Articles Posted in Parental Rights Termination

Published on:

In re J.J.H., Supreme Court of North Carolina, No. 430A19, December 18, 2020

This is Respondent Mother’s Appeal to the termination of her parental rights.

  • Facts: Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) filed petitions alleging that three of the five minor children involved were neglected and dependent juveniles. The remaining two minor children were alleged to be neglected juveniles. The agency reported receiving eleven reports on this family between October 2011 and February 2016. DHHS had substantiated nine of these reports. The reports alleged inadequate supervision. DHHS found that the two-year-old female was taken to the hospital twice for burns to her hands, arms, and buttocks. The five-year-old male received a school suspension for hitting and kicking daycare teachers. The Respondent Mother’s elderly grandmother, who suffered from seizures, reported that the mother had left the children in her care without permission. DHHS found that the respondent-mother left the children alone in the home only supervised by a five-year-old. Reports included the child drawing pictures of sexual acts, explaining human anatomy to classmates, attempting to engage in sexually inappropriate conduct with siblings, and describing acts of sexual abuse by an older cousin, who also acted as an overnight caregiver. The respondent-mother missed multiple medical appointments for one minor child that suffered from a large mass in his nose. The children were returned to school when the respondent mother failed to be present when they arrived home on the bus. DHHS reports noted the home’s utility services were disconnected.

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Published on:

In Re TB, 2022-NCSC-43.

Facts: In January of 2019, Mecklenburg County DSS filed a petition alleging that the minor child in this action was neglected and dependent. They later moved her to foster care. The petition was initiated when police reported a domestic violence incident in the child’s home in early January, in which the father was arrested. When DSS spoke to Father and Mother after the incident, and both admitted to smoking marijuana, Father acknowledged he had mental health needs and that he had been in treatment for domestic violence through NOVA in the past. Mother said that she would have left Father if she had more family support. Father said he was willing to leave the family home. Father then agreed to go to Monarch for mental health assessment, and both parents agreed to submit to random drug screening. Continue reading →

Published on:

In re C.V.D.C. and C.D.C., _______NC________ (2020).

In North Carolina, for a Termination of Parental Rights petition to succeed, a set of factors set out in N.C.G.S section 7B-1110(a) must be weighed by the court. If the balance of those factors favors termination, the trial court has discretion to do so for the best interests of the child. But does the court need to write down those specific findings? And what if you wanted to appeal their decision? Below, we discuss a case that addresses the manner in which appellate courts review such decisions of the lower courts, and whether or not a court is required to make written findings. Continue reading →

Published on:

In re F.S.T.Y. and A.A.L.Y., ____NC______ No.129A19 (2020).

Termination of parental rights cases are complicated and difficult. Even more so when one parent is out of state and having to litigate in North Carolina. In the case below, we discuss how the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld a termination of parental rights for an out of state parent that had no ties to North Carolina whatsoever. Continue reading →

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Sometimes parental rights are terminated due to a parent’s failure to make reasonable progress to correct the situation that resulted in a child being removed from the home. But how does the court measure reasonable progress? And when does it do the measuring? In a recent North Carolina parental rights case, a mother appealed from the lower court’s order terminating her parental rights for failure to make reasonable progress to correction conditions that led to her being removed from the home. Continue reading →