The Supreme Court, meeting at the North Carolina State House, hears its first case as an appeals-only court.

State v. Mann. Supreme Court rules that slaveowners and overseers cannot prosecuted for how they treat slaves. Harriett Beecher Stowe later cited the case as background for Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Hoke v. Henderson. Court rules that a state officeholder has a property right in his office--a right found nowhere else in the nation. The ruling proves troublesome for both the state and the jurists who issued it. It was overruled in 1903.

State v. Will. Court grants slaves the right of self-defense against cruel and unjust punishment by owners. Overturned by 1857Dred Scott ruling that slaves are not citizens.

The Supreme Court is expanded from three to five members.

State v. Linkshaw. Court reverses conviction of man charged with disturbing public worship by singing too loud and too long during church service.

The Court licenses Tabithia Holton as the first woman to practice law in North Carolina.

Republican Justices David Furches and Robert Douglas are impeached by the House of Commons. The trial centers on the 1834 Hoke decision. The House refuses to convict.

State v. Darnell. Court, citing "natural law," rejects an ordinance prohibiting persons of a particular race from moving onto a street where a majority of the residents are of another race. The anti-segregation ruling goes largely unexecuted.

Supreme Court is expanded to seven members and becomes the last in the nation that does not wear robes. The justices don robes in 1940.

Susie Sharp becomes the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court.

Rabon v. Hospital. Court abolishes charitable immunity for hospitals in malpractice and other damage cases.

The creation of the six-member Court of Appeals lightens the workload of the Supreme Court by taking on most trial court appeals.


The General Assembly expanded the Court of Appeals to nine judges. 

Susie Sharp becomes the first woman chief justice in the nation.


The General Assembly expanded the Court of Appeals to 12 judges.

Wallace v. Bone. The Court rules that the General Assembly cannot appoint its own members to the Environmental Management Commission, a regulatory body in the executive branch, because such appointments violate the separation of powers provision of the North Carolina Constitution.

Henry Frye becomes the first African American appointed to the state's highest court.

Hall v. Salisbury Post. The Court bars people from suing for invasion of privacy when true, personal facts are published.

Woodson v. Rowland. Court rules that injured workers can sue their employers for gross negligence. Prior to this ruling, workers or their survivors would have been limited to collecting workers' compensation.


The General Assembly expanded the Court of Appeals to fifteen judges.