North Carolina

 
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A statute of limitations (or SOL), simply, is the maximum amount of time one has to bring a lawsuit from the time of the injury or other ground for a lawsuit.

SOLs vary from state to state and from claim to claim. For example, a SOL for a lawsuit about a contract may be different from a lawsuit about a personal injury and both may be of varying durations between different states. The statute of limitations may also be set to begin running at different times. Some SOLs begin running at the time of the injury and others begin running when the injury is discovered.

Child Sex Abuse Statutes of Limitation and Related Laws

Current Civil SOL

In North Carolina, the civil SOL for child sex abuse claims is capped at age 21 (age if majority, 18, plus 3 years). There is also a discovery rule, which allows victims up to 10 years to file a claim after discovering an injury caused by the abuse.

SOL vs. perp: 3+ years from majority = Age 21

SOL vs. employer: +3 years from majority = Age 21

Majority Tolling: Age 18
Discovery Tolling: Liberal – Subject to 10 year SOR

SOL: + 3 years from majority or from liberal discovery, but subject to 10 year SOR from last act as to accrual.


North Carolina State Law Provides:

Three years

Within three years an action--

5) For criminal conversation, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contractand not hereafter enumerated
N.C.G.S.A. § 1-52

TOLLING:

Discovery, yes. liberal, but narrowly construed as to effects/causation. But subject to 10 years

Unless otherwise provided by statute, for personal injury or physical damage to claimant’s property, the cause of action, except in causes of actions referred to in G.S. 1-15(c), shall not accrue until bodily harm to the claimant or physical damage to his property becomes apparent or ought reasonably to have become apparent to the claimant, whichever event first occurs. Provided that no cause of action shall accrue more than 10 years from the last act or omission of the defendant giving rise to the cause of action.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-52 (16)

A discovery statute allows a statute of limitations to not begin to run until plaintiff discovers, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have discovered, that he was injured as a result of defendant’s wrongdoing.
Soderlund v. Kuch, 143 N.C. App. 361, 369, 546 S.E.2d 632, 638 (N.C. Ct. App. 2001)

Granting motion to dismiss where last act of abuse occurred 23 years earlier, while noting that N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-52 (16) and N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-52 (5) can under some facts operate together to give a victim a total of 13 years from majority in which to file, at the latest age 31.
Doe v. Doe, 973 F.2d 237, 1992 U.S. App. LEXIS 18272 (4th Cir. N.C. 1992)

Majority, yes 18

A person entitled to commence an action who is under a disability at the time the cause of action accrued may bring his or her action within the time limited in this Subchapter, after the disability is None,… when the person must commence his or her action, or make the entry, within three years next after the removal of the disability, and at no time thereafter.
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 1-17(a)

Within the age of 18 years. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 1-17(a)(1)

Current Criminal SOL

In North Carolina, there is no criminal SOL for felonies and the criminal SOL for misdemeanors is capped at age 20 (age of majority, 18, plus two years).

NONE, for felonies. State v. Johnson, 167 S.E.2d 274, 279 (N.C. 1969) (“In this State no statute of limitations bars the prosecution of a felony.”)
SOL for misdemeanors vs. perp.: + 2 years, majority = Age 20


North Carolina State Law Provides:

In this State no statute of limitations bars the prosecution of a felony.
State v. Johnson, 167 S.E.2d 274, 279 (N.C. 1969)

Age of Majority: 18. See, N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 1-17 (a)(1); N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 48A-3.
Age of Consent: 16. See, N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-27.7A.

Age of Marriage with Parental Consent: 16 (14-15 with judicial consent).
Age of Marriage without Parental Consent: 18.
See, N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 51-2, 51-2.1.


Medical Neglect Statute

CIVIL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE

There is no religious exemption to civil liability for parents failing to provide medical care based on faith.

North Carolina Civil Statute:
None

CRIMINAL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE

There is no religious exemption to criminal liability for parents failing to provide medical care based on faith.

