AN ACT TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF JUDGES ON THE COURT OF APPEALS TO TWELVE; TO PROVIDE AN APPEAL OF RIGHT FOR TRIAL COURT DECISIONS REGARDING CLASS ACTION CERTIFICATION AND TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS; AND TO PROVIDE FOR DISCRETIONARY REVIEW BY THE SUPREME COURT IN CASES WHERE THE SUBJECT MATTER INVOLVES THE JURISDICTION AND INTEGRITY OF THE COURT SYSTEM.
Amends GS 7A-16, as amended. Provides that on or after January 1, 2017, when a seat on the Court of Appeals becomes vacant prior to the expiration of the judge's term due to the death, resignation, retirement, impeachment, or removal pursuant to GS 7A- 374.2(8) of the incumbent judge, the seat is eliminated until the total number of Court of Appeals seats is decreased to 12 (there are currently 15 judges on the Court of Appeals).
Amends GS 7A-27, as amended to create an appeal of right from the trial courts to the Supreme Court for cases involving the resolution of conflicts pursuant to Rule 3.1 of the General Rules of Practice for the Superior and District Courts, and for any trial court's decision regarding class action certification under GS 1A-1, Rule 23.
Amends GS 7A-31, authorizing the Supreme Court to make certification of discretionary review before a determination by the Court of Appeals when the Supreme Court determines that the subject matter of the appeal is important in overseeing the jurisdiction and integrity of the court system.
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