Tuesday, November 04, 2008, 11:55 PM

Appellate Rule Violations Clear Dogwood Hurdle

Today the COA addressed on remand a case in which it had dismissed an appeal for appellate rule violations. The case is Selwyn Village Homeowners Ass'n v. Cine & Co. When the case was last before the COA, the Court dismissed the appeal because of noncompliance with formatting requirements, including an improperly indexed margin, failure to single-space issues in the body of the brief, and an improperly indexed appendix to the brief. The Supreme Court remanded the case for reconsideration in light of Dogwood Dev. & Mgmt. Co. v. White Oak Transp. Co. (NC 2008), which held that not all rule violations warrant dismissal. In today's case, the COA held that the violations, while numerous, weren't jurisdictional, substantial, or gross violations, and therefore sanctions were not warranted.

In light of the Supreme Court's recent intervention in this area (in Dogwood and Hart), there is now a positive trend of not letting non-jurisdictional rule violations thwart review on the merits.

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