North Carolina Criminal Statute:
None


Religous Liberty Statute

Religious liberty statute that could put children at risk

2016 Legislation

Session Law 2016-3 – House Bill 2

2015 Pending RFRA Legislation

S.B. 2 – relating to same-sex marriage licenses

Short Title: Magistrates Recusal of Civil Ceremonies

Sponsors: Senator Berger (Primary Sponsor).

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT TO ALLOW MAGISTRATES AND REGISTERS OF DEEDS TO RECUSE THEMSELVES FROM PERFORMING DUTIES RELATED TO MARRIAGE CEREMONIES DUE TO SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS OBJECTION.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. Article 1 of Chapter 51 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

“§ 51‑5.5. Recusal of certain public officials.

r 42A of the General Statutes in expedited eviction proceedings when the office of the clerk of superior court is closed.

(15) When authorized by the chief district judge, as permitted in G.S. 7A-146(11), to provide for appointment of counsel pursuant to Article 36 of this Chapter.

(16) To appoint an umpire to determine motor vehicle liability policy diminution in value, as provided in G.S. 20-279.21(d1).

(b) The authority granted to magistrates under G.S. 51-1 and subsection (a) of this section is a responsibility given to the collective magistrates in a county and is not a duty imposed upon each individual magistrate. The chief district court judge shall ensure that marriages before a magistrate are available to be performed at least a total of 10 hours per week, over at least three business days per week.”

Read More a) Every magistrate has the right to recuse from performing all lawful marriages under this Chapter based upon any sincerely held religious objection. Such recusal shall be upon notice to the chief district court judge and is in effect for at least six months from the time delivered to the chief district court judge. The recusing magistrate may not perform any marriage under this Chapter until the recusal is rescinded in writing. The chief district court judge shall ensure that all individuals issued a marriage license seeking to be married before a magistrate may marry.

(b) Every assistant register of deeds and deputy register of deeds has the right to recuse from issuing all lawful marriage licenses under this Chapter based upon any sincerely held religious objection. Such recusal shall be upon notice to the Register of Deeds and is in effect for at least six months from the time delivered to the Register of Deeds. The recusing assistant or deputy register may not issue any marriage license until the recusal is rescinded in writing. The Register of Deeds shall ensure for all applicants for marriage licenses to be issued a license upon satisfaction of the requirements as set forth in Article 2 of this Chapter.

(c) If, and only if, all magistrates in a jurisdiction have recused under subsection (a) of this section, the chief district court judge shall notify the Administrative Office of the Courts. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall ensure that a magistrate is available in that jurisdiction for performance of marriages for the times required under G.S. 7A‑292(b). Only for the duration of the time the Administrative Office of the Courts has not designated a magistrate to perform marriages in that jurisdiction, the chief district court judge shall be deemed a magistrate for the purposes of performing marriages under this Chapter.

(d) No magistrate, assistant register of deeds, or deputy register of deeds may be charged or convicted under G.S. 14‑230 or G.S. 161‑27, or subjected to a disciplinary action, due to a good-faith recusal under this section.”

SECTION 2. G.S. 14‑230 reads as rewritten:

“§ 14‑230. Willfully failing to discharge duties.

(a) If any clerk of any court of record, sheriff, magistrate, school board member, county commissioner, county surveyor, coroner, treasurer, or official of any of the State institutions, or of any county, city or town, shall willfully omit, neglect or refuse to discharge any of the duties of his office, for default whereof it is not elsewhere provided that he shall be indicted, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If it shall be proved that such officer, after his qualification, willfully and corruptly omitted, neglected or refused to discharge any of the duties of his office, or willfully and corruptly violated his oath of office according to the true intent and meaning thereof, such officer shall be guilty of misbehavior in office, and shall be punished by removal therefrom under the sentence of the court as a part of the punishment for the offense.

(b) No magistrate recusing in accordance with G.S. 51‑5.5 may be charged under this section for recusal to perform marriages in accordance with Chapter 51 of the General Statutes.”

