An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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. COA05-40


Filed: 1 November 2005

Individually, and

v .                         Watauga County
                            No. 03 CVS 728
and wife, DORIS HEATON,
Individually, and PREMIER PERSONAL

    Appeal by plaintiff from judgment entered 29 September 2004 by Judge Charles C. Lamm, Jr. in Watauga County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 15 September 2005.

    The Vetro Law Firm, P.C. by Michael Vetro and M. Shaun Lundy, Attorneys for plaintiffs-appellants.

    Maupin, Taylor, P.A. by Michael C. Lord and Terence D. Friedman, Attorneys for defendants-appellees.

    LEWIS, Judge.

    Ellen Harrell (“Harrell”) and Appalachain Home Care (collectively, “plaintiffs”) appeal a trial court order granting summary judgment for James Heaton III (“James III”) and his wife, Doris Heaton, James Heaton IV (“James IV”), and Premier Personal Care and Health Services, Inc. (“Premier”) (collectively “defendants”). For the reasons stated herein, we dismiss this appeal as interlocutory.
    The procedural history of this case is as follows: On 21 November 2003, plaintiffs instituted a civil action against defendants in Watauga County for breach of contract, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, defamation, libel per se, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Defendants counterclaimed for breach of fiduciary duty, interference with contractual relations and prospective commercial advantage, breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, conversion, constructive trust, and civil conspiracy. Plaintiffs moved for and were granted summary judgment against defendants on the claims of breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion and constructive trust.
    Defendants deposed plaintiff Harrell on July 14-15, 2004. During her deposition, Harrell asserted her Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer questions related to certain financial transactions she engaged in while executive director of Premier. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of all of plaintiffs' claims because Harrell asserted her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The trial court granted the motion and issued an order dismissing all of plaintiffs' claims on 29 September 2004. Plaintiffs appeal.

    The dispositive issue is whether this appeal should be dismissed because it is interlocutory and plaintiffs have not adequately pleaded a substantial right.     “The general rule is that final judgments are always appealable . . . .” Tinch v. Video Industrial Services, 347 N.C. 380, 381, 493 S.E.2d 426, 427 (1997). “A final judgment is one that determines the entire controversy between the parties, leaving nothing to be decided in the trial court.” Ratchford v. C.C. Mangum, Inc., 150 N.C. App. 197, 199, 564 S.E.2d 245, 247 (2002).
    An interlocutory order may be appealed immediately if: (1) it is final to a party or issue and the trial court certifies it for appeal under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1A-1, Rule 54(b), or (2) it affects a substantial right of the parties. Appellants have the burden of showing this Court that an appeal is proper. Johnson v. Lucas, __ N.C. App. __, __, 608 S.E.2d 336, 338, aff'd, __ N.C. __, __, __ S.E.2d __, __ (No. 158A05, October 7, 2005). If the appeal is from an interlocutory order, the appellant must include “sufficient facts and argument to support appellate review on the ground that the challenged order affects a substantial right” in its statement of grounds for appellate review in appellant's brief. N.C.R. App. P. 28(b)(4) (2005). “It is appellant's burden to present appropriate grounds for this Court's acceptance of an interlocutory appeal, . . . and not the duty of this Court to construct arguments for or find support for appellant's right to appeal[.]” Thompson v. Norfolk S. Ry. Co., 140 N.C. App. 115, 121, 535 S.E.2d 397, 401 (2000) (citations and quotations omitted). “Where the appellant fails to carry the burden of making such a showing to the court, the appeal will be dismissed. Lucas, __ N.C. App. at __, 608 S.E.2d at 338.     In this case, the order appealed from granted summary judgment as to all of plaintiffs' claims, however, it did not dispose of defendants' counterclaims for breach of contract, interference with contractual relationship and prospective commercial advantage, unfair competition and civil conspiracy. Thus, the order appealed from is interlocutory. Appellant asserts the appeal is from a “final judgment dismissing all claims [and] is authorized by N.C.G.S. § 1-277.” Appellant fails to state any grounds for appellate review of the interlocutory order and provides no discussion of any substantial right that may be effected if this Court does not review the order. The judgment was not certified for appeal by the trial court pursuant to Rule 54(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Therefore, we dismiss this appeal as interlocutory.
    Judges HUDSON and ELMORE concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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