in the Court of Appeals 2 October 2019.
by Defendant from order entered 4 January 2019 by Judge
Lawrence J. Fine in Forsyth County No. 99 CR 14063 District
Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Special Deputy Attorney
General Tammera S. Hill, for the State.
Offices of J. Scott Smith, by J. Scott Smith, for
years ago, in 1999, Defendant Jeffery Wade Doss was found
guilty of assault on a female in Forsyth County District
Court. The trial court entered a prayer for judgment
continued (PJC) on that charge. Two years ago, in 2017,
Defendant, now residing in West Virginia, was informed that
he was ineligible for a concealed carry permit due to the
1999 matter. A year later, in 2018, Defendant moved the
Forsyth County District Court to enter a final judgment on
his 1999 matter, presumably so that he could (1) appeal the
matter to superior court in hopes that the State would then
be forced to dismiss the charge due to the staleness of the
matter and (2) he could then regain his concealed carry
permit in West Virginia. However, by order entered 4 January
2019, the district court denied Defendant's motion.
Defendant appeals from that order.
of 1999, Defendant was charged with and found guilty of
assault on a female in district court. The record contains a
2018 correspondence from the Clerk of Court in Forsyth County
certifying that all of its records concerning the 1999 matter
have been destroyed/purged "in accordance with the
retention period established by the History Department of
Cultural Resources and endorsed by our Administrative Office
of the Court."
record, though, also contains a printout of information
concerning Defendant's 1999 matter contained on the
Automatic Criminal/Infraction System (ACIS) maintained by our
judicial branch. The ACIS printout records that (1) Defendant
pleaded "not guilty" of assault on a female, (2)
the trial court found him "guilty," (3) rather than
imposing judgment, such as a fine or term of imprisonment,
the trial court entered a PJC, and (4) the trial court
ordered Defendant to pay, and Defendant in fact did pay,
$86.00 in court costs.
two decades later, Defendant applied in West Virginia to have
his concealed carry permit renewed. However, on 21 February
2017, upon learning of the 1999 matter, West Virginia sent
Defendant a letter revoking his permit because (1) his 1999
Forsyth County case resulted in a conviction for a crime
involving "domestic violence, " and (2) Defendant
had misstated on his renewal application that he had
"never been convicted of an act of violence or an act of
August 2018, Defendant filed a Motion to Enter Judgment in
his 1999 case in district court. Defendant's apparent
reason for filing the motion was as follows: (1) he wanted a
final judgment to be entered (2) so that he could appeal that
judgment to the superior court for a trial de novo
(3) whereupon his case would most likely be dismissed by the
State, as it would be all but impossible for the State to
retrieve any evidence of the 1999 incident and (4) with the
1999 charge dismissed, he would be most likely eligible under
West Virginia law for a concealed carry permit.
Defendant's Motion, however, was denied by the district
court, reasoning that it did "not have statutory
authority" to grant the motion.
properly before this Court, there must be a conviction or a
guilty plea amounting to a final judgment in a criminal case.
See State v. Pledger, 257 N.C. 634, 638, 127 S.E.2d
337, 340 (1962) ("A defendant is entitled to appeal only
from a final judgment."). A PJC, by definition, places
the entry of a potential final judgment on hold until the
court is ready to address the matter, or in some cases, the
matter is postponed indefinitely. See State v.
Southern, 71 N.C.App. 563, 566-67, 322 ...