North Carolina Trial Court Taxing of Attorney Fees

In State v. Jacobs, 361 N.C. 565, 648 S.E.2d 841 (2007), the Supreme Court of North Carolina vacated a holding by the Court setting aside a judgment against defendant for attorney's fees: The Court of Appeals majority vacated the trial court's taxing of attorney fees against defendant because it concluded that the trial court could not properly enter judgment for attorney fees without giving defendant notice and an opportunity to be heard on that issue, pursuant to N.C.G.S. 7A-455. . . . The dissent noted that the record contained no judgment requiring defendant to pay attorney fees, but that the trial judge merely indicated his intention to enter a future order assessing attorney fees. . . . The Court concluded that because there is no civil judgment in the record ordering defendant to pay attorney fees, the Court of Appeals had no subject matter jurisdiction on this issue. See N.C. R. App. P. 3(a); id. 9(a)(1)(h). Id. at 566, 648 S.E.2d at 842.