The Court of Appeals works differently from trial courts, because the Court hears appeals in cases already tried, either by a bench trial or jury trial, or before an agency or administrative law judge.  

The North Carolina Court of Appeals is the state's intermediate appellate court. Currently 15 judges hear cases in panels of three. The Court of Appeals reviews the proceedings that occurred in the trial courts for errors of law or legal procedure; it decides only questions of law – not questions of fact. The role of the Court of Appeals is to decide if the trial court correctly applied the law, or if there was prejudicial error in the conduct of the trial.

The majority of cases appealed from the Superior and District courts in civil and criminal cases are heard by the Court of Appeals. One major exception is capital murder appeals in which the death penalty was imposed; these appeals go directly to the Supreme Court of North Carolina. In addition, direct appeals from certain of the state’s administrative agencies are heard by the Court of Appeals.

If a member of the three-judge panel dissents from the decision of the majority, there is a right of appeal from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court of North Carolina; otherwise, further review of a decision of the Court of Appeals is limited to those cases that the Supreme Court accepts in its discretion.  

For more information about  the court, visit

Judge Wood has had more than sixteen years of experience on the District Court bench.  She is seeking a seat on the Court of Appeals because, “Judges with experience in the District Courts are crucial assets missing from the Court of Appeals.  Of the fifteen judges on the Court, there is only one who has experience as a District Court Judge, and she is retiring. District Court is the court with exclusive jurisdiction over all family law and juvenile matters, and the decisions made in those courts can have far reaching and long lasting effects on children and families.  The Court of Appeals reviews these cases, and it is important to have judges on the appellate bench that can bring that direct, hands on experience with them up to the higher courts.  I desire to bring my more than 16 years of knowledge and experience as a District Court Judge to the Court of Appeals and serve all of the citizens of North Carolina."    

Judge Wood firmly believes that everyone should be treated fairy and equally and that no one is above the law, regardless of race, religion, social status, professional status, or any other status. She is a Constitutional Conservative and believes that a Judge is to follow the law as it is written, not as he/she wishes it was.  Judicial activism should be avoided at all times.  Judges aren’t legislators, so their job is not to make or rewrite the laws.  Judges are to interpret and apply the law as written. 

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