Category: Government & Public Sector

A Heads Up: New Assumed Business Name Law

By Haley Haynes and Ann Wall

On June 2, 2017, Gov. Cooper signed House Bill 228, Postpone Assumed Name Revisions, S.L. 2017-23. This bill postpones the effective date for the new Assumed Business Name Act, codified at Article 14A of Chapter 66 of the General Statutes. The effective date is now Dec. 1, 2017. No new assumed business names can be filed under the old law after Dec. 1. Assumed business name certificates will still be filed at the Registers of Deeds’ offices, but may be effective for multiple counties. Our agency will be responsible for making a statewide online database of all assumed name certificates filed after Dec. 1, 2017.

Haynes is Deputy Secretary of State and Wall is the General Counsel for the Secretary of State’s office.

New Telephone Numbers at the Secretary of State

By  Ann Wall and Dwayne Beamon

Someone invented the telephone,

And interrupted a nation’s slumbers,

Ringing wrong but similar numbers.

~Ogden Nash, Look What You Did, Christopher

The N.C. Department of the Secretary of State both regrets and is pleased to inform you that all of our telephone numbers are changing. We regret it because we know it is going to be a frustrating change for those of you who call us often. We are pleased because the new system will enable us to better serve you, the citizens and businesses of North Carolina.

The State Department of Information Technology has mandated that all state agencies have to change all telephone systems and telephone numbers within the next two to four years. Taking into account the steadily increasing number of calls we are receiving without a matching increase in resources to answer those calls, we have decided to go ahead and make the change now.

The Secretary of State will be among the first 20 percent state agencies to make the switch to the new telephone system, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). We are viewing this as an opportunity to optimize our limited resources and improve customer service at the same time.

We anticipate the change to the new system beginning around June 20, 2017 and being completed by June 30, 2017. Effective on June 22, 2017, our new main telephone number will be:  (919) 814-5400.

Wall is the General Counsel, and Beamon, the Chief Information Officer, of the Secretary of State.

Incentive Support For Retail Projects: Yes Or No?

By Ernest C. Pearson

Since the early 1990s, when the use of incentives to stimulate economic growth began to be used more frequently in North Carolina, there has been a question as to whether state or local government incentive programs can and should be used to attract retail projects.

With one exception, at the state level, incentive programs by statute or administrative rules exclude retail projects from incentive support. In the mid 1980s, the General Assembly adopted the first job creation tax credit program. That statute did not exclude retail as a type of project that could obtain the tax credits. After a company that built a fast food restaurant claimed the tax credits, the statute was amended to exclude retail projects. Since then, all state incentive grant and tax credit programs have excluded retail projects from consideration.

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New Rules Of Appellate Procedure For North Carolina

Government & Public Sector Section

By Jennifer M. Jones

As winter turns to spring, it’s a good time to freshen up on the N.C. Rules of Appellate Procedure! Did you know that new rules went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017?  You will want to review these new rules before drafting your next appellate brief!

Perhaps the biggest change is that your likely go-to font, Courier, no longer complies with the rules. Your brief will also need a certificate of compliance for word count. The new rules also cover how en banc review will work.  Please read the ARC Memo On New Rules for additional changes.  Please also note that some minor changes to Rule 7 went into effect on March 16, 2017.

 

Quicksands and Cutting Edges Of the Law: Do Municipal Utility Customers Possess Due Process and Vested Rights To Continued Sewerage Service?

Note from Jon Mize, NCBA Government & Public Sector Section blog editor: Below please find an article from John C. Cooke examining the implications of a recent North Carolina Court of Appeals case on due process and the vested interest rights applicable to public enterprise customers. The article is shared from the North Carolina Land Use Litigator information initiative (https://nclanduse.blogspot.com/ ) published by Mr. Cooke and Michael C. Thelen.  

john-c-cooke-1By John C. Cooke

Introduction

Sometimes, I read a court’s opinion and put it aside because it is thought provoking beyond its facts and outcome.  The case of United States Cold Storage, Inc. v. Town of Warsaw, __ N.C. App. ___, 784 S.E. 2d 575 (April 5, 2016) falls into this category.

Background

United States Cold Storage is interesting from several angles, but this post explores only one – the possibility that governmental utility customers possess due process and common law vested rights to continued utility service.

The facts were simple.  United States Cold Storage (USCS) owned a facility located outside the corporate limits of the Town of Warsaw (Town).  Through a contract with a county government, USCS secured Town sewer service and a promise that the Town would not annex the facility for seven (7) years.

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Economic Liberty Challenges In the 21st Century

By Drew Erteschik and J.M. Durnovich

erteschik_drew_LHIntroduction

Most of us left law school with the understanding that so-called “economic liberty” challenges to state regulations will generally fail under rational basis review.  That area of the law, however, has changed dramatically.

This article looks at the change in three parts:

The first part offers a brief refresher on the history of economic liberty challenges in the 20th century.

The second part describes a flurry of recent cases involving successful economic liberty challenges on substantive due process grounds.

The third part examines some possible legal and policy explanations for the modern trend.

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