Chief Justice John Martin (’67) to retire from N.C. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1

Chief Justice John C. Martin (’67) of the N.C. Court of Appeals is retiring effective Aug. 1. Martin has served on the Court of Appeals for more than a decade.

Judge Martin’s record of service on the bench began in 1977 when he became a Superior Court judge for the 14th Judicial District in his native Durham County. He served in that capacity until 1985, at which time he began his service on the Court of Appeals, serving until 1988.

Martin returned to the Court of Appeals in 1993 and has served there ever since, assuming the duties of chief judge in 2004. Since 2001, he has also served as chairman of the N.C. Judicial Standards Commission.

In addition to his years of service, Martin was the 35th recipient of the North Carolina Bar Association’s highest honor, the Judge John J. Parker Award, in 2013. The award was presented at the NCBA annual meeting in Asheville by Martin Brinkley, immediate past president of the NCBA and chair of the Past Presidents’ Council that selected Martin to receive this honor.

Chief Justice John C. Martin accepts the Judge John J. Parker Award

Chief Justice John C. Martin accepts the Judge John J. Parker Award

Martin’s resignation creates a vacancy on the Court of Appeals that will be contested in the Nov. 4 general election. The State Board of Elections is expected to convene in the next two weeks to set the dates for a one-week filing period in August. All eligible candidates who file during this period will be on the ballot in November with the seat going to the highest vote-getter. Chief Justice Sarah Parker, who is retiring Aug. 31, will appoint the successor to serve as chief judge.

Governor Pat McCrory also can choose someone to serve in Martin’s seat through the end of the year.

According to The Associated Press story on, in Martin’s retirement letter, the judge asked McCrory to choose someone “who will be diligent, fair, without ideological agenda, collegial and of good temperament to succeed me as a member of the court.”