58-2-75. Court review of orders and decisions.

(a) Any order or decision made, issued or executed by the Commissioner, except an order to make good an impairment of capital or surplus or a deficiency in the amount of admitted assets and except an order or decision that the premium rates charged or filed on all or any class of risks are excessive, inadequate, unreasonable, unfairly discriminatory or are otherwise not in the public interest or that a classification assignment is unwarranted, unreasonable, improper, unfairly discriminatory, or not in the public interest, shall be subject to review in the Superior Court of Wake County on petition by any person aggrieved filed within 30 days from the date of the delivery of a copy of the order or decision made by the Commissioner upon such person. A copy of such petition for review as filed with and certified to by the clerk of said court shall be served upon the Commissioner or in his absence upon someone in active charge of the Department within five days after the filing thereof. If such petition for review is not filed within the said 30 days, the parties aggrieved shall be deemed to have waived the right to have the merits of the order or decision reviewed and there shall be no trial of the merits thereof by any court to which application may be made by petition or otherwise, to enforce or restrain the enforcement of the same.

(b) The Commissioner shall within 30 days, unless the time be extended by order of court, after the service of the copy of the petition for review as provided in subsection (a) of this section, prepare and file with the clerk of the Superior Court of Wake County a complete transcript of the record of the hearing, if any, had before him, and a true copy of the order or decision duly certified. The order or decision of the Commissioner if supported by substantial evidence shall be presumed to be correct and proper. The court may change the place of hearing,

(1) Upon consent of the parties; or

(2) When the convenience of witnesses and the ends of justice would be promoted by the change; or

(3) When the judge has at any time been interested as a party or counsel.

The cause shall be heard by the trial judge as a civil case upon transcript of the record for review of findings of fact and errors of law only. It shall be the duty of the trial judge to hear and determine such petition with all convenient speed and to this end the cause shall be placed on the calendar for the next succeeding term for hearing ahead of all other cases except those already given priority by law. If on the hearing before the trial judge it shall appear that the record filed by the Commissioner is incomplete, he may by appropriate order direct the Commissioner to certify any or all parts of the record so omitted.

(c) The trial judge shall have jurisdiction to affirm or to set aside the order or decision of the Commissioner and to restrain the enforcement thereof.

(d) Appeals from all final orders and judgments entered by the superior court in reviewing the orders and decisions of the Commissioner may be taken to the appellate division of the General Court of Justice by any party to the action as in other civil cases.

(e) The commencement of proceedings under this section shall not operate as a stay of the Commissioner's order or decision, unless otherwise ordered by the court. (1945, c. 383; 1947, c. 721; 1969, c. 44, s. 55; 1971, c. 703, s. 1.)