Ann Marie Calabria | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Ann Marie Calabria

N.C. Court of Appeals - Calabria Seat


Full Legal Name: Ann Marie Calabria

Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Ann Marie Calabria

Seat Sought: Calabria Seat – North Carolina Court of Appeals

Partisan Affiliation: Judges are now listed as non-partisan; however, I am a registered Republican.

Date of Birth: 10-31-1947

Home Address: 1197 Crabtree Crossing Parkway, Morrisville, NC 27560

Mailing Address (if different from home): Same

Campaign Web Site:

Occupation & Employer: Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals; State of North Carolina

Bachelor's Degree Year & Institution:

Fairleigh Dickinson University, Summa Cum Laude, B.A. History, 1977

JD Year & School:

While my husband, Col. (R) Robert Calabria served in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, I attended Campbell University, School of Law, J.D., 1983.

Other Degrees:

University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine, Certificate of Proficiency in Dental Hygiene, 1967.

Years lived in North Carolina: 31

Home Phone: (919) 467-5541

Work Phone: (919) 831-3770


1. What are your top priorities or issues of concern for the coming term?

My top priorities are as follows: to continue to administer justice impartially, according to the rule of law while protecting the rights of people as well as the safety of the public and; to continue to serve as an effective and innovative leader in judicial responsiveness and reform and as an advocate for expanding access to the courts.

2. What qualifies you to serve?

It has been my privilege to serve in North Carolina for nearly 14 years as a judge and mediator on the NC Court of Appeals, in District Court and Juvenile Court. I have handled over 2,000 appellate cases and over 50,000 District Court civil, criminal and juvenile cases. I consistently uphold our Constitution and faithfully interpret the laws. I believe the U.S. and N.C. Constitutions establish federal and state governments of limited powers. I believe our Founders intended to guarantee freedom, property rights, and individual rights. I believe in judicial restraint, not judicial activism. I hope to continue serving the people of North Carolina and would be honored by your vote. Please visit my website

3. How do you define yourself politically? How does that impact your judicial approach?

My judicial philosophy is as follows:

Criminal Law – Those who victimize others must get a punishment that fits the crime, with an eye toward reforming those who can be rehabilitated.

Civil Law – Judges and lawyers must work diligently to ensure the broadest access to the courts consistent with fairness and the efficient administration of justice.

Constitutional Law – The courts serve an overarching goal under our state constitution, protecting the rights of people by reviewing government actions.

4. FOR INCUMBENTS: What have been your most important decisions in your current capacity? FOR CHALLENGERS: What decisions has the incumbent made that you most disagree with?

Some of my most important decisions have been my dissent in the Lottery case, Heatherly v. State, 189 NC App 213 (2008), my dissent in Libertarian Party et al v. State et al, 688 S.E.2d 700 (2009), and my majority opinion in the Satellite-Based Monitoring case, State v. Bare, 677 S.E.2d 518 (2009).

5. What do you feel was the U.S. Supreme Court's most important recent decision? Did you agree with the majority? What is the role of that court in setting precedent for North Carolina's appellate courts?

I feel that the United States Supreme Court's most important recent decision is District of Columbia v. Heller. I do agree with the majority's decisionwhich held for the first time in history that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual's right to keep and bear arms. As a judge on the NC Court of Appeals, I am bound by precedent from both the United States Supreme Court and the North Carolina Supreme Court, as well as precedent from the NC Court of Appeals which has not been overturned in either of the Supreme Courts.

6. Do you feel that North Carolina's current system of judicial elections serves the state well? Are there other forms of selecting judges you feel would function better or worse than the current one?

No system is perfect. Electing judges imposes significant burdens on candidates for judicial office who must raise money to run while being careful to adhere to the Code of Judicial Conduct. Popular election raises a question of whether candidates will be tempted to take positions or ingratiate themselves to powerful interest groups simply to gain election. At the same time, appointment of judges creates an even stronger impression that the judges are political operatives in black robes, insulated from the people whose lives and fortunes they may affect. The election process for all its challenges is a better way of selecting judges because they must be attuned to the general needs of the electorate.

7. Have you ever pled guilty or no contest to any criminal charge other than a minor traffic offense? Please explain.


8. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

I consistently apply the law in a fair and impartial manner to the facts of each case no matter how unpopular the voters view the parties or the issues. As a judge, I have taken an oath to support, maintain, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of North Carolina, not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States. If the voters want the law changed, they must go to the Legislature or pass a constitutional amendment.

9. Do you favor or oppose applying a plain error review to all alleged errors in capital cases? Do you favor or oppose mandating appellate review in post-conviction capital cases to help avoid arbitrariness in review of post-conviction capital cases by superior court judges? Please explain.

On the North Carolina Court of Appeals, we do not handle capital cases. All capital cases are appealable as of right directly to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Appellate review of post-conviction capital cases is a policy decision. The North Carolina Court of Appeals is an error correcting court. We do not make policy decisions.

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