SECTION 3. G.S. 161‑27 reads as rewritten:

“§ 161‑27. Register of deeds failing to discharge duties; penalty.

(a) If any register of deeds fails to perform any of the duties imposed or authorized by law, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and he shall be removed from office.

(b) No Register of Deeds recusing in accordance with G.S. 51‑5.5 may be charged under this section for recusal to issue marriage licenses in accordance with Chapter 51 of the General Statutes.”

SECTION 4. G.S. 7A‑292 reads as rewritten:

“§ 7A‑292. Additional powers of magistrates.

(a) In addition to the jurisdiction and powers assigned in this Chapter to the magistrate in civil and criminal actions, each magistrate has the following additional powers:

(1) To administer oaths.

(2) To punish for direct criminal contempt subject to the limitations contained in Chapter 5A of the General Statutes of North Carolina.

(3) When authorized by the chief district judge, to take depositions and examinations before trial.

(4) To issue subpoenas and capiases valid throughout the county.

(5) To take affidavits for the verification of pleadings.

(6) To issue writs of habeas corpus ad testificandum, as provided in G.S. 17‑41.

(7) To assign a year’s allowance to the surviving spouse and a child’s allowance to the children as provided in Chapter 30, Article 4, of the General Statutes.

(8) To take acknowledgments of instruments, as provided in G.S. 47‑1.

(9) To perform the marriage ceremony, as provided in G.S. 51‑1.

(10) To take acknowledgment of a written contract or separation agreement between husband and wife.

(11) Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 503, s. 9.

(12) To assess contribution for damages or for work done on a dam, canal, or ditch, as provided in G.S. 156‑15.

(13) Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 503, s. 9.

(14) To accept the filing of complaints and to issue summons pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 42A of the General Statutes in expedited eviction proceedings when the office of the clerk of superior court is closed.

(15) When authorized by the chief district judge, as permitted in G.S. 7A-146(11), to provide for appointment of counsel pursuant to Article 36 of this Chapter.

(16) To appoint an umpire to determine motor vehicle liability policy diminution in value, as provided in G.S. 20-279.21(d1).

(b) The authority granted to magistrates under G.S. 51-1 and subsection (a) of this section is a responsibility given to the collective magistrates in a county and is not a duty imposed upon each individual magistrate. The chief district court judge shall ensure that marriages before a magistrate are available to be performed at least a total of 10 hours per week, over at least three business days per week.”

SECTION 5. Any magistrate who resigned, or was terminated from, his or her office between October 6, 2014, and the effective date of this act may apply to fill any vacant position of magistrate. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, with respect to any magistrate who resigned his or her office between October 6, 2014, and the effective date of this act, and who is subsequently reappointed as a magistrate within 90 days after the effective date of this act:

(1) For the period of time between that magistrate’s resignation and his or her resumption of service upon reappointment, the magistrate shall not receive salary or other compensation and shall not earn leave. However, the magistrate shall be considered to have been serving as a magistrate during that period for purposes of determining continuous service, length of aggregate service, anniversary date, longevity pay rate, and the accrual of vacation and sick leave.

(2) For purposes of the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and the calculation of benefits under that System, (i) the magistrate shall be considered to have been an employee under G.S. 135-1(10) during the break in service, (ii) the period of the break in service shall be counted as membership service under G.S. 135-1(14), and (iii) the magistrate shall be deemed to have earned compensation under G.S. 135-1(7a) during the break in service at the rate of compensation that would have applied had there been no break in service.

(3) The Judicial Department shall pay and submit both the employee and employer contributions to the Retirement Systems Division on behalf of the magistrate as though that magistrate had been in active service during the period in question. Those contributions shall be submitted within 90 days of the magistrate’s resumption of service and shall not be subject to penalties or interest if submitted within that 90-day period.

SECTION 6. This act is effective when it becomes law.

Previously Introduced Legislation

2013: NC Religious Freedom Restoration Act (HB 751)


The information provided is solely for informational purposes and is not legal advice. To determine the SOL in a particular case, contact a lawyer in the state.