in the Court of Appeals 18 September 2017.
by plaintiff from order entered 16 February 2017 by Judge
James F. Ammons, Jr. in Hoke County No. 16-CVS-771 Superior
Russell F. Walker, pro se, plaintiff-appellant.
Locklear, Jacobs, Hunt & Brooks, by Grady L. Hunt, for
defendant-appellee Hoke County.
and Bruner, P.A., by Jerry L. Bruner, for defendant-appellee
Fifth Third Bank, Inc.
Talley Pharr & Lowndes, P.A., by Robert B. McNeill and
Christopher T. Hood, for defendant-appellee Tyton NC Biofuels
F. Walker ("Plaintiff") appeals an order granting
Hoke County, Fifth Third Bank, Inc., and Tyton NC Biofuels,
LLC's (collectively "Defendants") motion to
dismiss Plaintiff's complaint for lack of standing and
failure to state a claim under Rules 12(b)(1) and (6) of the
North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff argues the
trial court erred because he sufficiently established
standing as a taxpayer of Hoke County, and has suffered an
injury from which a favorable judgment on his claims can
grant him relief. We disagree.
and Procedural Background
March 26, 2008, Hoke County conveyed a 500 acre tract of land
by Special Warranty Deed ("the Deed") to Clean Burn
Fuels, LLC ("Clean Burn"). Clean Burn built an
ethanol plant on the land, but after financial problems the
lender foreclosed on the property in 2011. In 2014, Tyton NC
Biofuels, LLC purchased the property and obtained a loan from
Fifth Third Bank, Inc. The loan was secured by a deed of
trust on the 500 acre tract of land.
December 20, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint in Hoke County
Superior Court seeking to set aside the original deed from
Hoke County to Clean Burn, revoke the deed of trust, and
remove from office elected officials who approved the
transfer. In January 2017, Defendants filed answers to
Plaintiff's complaint and motions to dismiss for lack of
standing and failure to state a claim for which relief can be
granted. On January 19, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for
summary judgment alleging no genuine issue of material fact.
A hearing was held on Defendants' motions to dismiss and
Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. The trial court
denied Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and
granted Defendants' motions to dismiss with prejudice.
our de novo review of a motion to dismiss for lack of
standing, we view the allegations as true and the supporting
record in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party." Mangum v. Raleigh Bd. of Adjust., 362
N.C. 640, 644, 669 S.E.2d 279, 283 (2008).
is a necessary prerequisite to a court's proper exercise
of subject matter jurisdiction." Aubin v. Susi,
149 N.C.App. 320, 324, 560 S.E.2d 875, 878, disc.rev. denied, 356 N.C. 610, 574 S.E.2d 474 (2002)
(citation omitted). "[O]nly one with a genuine
grievance" can bring a valid complaint. Mangum,
362 N.C. at 642, 669 S.E.2d at 282 ...