Part 3. Judicial Appraisal of Shares.

55-13-30. Court Action.

(a) If a shareholder makes a demand for payment under G.S. 55-13-28 that remains unsettled, the corporation shall commence a proceeding within 60 days after receiving the payment demand by filing a complaint with the Superior Court Division of the General Court of Justice to determine whether the shareholder complied with the requirements of this Article and is entitled to appraisal rights, and, if so, to determine the fair value of the shares and accrued interest. The shareholder has the burden of proving that the shareholder complied with the requirements of this Article regarding entitlement to appraisal rights. If the superior court determines that a shareholder has not complied with the requirements of this Article, the shareholder is not entitled to appraisal rights, and the court shall dismiss the proceeding as to the shareholder. If the corporation does not commence the proceeding within the 60-day period, the corporation shall pay in cash to each shareholder the amount the shareholder demanded pursuant to G.S. 55-13-28, plus interest.

(a1) Repealed by Session Laws 1997-202, s. 4.

(b) The corporation shall commence the proceeding in the appropriate court of the county where the corporation's principal office, or, if none, its registered office in this State is located. If the corporation is a foreign corporation without a registered office in this State, it shall commence the proceeding in the county in this State where the principal office or registered office of the domestic corporation merged with the foreign corporation was located at the time of the transaction.

(c) The corporation shall make all shareholders, whether or not residents of this State, whose demands remain unsettled parties to the proceeding as in an action against their shares and all parties shall be served with a copy of the complaint. Nonresidents may be served by registered or certified mail or by publication as provided by law.

(d) The jurisdiction of the superior court in which the proceeding is commenced under subsection (b) of this section is plenary and exclusive. The court may appoint one or more persons as appraisers to receive evidence and recommend a decision on the question of fair value. The appraisers shall have the powers described in the order appointing them, or in any amendment to it. The shareholders demanding appraisal rights are entitled to the same discovery rights as parties in other civil proceedings. There is no right to a trial by jury.

(e) Each shareholder made a party to the proceeding that is determined by the superior court to have complied with the requirements of this Article and is entitled to appraisal rights is entitled to judgment either (i) for the amount, if any, by which the court finds the fair value of the shareholder's shares, plus interest, exceeds the amount paid by the corporation to the shareholder for the shareholder's shares or (ii) for the fair value, plus interest, of the shareholder's shares for which the corporation elected to withhold payment under G.S. 55-13-27. (1925, c. 77, s. 1; 1943, c. 270; G.S., s. 55-167; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1969, c. 751, s. 39; 1973, c. 469, ss. 36, 37; 1989, c. 265, s. 1; 1997-202, s. 4; 1997-485, ss. 5, 5.1; 2011-347, s. 1; 2021-106, s. 5(a).)