An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA04-871


Filed: 5 April 2005


         v.                        Mecklenburg County
                                No. 03 CRS 6436
ANGELA PERRY, individually
and as Administratrix of the
Estate of Michael Derrick

    Appeal by respondents from judgment entered 13 February 2004 by Judge Gentry Caudill in Mecklenburg County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 14 March 2005.

    Linwood O. Foust, for petitioner-appellees.

    Shuford, Hunter & Brown, P.A., by Thomas Daniel Brown, for respondent-appellants.

    CALABRIA, Judge.

    Sylvia Hall, Gregory Cotton, and Lavonda Basette (collectively “petitioners”) are siblings of Michael Derrick Cotton (the “decedent”). Petitioners filed a petition seeking a declaratory judgment ruling that Angela Perry and Michelle Denise Farmer (collectively “respondents”), who claim to be the illegitimate children of the decedent, are not entitled to inherit from the decedent's estate. Respondents appeal from a judgment granting summary judgment in favor of petitioners.     The facts are undisputed. The decedent died intestate on 20 December 2000. Respondent Angela Perry was appointed administrator of the decedent's estate on 25 January 2002. Respondents have generally been acknowledged as the illegitimate daughters of the decedent. However, during the decedent's lifetime no judicial decree, either civil or criminal, was ever entered establishing decedent to be the father of the respondents. Decedent also never executed a written acknowledgment of paternity or acknowledged paternity in a duly probated will.
    Respondents admit that their claim to inherit is barred by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 29-19 (2003), which allows an illegitimate child to inherit through intestate succession from a putative father only if the decedent has: (1) been adjudicated the father of the child pursuant to Chapter 49 or (2) executed a written acknowledgment of paternity before a certifying officer in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. § 52-10(b) (2003) and filed it in the office of the clerk of superior court. Nonetheless, they argue the statute violates equal protection because mothers of illegitimate children are not required to comply with similar procedures. They urge this Court “to consider whether it is practical or reasonable to expect that” fathers who voluntarily support their illegitimate children will know to comply with the statute in order to permit inheritance by the children through intestacy. However, respondents did not raise this constitutional argument in the court below. Consequently, this Court will not consider it “for the first time on appeal.” Anderson v. Assimos, 356 N.C. 415, 416, 572 S.E.2d 101, 102 (2002).     Dismissed.
    Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge McCULLOUGH concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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