An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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. COA05-1172


Filed: 18 April 2006


         v.                        Watauga County
                                No. 03 CRS 51242

Watauga County Board
of Education - Appellant,

Jones, Agent for: Ranger
Insurance Company - Appellee.

    Appeal by judgment-creditor from order rendered 26 May 2005 by Judge Zoro J. Guice, in Superior Court, Watauga County. Heard in the Court of Appeals 20 March 2006.

    Miller & Johnson, PLLC, by Linda L. Johnson and Paul E. Miller, Jr., for Watauga County Board of Education, judgment creditor-appellant.

    The Fulkerson Law Firm, PC, by Daniel R. Fulkerson, for surety-appellee.

    WYNN, Judge.

    In the absence of a written order giving this Court jurisdiction, the appeal must be dismissed. Searles v. Searles, 100 N.C. App. 723, 726, 398 S.E.2d 55, 57 (1990). In this case, the trial court announced its decision in open court, but did not enter a written order. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.     On 27 April 2004, Defendant Bethany Marie Teague was arrested for obtaining property by false pretenses. Surety Joshua Wayne Jones, agent for Ranger Insurance Company, (Surety) posted an $8,000 appearance bond for Defendant and she was released. Defendant failed to appear in court on her trial date and the trial court issued a Notice of Bond Forfeiture on 29 November 2004. The trial court subsequently entered a Judgment of Forfeiture on 1 May 2005. The next day, Surety filed a Motion for Relief from Final Judgment alleging that Defendant was incarcerated in Tennessee which made it “impossible for the surety to effect a surrender.”
    The trial judge conducted a hearing on Surety's motion on 26 May 2005 and at the conclusion of the hearing, he pronounced an oral judgment granting Surety's motion for relief from final judgment. A written order reflecting the trial court's rendered judgment was not entered at that time. Judgment Creditor filed notice of appeal on 24 June 2004, from the trial judge's ruling.
    This dispositive issue is whether this Court has jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The announcement of judgment in open court is the mere rendering of judgment, not the entry of judgment. Kirby Building Sys. v. McNiel, 327 N.C. 234, 393 S.E.2d 827 (1990), reh'g denied, 328 N.C. 275, 400 S.E.2d 453 (1991). Although appeal of a rendered order or judgment may be timely filed, jurisdiction will not vest with this Court if judgment in substantial compliance with the judgment rendered is not subsequently entered. Worsham v. Richbourg's Sales & Rentals, 124 N.C. App. 782, 784, 478 S.E.2d 649, 650 (1996). Entry of an order occurs when an order is reducedto writing, signed by the judge, and filed with the clerk. Abels v. Renfro Corp., 126 N.C. App. 800, 803, 486 S.E.2d 735, 738 (1997). The absence of such written order giving this Court jurisdiction mandates that the appeal be dismissed. Searles, 100 N.C. App. at 726, 398 S.E.2d at 57.
    Although the court in the case at bar announced its decision in open court, no written order signed by the judge and filed with the clerk appears in the record on appeal. Because the judgment from which Judgment Creditor attempts to appeal has not been entered by the trial court, this appeal must be dismissed. Id.
    Judges McGEE and HUNTER concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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