State v. Loftis, ___ N.C. App. ___, 792 S.E.2d 886 (Nov. 15, 2016)

In this DWI case, the district court properly dismissed the charges sua sponte. After the district court granted the defendant’s motion to suppress, the State appealed to superior court, which affirmed the district court’s pretrial indication and remanded. The State then moved to continue the case, which the district court allowed until June 16, 2015, indicating that it was the last continuance for the State. When the case was called on June 16th the State requested another continuance so that it could petition the Court of Appeals for writ of certiorari to review the order granting the defendant’s motion to suppress. The district court judge denied the State’s motion to continue and filed the final order of suppression. The district court judge then directed the State to call the case or move to dismiss it. When the State refused to take any action, the district court, on its own motion, dismissed the case because of the State’s failure to prosecute. Affirming, the court noted that when the case came on for final hearing on June 16th, the State had failed to seek review of the suppression motion. And, given that the prosecutor knew that there was no admissible evidence supporting the DWI charge in light of the suppression ruling, a State Bar Formal Ethics Opinion required dismissal of the charges. The court noted: the “State found itself in this position by its own in action.”