It’s a Bird, It’s a Scooter, It’s an Overnight Sensation . . . But Is It Legal?

(Author’s note: The last section of this post was added after its initial publication.)

Electric scooters have recently appeared overnight in cities across North Carolina. The scooters, most of which are owned by the Bird Rides company, have been deposited without advance announcement in downtown areas. Would-be riders download an app that allows them to scan a code on the scooter that unlocks it. The scooter can then be ridden for $1 start-up charge plus 15 cents per minute. The app instructs users to ride in bike lanes where available and to avoid pedestrians on the sidewalk. It also states that traffic regulations prohibit riding on sidewalks, in public parking structures, without a helmet, and without a valid driver’s license. Is all of that correct? And can these scooters lawfully be operated on North Carolina streets?

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The License Plate Game

The school year ends this week so it is just about time for another Denning family road trip. Despite the minivan with bucket seats, the DVD player, and multiple portable electronic devices, my kids are terrible travelers. So this summer I think we’ll go old school and try the license plate game. My kids are sticklers for rules (they take after their father) so we’ve got to decide whether license plates mounted on the front count. That caused me to wonder why people have such plates in the first place and whether it is lawful to place them on the front of a vehicle registered in North Carolina.

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Sex Offender Residency Restriction Clarified

A registered sex offender may not knowingly reside within 1,000 feet of a school or child care center. G.S. 14-208.16. That restriction was enacted in 2006, S.L. 2006-247, and applies to all registered sex offenders in North Carolina, regardless of their particular crime or date of offense. A violation of the law is a Class … Read more

The Court of Appeals Finds Another Fatal Defect in a Sex Offender Indictment

A couple of months ago, I blogged about State v. Herman, __ N.C. App. __ (2012), a case in which the court of appeals found a fatal defect in an indictment charging the defendant with  being a sex offender unlawfully on a premises in violation of G.S. 14-208.18(a)(2). In a nutshell, the indictment in that … Read more

Updated Sex Offender Flow Chart (July 2012 edition)

It’s been over six months since the last update of my sex offender flow chart (the previous version was current as of January 12, 2012). A revised version is now available here. As in the prior version, everything to do with registration is on the front and everything to do with satellite-based monitoring (SBM) is … Read more

Petitions for Removal from the Sex Offender Registry: The Wetterling Finding — Part II

In my previous post I wrote about In re Hamilton, a recent appellate case involving petitions to terminate sex offender registration. In Hamilton, the court of appeals held that a trial court erred when it found under G.S. 14-208.12A that removing a person convicted of indecent liberties with a minor from the sex offender registry … Read more

Petitions for Removal from the Sex Offender Registry: The Wetterling Finding — Part I

A recent case from the court of appeals sheds some light on a frequently asked question about petitions for removal from the sex offender registry. The case, In re Hamilton, considered a trial court’s refusal to grant a petition because granting it would not comply with the federal Jacob Wetterling Act, as amended, and other … Read more