Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium


This compendium includes significant criminal cases by the U.S. Supreme Court & N.C. appellate courts, Nov. 2008 – Present. Selected 4th Circuit cases also are included.

Jessica Smith prepared case summaries Nov. 2008-June 4, 2019; later summaries are prepared by other School staff.


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E.g., 06/22/2024
E.g., 06/22/2024
State v. Self, 217 N.C. App. 638 (Dec. 20, 2011)

The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to conduct an SBM determination hearing because the DOC did not file a complaint or issue a summons to the defendant as required by the Rules of Civil Procedure. The court concluded that G.S. 14-208.40B(b), “which governs the notification procedure for an offender when there was no previous SBM determination at sentencing, does not require NCDOC to either file a complaint or issue a summons in order to provide a defendant with adequate notice of an SBM determination hearing.” Moreover, it concluded, the defendant does not argue that the DOC’s letter failed to comply with the notification provisions of G.S. 14-208.40B(b). 

State v. Cowan, 207 N.C. App. 192 (Sept. 21, 2010)

The defendant did not receive adequate notice of the basis for the Department of Correction’s preliminary determination that he should be required to enroll in SBM under the version of G.S. 14-208.40B(b) applicable to the defendant’s case. Specifically the notice failed to specify the category set out in G.S. 14-208.40(a) into which the Department had determined that the defendant fell or to briefly state the factual basis for its conclusion.

Requiring enrollment in the SBM program deprives an offender of a significant liberty interest, triggering procedural due process protections. The State violated the defendant’s procedural due process rights by failing to give him sufficient notice in advance of the SBM hearing of the basis for the DOC’s preliminary determination that he met the criteria for enrollment in the SBM program. G.S. 14-208.40B requires the DOC to notify the offender, in advance of the SBM hearing, of the basis for its determination that the offender falls within one of the categories in G.S. 14-208.40(a), making the offender subject to enrollment in the SBM program.

Affirming the trial court’s order requiring the defendant to enroll in SBM for life as a recidivist based on convictions for indecent liberties with a minor in 1989 and 2006. The defendant’s bring-back hearing was held in January, 2008, days before his release from prison. The defendant argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to hold the bring-back hearing because he did not receive notice of the hearing in the manner set out in G.S. 14-208.40B(b), that is, by certified mail “sent to the address provided by the offender pursuant to G.S. 14-208.7 [the sex offender registration statute].” Notice in this manner would have been impossible, because the defendant had not been released from prison and had not established a registration address. The court held that the failure to follow the precise letter of the statute’s notice provisions was not a jurisdictional error.

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