North Carolina Press Ass'n, Inc. v. Spangler

Decision Date15 September 1987
Docket NumberNo. 8710SC105,8710SC105
Citation87 N.C.App. 169,360 S.E.2d 138
Parties, 41 Ed. Law Rep. 1140 The NORTH CAROLINA PRESS ASSOCIATION, INC., and the News and Observer Publishing Company, d/b/a The News and Observer and The Raleigh Times v. C.D. SPANGLER, Jr., President of The University of North Carolina and Arthur Padilla, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of North Carolina.
CourtNorth Carolina Court of Appeals

Lacy H. Thornburg, Atty. Gen. by Andrew A. Vanore, Jr., Chief Deputy Atty. Gen., Edwin M. Speas, Jr., Sp. Deputy Atty. Gen., and Laura E. Crumpler, Asst. Atty. Gen., Raleigh, for State.

Tharrington, Smith & Hargrove by Wade H. Hargrove, Michael Crowell, and Randall M. Roden, Raleigh, for plaintiffs-appellees.


We are met at the threshold with a problem of mootness. At issue was whether the chancellors' reports were public records under G.S. sec. 132-1 subject to disclosure. Appellants excepted to the trial court's finding that the records were made and received pursuant to law in connection with the transaction of public business by the University, a government agency, and that such records are therefore public and subject to disclosure. However, on 14 November 1986, appellants publicly disclosed the chancellors' reports that are the subject of this appeal. Thus, the issue before this Court was rendered moot by appellant publicly disclosing the chancellors' reports.

The doctrine of mootness applies:

[w]henever, during the course of litigation it develops that the relief sought has been granted or that the questions originally in controversy between the parties are no longer at issue, the case should be dismissed, for courts will not entertain or proceed with a cause merely to determine abstract propositions of law.

Unlike the question of jurisdiction, the issue of mootness is not determined solely by examining facts in existence at the commencement of the action. If the issues before a court or administrative body become moot at any time during the course of the proceedings, the usual response should be to dismiss the action.

In re Peoples, 296 N.C. 109, 147-48, 250 S.E.2d 890, 912 (1978), cert. denied, 442 U.S. 929, 99 S.Ct. 2859, 61 L.Ed.2d 297 (1979) (citations omitted).

Applying the doctrine of mootness to the case sub judice we find that the question originally in controversy is no longer at issue. Thus, appellant's appeal is moot and this appeal is



To continue reading

Request your trial
10 cases
  • Routten v. Routten
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeals
    • November 20, 2018
  • NRC Golf Course, LLC v. JMR Golf, LLC
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeals
    • August 21, 2012
    ...a case are no longer at issue when the case is on appeal, the appeal is moot and should be dismissed. N.C. Press Assoc., Inc. v. Spangler, 87 N.C.App. 169, 171, 360 S.E.2d 138, 139 (1987).Id. Here, NRC has challenged the trial court's 22 July 2010 and 30 September 2010 orders granting preli......
  • Womack Newspapers v. Town of Kitty Hawk, COA05-1650.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeals
    • January 2, 2007
    ...of the exceptions to mootness are not persuasive. Further, we are bound by this Court's prior holding in N.C. Press Assoc., Inc. v. Spangler, 87 N.C.App. 169, 360 S.E.2d 138 (1987). In Press Association, the primary issue was whether reports submitted by chancellors of several of our state'......
  • Wilmington Star-News, Inc. v. New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Inc.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeals
    • January 21, 1997
    ...276, 322 S.E.2d 133 (1984); News and Observer Publishing Co. v. Poole, 330 N.C. 465, 412 S.E.2d 7 (1992); N.C. Press Assoc. v. Spangler, 87 N.C.App. 169, 360 S.E.2d 138 (1987). JOHN C. MARTIN and SMITH, JJ., concur. ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT