Michael Thelen

Michael Thelen

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP

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N.C. Court Reminds Litigants of Need to Preserve "Status Quo" When Appealing Denial of Preliminary Injunction

Today, we're looking at Shoeheel Farms v. City of Laurinburg, COA14-1089 (August 4, 2015). The Court of Appeals dismissed as moot property owners' appeal of a trial court's decision denying a temporary restraining order and...more

8/5/2015 - Appeals Condemnation Farms Memorandum of Understanding Preliminary Injunctions Property Owners Restraining Orders

N.C. Court of Appeals Denies Bid to Return Water/Sewer "Impact Fees"

Impact fees are defined, generally, as a charge on new development to pay for the construction or expansion of off-site capital improvements that are necessitated by and/or benefit the new development. Impact fees have been...more

8/5/2015 - Appeals Construction Industry Impact Fees Local Ordinance Municipalities Public Utility Real Estate Development Ultra Vires

Three-Judge Panel Invalidates State's Efforts to Spay/Neuter Town's Planning and Development Regulation Powers

Today, a three judge panel of the North Carolina state court declared unconstitutional a State law that blocks a municipality -- one municipality -- from exercising its power to create an extraterritorial planning...more

8/5/2015 - Extraterritoriality Rules Jurisdiction Municipalities Urban Planning & Development

Doin' the Deed: State Conveys 300 Acres of Urban Property to City of Raleigh

We've blogged in the past about the political saga between the City of Raleigh and the State of North Carolina over the Dorothea Dix property in downtown Raleigh, a 300-plus acre piece of lovely real estate. And you thought...more

7/27/2015 - Deeds Urban Planning & Development

N.C. Court of Appeals Addresses Public Records, Closed Session and "Personnel Matters"

In The Times News Publishing Co. v. The Alamance-Burlington Bd. of Education, No. COA15-99 (July 21, 2015), the Court of Appeals considered the intersection between the State's Open Meetings Laws (N.C.G.S. 143-318.9, et seq.)...more

7/23/2015 - Board of Education Hiring & Firing Open Meetings Act Personnel Records Public Disclosure Public Officials Public Records Act School Districts Severance Pay Termination

N.C. Court of Appeals Dissent Asserts That Spot Zoning Does Not Require a "Single Owner"

Appellate court dissents are often overlooked by the public, viewed more intently by the litigants as bases for further appeal or other strategic maneuvering. But dissents are an important part of legal doctrine....more

7/23/2015 - Appeals Dissenters Rights Private Property Zoning Laws

Inapplicability of the "One Year" Limitations Tolling Period of the N.C. Rules of Civil Procedure

In Murphy v. Hinton, No. COA14-1230 (July 7, 2015), the North Carolina Court of Appeals determined that a complaint dismissed voluntarily cannot benefit from the "one-year refiling" period pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1) of the...more

7/14/2015 - Dismissals Motion to Dismiss Pleading Standards Rules of Civil Procedure Statute of Limitations Tolling Wrongful Death

N.C. General Assembly Is Actively Revisiting Riparian Buffer Rules

What are Riparian Buffers? - Riparian buffers are vegetated areas next to water resources that protect water quality, bank stabilization from erosion, and aquatic and wildlife habitat. The USDA Forest Service defines a...more


N.C. Court of Appeals Speaks On "Violations" of Residential Rental Agreement Act

The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a trial court decision, rendered in the wake of a bench trial (i.e., tried without a jury), wherein the trial court held that a residential landlord violated the North Carolina...more

5/21/2015 - Appeals Landlords Residential Leases Safety Violations Tenants

Guests Laura DeVivo and Angel Sams Explain the N.C. General Assembly's Recently-Concluded and Critical "Crossover" Period

The "crossover" period has just ended in the North Carolina General Assembly, which is an inflection point for pending bills in each session. Here with a wonderful explanation of what "crossover" means, both technically and...more

5/11/2015 - Legislative Process

Proposed Law Before N.C. General Assembly Would Overhaul State's Billboard and Outdoor Advertising Laws

Filed March 17, 2015, Senate Bill 320 proposes significant revisions to State laws governing billboards and outdoor advertising. In this post, we review some of the changes that would result from Senate Bill 320 in its...more

5/8/2015 - Advertising Billboards Proposed Amendments

N.C. Court of Appeals Dismisses Municipal Takings Claim For Failing "Public Benefit" Standard

Today, the N.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a takings case filed by a local government. The case is Town of Matthews v. Wright, No. COA14-943 (April 21, 2015)....more

4/22/2015 - Affirmative Defenses Appeals Condemnation Dismissals Municipalities Public Benefits Takings

