“The North Carolina Court of Appeals is the state’s intermediate appellate court. Currently 15 judges hear cases in panels of three. The Court of Appeals reviews the proceedings that occurred in the trial courts for errors of law or legal procedure; it decides only questions of law – not questions of fact. The role of the Court of Appeals is to decide if the trial court correctly applied the law, or if there was prejudicial error in the conduct of the trial.
The majority of cases appealed from the Superior and District courts in civil and criminal cases are heard by the Court of Appeals. One major exception is capital murder appeals in which the death penalty was imposed; these appeals go directly to the Supreme Court of North Carolina. In addition, direct appeals from certain of the state’s administrative agencies are heard by the Court of Appeals.
If a member of the three-judge panel dissents from the decision of the majority, there is a right of appeal from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court of North Carolina; otherwise, further review of a decision of the Court of Appeals is limited to those cases that the Supreme Court accepts in its discretion. Judges of the Court of Appeals are elected and serve eight-year terms.”