Tuesday, October 17, 2006, 4:39 PM

COA: Nunc Pro Tunc Extensions To Serve Proposed Record OK And No Personal Jurisdiction Over Director

In Robbins v. Ingham, filed today, the COA held that trial judges may grant extensions to serve proposed records on appeal, even well after the deadline for service has passed.

In Robbins, the plaintiffs (James Robbins, Thomas Robbins, Robbins Investments, and Robbins Invfro) had to serve their record on appeal by Sept. 12. Instead, they served it on Oct. 11. Thereafter, plaintiffs filed a motion to have the proposed record deemed timely served. The trial court construed that motion as a motion for a 30-day extension of time, granted the motion, and thereby deemed the proposed record timely served. The COA held that the extension was not an abuse of discretion.

The extension here may have been seen as justified due to some confusion about an extension granted to one of the defendants, who had initially been preparing the record in this case (which involved cross-appeals). Nevertheless, it's striking in this era of dismissals for seemingly minor (or arguably non-) rules violations (see, e.g., Ribble v. Ribble, also filed today, dismissing appeal for failure to include notice of appeal's certificate of service, to which parties stipulated, in record on appeal) that a step as important to perfecting an appeal as serving a proposed record can be done a month late essentially without consequence.

In Robbins, the COA also held that an individual corporate director (of Trinity Court Management, Ltd.) was not subject to personal jurisdiction in NC based solely on the company's contacts with NC, but that some individual contact on the part of the director would have been required.


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