Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

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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., 10/21/2021
E.g., 10/21/2021

In a bond forfeiture proceeding, the trial court did not err by taking judicial notice of the file as evidence that the defendant was served with the order of arrest. A trial court may take judicial notice of earlier proceedings in the same case, including matters in the file not offered into evidence. Here, the trial court took judicial notice of a fact beyond reasonable controversy. It is undisputed that the defendant was served with the order for arrest before the deadline for filing a notice to set aside the bond forfeiture expired and the trial court attached the order for arrest as an exhibit to its order.

In this case dealing with when a sentence began to run on a defendant’s North Carolina charges, the court took judicial notice of certain documents relating to the defendant’s federal case. Those documents included: an indictment; an arrest warrant; an order of detention; a waiver of detention hearing; a superseding indictment; a plea agreement; and a motion and order continuing sentencing.

In this probation revocation case, the Court of Appeals took judicial notice of the date of the defendant’s release from incarceration. This fact was obtained from an offender search on the Department of Public Safety website.

In this drug trafficking case where an SBI agent testified as an expert for the State and identified the substance in question as oxycodone, the court declined the defendant’s request to take judicial notice of Version 4 and 7 of SBI Laboratory testing protocols. Among other things, the defendant did not present the protocols at trial, the State had no opportunity to test their veracity, and the defendant presented no information indicating that the protocols applied at the time of testing.

For purposes of determining whether there was sufficient evidence that a burglary occurred at nighttime, the court took judicial notice of the time of civil twilight and the driving distance between the victim’s residence and an apartment where the defendant appeared at 6 am after having been out all night.

The court took judicial notice of the clerk of superior court’s records showing that the defendant paid $1,758.50, the total amount due for court costs and fines pursuant to a criminal judgment. 

The trial court did not err by refusing to take judicial notice of provisions in the Federal Register when those provisions were irrelevant to the charged offense.

In a burglary case, the trial court properly took judicial notice of the time of sunset and of civil sunset as established by the Naval Observatory and instructed the jury that it “may, but is not required to, accept as conclusive any fact judicially noticed.”

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