NC Supreme Court to hear Asheville water lawsuit

The NC Supreme Court announced Jan. 29 that it will hear the water lawsuit, denying the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.


The case, Asheville v. State (No. COA14-1255), involves a 2013 statute that requires the City to transfer its water system to a new authority and without compensation. At trial, the court recognized these constitutional violations and prohibited the State from taking away the City’s water system. However, the state Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment.

In November, the City of Asheville filed a Notice of Appeal and Petition for Discretionary Review with the NC Supreme Court.

Four requests for AMICUS briefs were allowed; these are when outside parties have an interest in the case and are called a friend of the court. They include:

  • The League of Municipalities;
  • International Association of Municipal Attorneys;
  • City of Wilson; and
  • H20 Go Brunswick Regional Water & Sewer.

The Supreme Court allowed a temporary stay, allowing the City of Asheville to retain ownership of the water system while legal action is pending.

The City has 30 days to prepare arguments for the NC Supreme Court, then state has 30 days to prepare its arguments. Oral arguments would be scheduled before Supreme Court thereafter.

The Asheville water system serves over 124,000 customers, including residential commercial, industrial and institutional users.

For more information, visit the City of Asheville’s Water/sewerage consolidation analysis project page.