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., 09/22/2021
E.g., 09/22/2021

The trial court’s ex parte orders compelling the production of the defendant’s personnel files and educational records were void ab initio. While employed as a police officer the defendant was involved in a vehicle pursuit that resulted in the death of the pursued driver. Prior to charging the defendant with a crime, the State obtained two separate ex parte orders compelling the production of the defendant’s personnel records from four North Carolina police departments where he had been employed as well as his educational records related to a community college BLET class. After the defendant was indicted for involuntary manslaughter, he unsuccessfully moved to set aside the ex parte orders. On appeal, the court concluded that the orders were void ab initio. Citing In re Superior Court Order, 315 N.C. 378 (1986), and In re Brooks, 143 N.C. App. 601 (2001), both dealing with ex parte orders for records, the court concluded:

The State did not present affidavits or other comparable evidence in support of their motions for the release of [the defendant’s] personnel files and educational records sufficiently demonstrating their need for the documents being sought. Nor was a special proceeding, a civil action, or a criminal action ever initiated in connection with the ex parte motions and orders. For these reasons, the State never took the steps necessary to invoke the superior court’s jurisdiction.

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