SEEKING BUSINESS COURT JURISDICTION AND WHY YOU’D WANT TO
The North Carolina Business Court was established to provide a forum for complex business cases to be heard before judges knowledgeable about the pertinent issues. There are many types of cases which may qualify as complex business cases. For the purposes of this overview, however, it will suffice to say that the Business Court is for those cases which, based upon their subject matter, will benefit most from the Business Court’s jurisdiction. In other words, the Business Court is not for simple contract or employment disputes. By limiting the types of cases that come under the jurisdiction of the Business Court, the Court is able to ensure that these cases are heard more quickly than those under the jurisdiction of the various county Superior and District Courts.
It is important to decide whether you wish to seek the jurisdiction of the Business Court prior to filing your business litigation case in the Superior or District Court having jurisdiction over the matter. If you, or your company, are the Plaintiff in the matter you must file the Notice of Designation at the same time the case is filed. The Notice of Designation is the document wherein you state the basis for seeking the jurisdiction of the Business Court and why your case qualifies. If you, or your company, are the Defendant in the matter and wish to remove the case to the Business Court, you must file the Notice of Designation within thirty days following receipt of the Complaint.
Once your case and the Notice of Designation are filed with the Superior or District Court, and after preliminary approval by the Chief Justice of that Court, the case is designated as a complex business case and jurisdiction is removed to the Business Court. The case remains under the jurisdiction of the Business Court unless it is determined by the Court at a later time to not meet the requirements as a complex business case. At the time the case is designated as a complex business case the filing fee for the Notice of Designation is due to the Clerk of Court for the county in which the original case was filed.
For those cases that do not meet the requirements as a complex business case or when Business Court jurisdiction is desired by either party later in the case there are still options. A party may seek Business Court jurisdiction for those cases that qualify as either exceptional civil cases or discretionary complex business cases. There are multiple factors to be considered in whether the case qualifies and it is in the discretion of the chief justice of the Superior or District Court having jurisdiction over the matter as to whether to recommend the case to be moved to the Business Court.
At The Rawlings Law Firm we have experience in filing and litigating cases in the Business Court. We can determine whether your case qualifies as a mandatory complex business case, a discretionary business case, or an exceptional civil case. Most importantly, we can help you decide whether your case will benefit from the jurisdiction of the Business Court and representing you effectively if it does.