N.C. Court of Appeals Rules That Contractual Forum Selection Clause Can Track, But Not Vary, Legislatively-Determined Forum

The North Carolina Court of Appeals handed down a decision today that clarifies the rule that a contractual venue/forum selection provision can track, but it cannot vary from, the venue/forum determined by State law....more

4/8/2015 - Appeals Forum Forum Selection

Maine Supreme Court Looks Past City Planner's "Unprofessional" Plea to Zoning Board of Appeals

This March, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court considered a claim that an "unprofessional" email from a city planner to the city's zoning board of appeals, pleading for a specific outcome on a land use appeal, does not per se...more

4/8/2015 - Administrative Appeals Due Process Email Public Officials

N.C. General Assembly House Moves On Bill Eliminating Zoning Protest Petititons

A decision on whether and how to rezone property is left to the sound discretion and good judgment of the elected officials. The philosophy behind this thinking is that the decision to rezone or not to rezone is a...more

4/7/2015 - Legislative Agendas Zoning Laws

N.C. State Senate Introduces Bill Granting Tax Credit for "Property" Serving Renewable Energy Efforts

Last week, the North Carolina State Senate introduced a bill that seeks to extend renewable-energy tax credits applicable to eligible property -- which is defined as specific "machinery and equipment or real property" -- that...more

4/2/2015 - Energy Sector Proposed Legislation Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Federal Court Upholds Permit Fee for Backcountry Sheltering in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There is a constant, and I believe growing, tension between the government and the governed as to whether taxes should be used for or user fees should be charged for myriad services....more

4/2/2015 - National Parks

N.C. Court of Appeals Reminds of Factual Findings Required for Award of "Reasonable" Attorney Fees

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently reversed an award of attorney fees by the trial court on the basis that the trial court did not render the appropriate findings of fact. We're talking about Brown's Building...more

3/31/2015 - Appeals Attorney's Fees Reversal

N.C. Court of Appeals Addresses Common Affirmative Defenses In Commercial Foreclosure Context

A recent opinion from the North Carolina Court of Appeals addresses some common borrower defenses within the context of foreclosure and statute of frauds issues: compromise and settlement, accord and satisfaction, the...more

3/31/2015 - Affirmative Defenses Appeals Commercial Property Owners Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Equitable Estoppel Foreclosure Lenders Offsets Statute of Frauds

Take My Home, Please: In Wake of Court Decision, N.C. General Assembly Seeks to Repeal "Map Act"

The Map Act -- also known as Chapter 136, Article 2E of the General Statutes of North Carolina -- allows the N.C.D.O.T., local governments or other governing bodies to file with the local register of deeds an official...more

3/26/2015 - Infrastructure Legislative Agendas Repeal Subdivision Map Act Takings Transportation Corridor

Critical Resources and Land Development: "Water Wars" Are on the Horizon

As we've posited in this space before, water will be the oil of the 21st century. In what way? Its value, its scarcity, its requirement for development. It will also be more valuable than oil in that, unlike oil, we have...more

2/26/2015 - Drinking Water Groundwater Water Water Supplies

N.C. Court of Appeals Applies Common Law Rule Against Perpetuities to Invalidate Lessee's Preemptive Right

Ask almost any lawyer or law student to name the most esoteric concept addressed in law school, and you're more likely than not to hear "The Rule Against Perpetuities". The Rule Against Perpetuities, or the RAP, exists at...more

2/20/2015 - Commercial Leases Commercial Tenants Landlords Perpetual Trusts Right of FIrst Refusal Rule Against Perpetuities Tenants

N.C. Court of Appeals Addresses "Offset" Defense In Loan Deficiency Claims, the Ownership Element of Trespass

The Court of Appeals issued a number of decisions today, while snow and ice ghosted the City of Raleigh. The Court addressed trespass to land, the availability of the "offset" defense to commercial loan guarantors. Let's...more

2/18/2015 - Appeals Commercial Loans Encroachments Guarantors Trespass

Appellate Court Addresses Judicial Discretion As to Record on Appeal from Quasi-Judicial Decision

Last week, the North Carolina Court of Appeals addressed some unique issues with respect to the trial court record in an appeal of a quasi-judicial proceeding....more

2/11/2015 - Appeals Cell Towers Evidence Property Owners Supplemental Evidence Trial Court Orders

Fresh Bill In Newly-Convened N.C. State Legislature Aims At Condemnation Powers

Portending what is likely to be a significant legislative session for local government powers and real property rights in North Carolina, the first "substantial" bill introduced in the 2015-2016 session of the North Carolina...more

1/16/2015 - Condemnation Pending Legislation Private Property Property Owners

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