State v. J.C., 372 N.C. 203, 827 S.E.2d 280 (May. 10, 2019)

On discretionary review of a unanimous decision of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 808 S.E.2d 154 (2017), the court held that the State does not have a right to appeal orders granting expunctions under G.S. 15A-145.5. Deciding an issue of first impression, the court noted that the statute governing the State’s right to appeal, G.S. 15A-1445, does not contain language allowing the State to appeal an expunction order. The statute governing the defendant’s expunction, G.S. 15A-145.5, allows for the State to object to a petition for an expunction before the hearing takes place, but does not afford the State the right to appeal an expunction order. The court noted that its decision does not foreclose the opportunity to correct trial court errors because the State can seek review of an expunction order by writ of certiorari.