Saturday, January 21, 2012

In North Carolina, corporations are people, my friend

Reading the N.C. public records law the other day I saw a reference to this definition:
"Person" means an individual, corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, joint venture, or any other legal or commercial entity.
That's N.C. 66-152(2), part of the Commerce and Business Chapter in state law. It seems to have been written in 1981 under Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt and a Democratically controlled state legislature.

Something to remember this year when/if North Carolina Democrats bash Mitt Romney for an off-hand remark the state codified 30 years ago.

Update: Some have noted other sections in NC and federal law identifying corporations as people, including Gerry Cohen, the NC General Assembly's head of legislative drafting. It was not my intent to portray this post as a comprehensive review of this issue, nor was I looking to assign blame.

My point is simply that Democrats have signed off on the idea that the law should treat a corporation like a person, much as Republicans have.

3 comments:

Bridgett said...

I think the term "person" in this context is only used for legal purposes. It would be so much simpler to use that one word instead of "ndividual, corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, joint venture, or any other legal or commercial entity" throughout the legal text. Our business consultant pointed this out to us a week ago.

Cody said...

I wonder if those entrepreneurs who decided to form an LLC instead of a corporation still count as "people." North Carolina law can be ambiguous sometimes.

Suzy Thompson said...

I agree, it is much simpler to just use the term "person" but it can also breed confusion.

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