Court of Appeals Issues Empty Threats to Small Town Judge

The Court recently decided Sisk v. Sisk, which made the lackluster opinion that a motion for new trial must be heard before the judge that heard the original trial. In that case, the trial judge, K . Dean Black took about two years to enter a judgment in an equitable distribution action. Judge Black had previously been reprimanded by the Judicial Standards Commission for this case.

The Court of Appeals issued an unsolicited chiding to Judge Black: “This does not mean that Judge Black is totally blameless in this matter. The trial was held in June and July of 2008, and the judgment was not filed until 13 July 2010. This delay clearly contributed to the germination of the issues raised by this appeal. The record reveals that Judge Black was assigned to hold court in another county shortly after trial in this matter was conducted. However, this is not an uncommon problem in multi-county judicial districts. It cannot excuse a two-year delay in the entry of the judgment in this case. Our State Constitution provides that ‘right and justice shall be administered without favor, denial, or delay.’ N.C. Const. art. I, § 18.” In other words, shame on you smaller counties for not expediting the administration of law and if you continue to do so, the Court of Appeals will continue to do nothing about it (about two years later).