I was on a panel about criminal case calendaring yesterday at the Courts Commission. While talking to people in preparation for the event, I kept hearing one thing: that North Carolina is the only state in which the prosecutor controls the calendar. After conducting some research, I don’t think that’s quite right.
Trial courts may ultimately control their calendars, but there certainly is some power-sharing along the way. The constraints on a trial district court’s authority to manage the flow of litigation are particularly significant in impaired driving cases. Indeed, G.S. 20-139.1(e2) requires that implied consent cases in district court be continued until the chemical analyst who analyzed … Read more
In State v. Friend, ___ N.C. App. ___, 724 S.E.2d 85 (2012), the Court of Appeals addressed the district court’s authority when, after the court refuses to allow a continuance, the State takes a voluntary dismissal and subsequently refiles the case. In Friend, the State voluntarily dismissed an impaired driving charge after the district court … Read more
I regularly am asked questions about criminal case calendaring. There are relatively detailed statutory provisions regarding the calendaring of superior court cases. As to district court cases, however, the statutes are much less clear, and the practice around the state appears to vary, with prosecutors generally playing the leading role, but judges, defense lawyers, clerks, … Read more