It’s probably not too soon to verbify the Business Court’s opinion in Ehrenhaus v. Baker, 2014 NCBC 30, decided a few months ago. If you missed that decision, know that you have to file your Notice of Appeal from a Business Court decision not just by e-filing in the Business Court, but also by filing with the Clerk of Court in the county where the case was filed. Otherwise, the Business Court can dismiss your appeal.
The plaintiffs in three separate cases suing the former principals of Bostic Construction Company for constructive fraud were Ehrenhaused last week. They didn’t file their Notices of Appeal with the Clerks of Superior Court in the counties from which their cases had originated, and Judge Bledsoe yesterday dismissed each of the appeals in response to the Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss, based on the Ehrenhaus ruling.
The only one of the three cases that was published is American Mechanical, Inc. v. Bostic, 2014 NCBC 47. The Orders from the other two cases dismissing the appeals for the same reason are unpublished. They are in the Phillips and Jordan case and the Yates Construction Company cases brought against the Bostics.
While Ehrenhaus was certainly correctly decided based on the Business Court Rules and appellate court precedent, I can’t say I like the concept of a court with a fully electronic filing system being undercut by a duplicative paper filing at a bricks and mortar courthouse. Maybe the next time the General Assembly looks into "modernizing" the Business Court, it can take up this issue.
But for now, you are all on notice of where to file your Notice of Appeal from a Business Court decision. E-file it in the Business Court and file a paper copy with the Clerk of Court in the County in which the case originated. And don’t forget that after October 1st there will be direct appeals from many Business Court rulings to the NC Supreme Court.