present a prima facie case of discrimination, a trial court's rulings denying defendant's objections to the State's use of peremptory challenges to remove African-American jurors from the jury panel solely, as defendant contended, because of their race, was upheld on appeal since the trial court had made specific findings of fact and found no proven purposeful discrimination and the State offered race-neutral explanations for each peremptory challenge. State v. Carmon, 169 N.C. App. 750, 611 S.E.2d 211 (2005).

Inability to Hear Court's Colloquy with Prospective Juror. - A capital murder defendant's right to be present was not violated by the court reporter's inability to hear a portion of the colloquy between the trial judge and a prospective juror, where both defendant and his counsel were present in the courtroom and the defendant made no showing that they were not able to hear the prospective juror. State v. White, 349 N.C. 535, 508 S.E.2d 253 (1998), cert. denied, 527 U.S. 1026, 119 S. Ct. 2376, 144 L. Ed. 2d 779 (1999).

Punitive Damages Cap. - The statutory limit on punitive damages in G.S. § 1D-25 does not constitute an unconstitutional taking of property by denying plaintiffs of the "enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor" under N.C. Const., Art. I, § 1 because: (1) a jury's verdict is not "property" in which a plaintiff enjoys a vested right where the limitation on punitive damages applies prior to the entry of judgment; and (2) a litigant's participation in a trial is not a "labor" nor is a jury's verdict the "fruits" of that labor. Rhyne v. K-Mart Corp., 358 N.C. 160, 594 S.E.2d 1 (2004).

Opinions of Attorney General



Moratorium on Granting of Permits for Hazardous Waste Facilities. - The Governor does not have the authority to issue a moratorium on the granting of permits for hazardous waste facilities in this State. See opinion of Attorney General to Mr. Tom Karnoski, Hazardous Waste Treatment Commission (now the Hazardous Waste Management Commission), 55 N.C.A.G. 73 (1986).

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