An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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

NO. COA05-917


Filed: 2 May 2006

    v.                        Rowan County
                            No. 99 CVD 619

    Appeal by defendant from an order entered 19 January 2005 by Judge Kevin G. Eddinger in Rowan County District Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 27 March 2006.

    Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes, PA, by Kary C. Watson and Thomas R. Cannon, for plaintiff-appellee.

    Robert L. Inge for defendant-appellant.

    BRYANT, Judge.

    Lorrie Ann Shue (defendant) appeals from a 19 January 2005 order reducing the amount of Christopher M. Shue's (plaintiff's) child support from $908.00 per month to $516.00 per month.
    Plaintiff and defendant were married on 14 February 1987 and separated on 2 November 1997. The parties were subsequently divorced and on 11 December 2001 entered into a Memorandum of Judgment/Order which provided plaintiff's child support obligation would be $908.00 per month beginning 6 September 2001. On 25 March 2002 a formal child support order was entered reflecting the terms of the Memorandum. At the time plaintiff entered into the Memorandum of Judgment, he was employed as Director of Operations with Pace Airlines (“Pace”) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina foralmost three years and earned $79,500.00 annually. Following the events of 11 September 2001, Pace experienced financial and personnel problems. During this time, Pace borrowed money from its parent company to make their biweekly payroll and laid-off approximately eighteen employees. As Pace's Operations Manager, plaintiff was aware of the company's financial problems and began looking for other employment. Because of the unstable conditions of the passenger airline industry, plaintiff took a job at DHL Airways (“DHL”), a cargo carrier. DHL was not suffering the same financial uncertainty as Pace. Plaintiff was offered a job with DHL in 2004 and met with the Vice President of Pace's Operations to discuss the company's future. Based on the information learned at that meeting, as well as concern he would lose his job with little or no notice, plaintiff accepted the position with DHL. Due to labor contracts, plaintiff started at a lower level position than that of Operations Manager. At the time of the hearing, he was employed as a flight engineer and earned $34,000.00 annually.
    On 11 December 2001, a child support order was entered by consent which obligated plaintiff to pay the sum of $908.00 per month for T.A. On 26 April 2004, plaintiff filed a motion requesting a modification of his child support obligation, among other things. On 29 June 2004, the trial court entered an order for visitation leaving the issue of plaintiff's motion for modification of child support open for the submission of briefs. On 19 January 2005, the trial court entered an order reducingplaintiff's child support obligation from $908.00 per month to $516.00 per month. Defendant appeals.


    On appeal defendant argues the trial court erred in: (I) making finding of fact thirty-four because it was unsupported by the evidence; (II) conclusion of law number five because it was unsupported by the evidence; and (III) basing plaintiff's child support on current earnings rather than imputed earnings. Meanwhile, plaintiff moves this Court to dismiss this appeal based on various violations of our North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure. For the reasons stated below, we dismiss defendant's appeal.
    We note several violations of the N.C. Rules of Appellate Procedure in defendant's brief. In her first two arguments (assignments of error four and six), defendant does not cite to any legal authority and we therefore deem them abandoned. N.C. R. App. P. 28(b)(6) (“The body of the argument and the statement of applicable standard(s) of review shall contain citations of the authorities upon which the appellant relies.”) (emphasis added); State v. Augustine, 359 N.C. 709, 738, 616 S.E.2d 515, 535 (2005); see also State v. Walters, 357 N.C. 68, 85, 588 S.E.2d 344, 355 (2003), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 971, 157 L. Ed. 2d 320 (2003) (A party's assignment of error is deemed abandoned in the absence of citation to supporting authority.). In addition, because defendant brings forth no argument in her brief, we deem abandoned assignments of error one, two, three, five, seven and eight as“[a]ssignments of error not set out in the appellant's brief, or in support of which no reason or argument is stated or authority cited, will be taken as abandoned.” N.C. R. App. P. 28(b)(6).
    In defendant's remaining assignment of error, she fails to state a legal basis for each assignment in violation of N.C. R. App. P. 10(c)(1). Rule 10(c) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure states in relevant part:
        Form; Record references. . . . Each assignment of error shall, so far as practicable, be confined to a single issue of law; and shall state plainly, concisely and without argumentation the legal basis upon which error is assigned. An assignment of error is sufficient if it directs the attention of the appellate court to the particular error about which the question is made, with clear and specific record or transcript references[.]

N.C. R. App. P. Rule 10(c)(1); Broderick v. Broderick, ___ N.C. ___, ___, 623 S.E.2d 806, ___ (2006); see, e.g., Dep't of Transp. v. Rowe, 353 N.C. 671, 674, 549 S.E.2d 203, 207 (2001) (alleged error “not properly presented” to this Court where plaintiff failed to comply with “Rule 10(c) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure [which] requires that an appellant state the legal basis for all assignments of error”), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 1130, 151 L. Ed. 2d 972 (2002). The purpose of an assignment of error “is to state . . . what legal error is complained of and why.” Duke v. Hill, 68 N.C. App. 261, 264, 314 S.E.2d 586, 588 (1984).
    In this case, defendant's final assignment of error states:             
        9.    The trial court committed reversible error in basing the Plaintiff's child support on current earnings. (Rp 30)
This assignment of error is insufficiently stated to be properly preserved for appellate review. Here, defendant fails to state the legal grounds upon which the trial court allegedly erred in basing plaintiff's child support obligation on his current earnings. Rogers v. Colpitts, 129 N.C. App. 421, 423, 499 S.E.2d 789, 790 (1998) (“Because our scope of review is confined to properly presented assignments of error, defendant's appeal is dismissed.”).     In addition, defendants' brief does not contain the “statement of the grounds for appellate review” required by Rule 28(b)(4), nor does it contain any “citation [to] the statute or statutes permitting appellate review.” N.C. R. App. P. 28(b)(4). “The North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure are mandatory and 'failure to follow these rules will subject an appeal to dismissal.'” Viar v. N.C. Dept. of Transp., 359 N.C. 400, 402, 610 S.E.2d 360, 361 (2005) (quoting Steingress v. Steingress, 350 N.C. 64, 65, 511 S.E.2d 298, 299 (1999)). We therefore grant plaintiff's motion to dismiss for these multiple rules violations.
    Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge HUDSON concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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