Justia Family Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in North Carolina Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights to his child, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion.The trial court entered an order determining that grounds existed to terminate Father's parental rights under N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B(a)(1), (2), (6), (7) and that it was in the child's best interests that Father's parental rights be terminated. On appeal, counsel for Father filed a no-merit brief on Father's behalf. The Supreme Court reviewed the issues identified by counsel in the no-merit brief and held that the trial court's order was supported by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence and was based on proper legal grounds. View "In re J.G.S." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights, holding that the trial court properly terminated Father's parental rights based on N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(7).The trial court entered an order determining that grounds existed to terminate Father's parental rights pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(4) and (7). The trial court further concluded that it was in the child's best interests that Father's parental rights be terminated. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err in terminating Father's parental rights pursuant to section 7B-1111(a)(7). View "In re M.E.S." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights in this private termination of parental rights proceeding initiated by Petitioners, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion.The trial court entered an order concluding that grounds existed to terminate Father's parental rights in his child based on neglect, willfully leaving the child in a placement outside of the home for more than twelve months without making reasonable progress to correct the conditions that led to his removal, failure to pay child support, and willful abandonment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court did not err in concluding that grounds existed to terminate Father's parental rights based on neglect. View "In re W.K." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights on the ground of willful abandonment, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion.After a hearing, the trial court entered an order concluding that grounds existed to terminate Father's parental rights and that termination was in the child's best interests. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that Father willfully abandoned the minor child and that clear, cogent, and convincing evidence supported the termination of Father's parental rights. View "In re C.K.I." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights in his minor child, holding that the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion.The trial court entered an order terminating Father's parental rights, concluding that grounds existed for termination pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1), (5), (6), (8). The court further concluded that termination would be in the child's best interests. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court (1) properly determined that Father's parental rights were subject to termination based on neglect; and (2) did not err by concluding that termination of Father's parental rights was in the child's best interests. View "In re J.B." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Respondents' parental rights in their three minor children, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion.The trial court entered an order terminating Respondents' parental rights, concluding that grounds existed to terminate Respondents' parental rights based on neglect and willful failure to make reasonable progress and that termination of Respondents' parental rights was in the children's best interests. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err in concluding that grounds existed to terminate Respondents' parental rights based on neglect and did not abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Father's parental rights was in the child's best interests. View "In re L.G.G." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights to her two children, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that it was in the children's best interests to terminate Mother's parental rights.After a hearing, the trial court entered orders adjudicating grounds for termination of Mother's parental rights, concluding that grounds existed pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1), (2), and (3) and that termination of Mother's parental rights was in the children's best interests. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that termination of Mother's parental rights in her children was in the children's best interests. View "In re N.C.E." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights to her minor daughter, holding that there was no error.After a hearing, the trial court entered an order terminating Mother's parental rights to her daughter, concluding that grounds existed to terminate Mother's parental rights pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1)-(3) for neglect, willful failure to make reasonable progress, and willful failure to pay a reasonable portion of the child's cost of care. The court further concluded that termination was in the child's best interests. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err in finding that grounds existed to terminate Mother's parental rights under section 7B-1111(a)(2). View "In re T.T." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights on the grounds of neglect and willful abandonment, holding that the trial court erred.Petitioners filed a petition to terminate Mother's parental rights on several grounds. Following hearings, the trial court entered an order concluding that grounds existed to terminate Mother's parental rights based on neglect and willful abandonment. The trial court entered a separate order concluding that termination of Mother's parental rights was in the child's best interests. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court (1) erred in concluding that grounds existed to terminate Mother's parental rights based on willful abandonment, and (2) failed to make any findings regarding the likelihood of future neglect. View "In re B.R.L." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the trial court's order terminating Father's parental rights in his son, holding that the failure of the Transylvania County Department of Social Services (DSS) to verify its motion in the cause for termination, as required by N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1104, deprived the trial court of subject matter jurisdiction.After conducting a hearing on the DSS' motion seeking termination of Father's parental rights, the trial court terminated Father's parental rights. On appeal, Father argued as his sole point that DSS' failure to verify its motion for termination deprived the trial court of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court agreed and vacated the trial court's order, holding (1) the requirement contained in subsection 7B-1104 is jurisdictional as applied to both a petition for termination and a motion for termination; and (2) DSS' failure to verify its motion in the cause deprived the trial court of subject matter jurisdiction. View "In re O.E.M." on Justia Law