Justia North Carolina Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Respondent's parental rights, holding that the purported issues addressed by counsel in support of the appeal were meritless.After a hearing, the trial court concluded that grounds existed to terminate Father's parental rights based on willful abandonment and willful failure without justification to pay for the child's care. See N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(4) and (7). The trial court further concluded that termination was in the child's best interests. The Supreme Court affirmed after reviewing the issues identified by Father's counsel in a no merit brief, holding 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.I.T." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights to her juvenile child, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that termination was in the child's best interests.After a hearing, the trial court terminated Mother's parental rights on the grounds of abuse, neglect, and dependency. See N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1)-(2). The court further found that it was in the child's best interests to terminate Mother's parental rights. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Mother's challenges to the court's findings of fact were unavailing; and (2) the court did not abuse its discretion in making its best interests determination. View "In re N.B." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights in his child, holding that there was no error.After a termination hearing, the trial court concluded that grounds existed to terminate Mother's and Father's parental rights pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1) and (2) and that termination of the parents' parental rights was in the child's best interests. Father was the only party to this appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Father's challenges to the trial court's findings of fact were unavailing; and (2) the trial court did not err in adjudicating neglect as a ground for termination of Father's parental rights pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1). View "In re R.G.L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order entered by the district court terminating Father's parental rights in his five minor children, holding that there was no error.After a termination hearing, the trial court concluded that grounds existed to terminate Father's parental rights on the grounds of neglect, willful failure to make reasonable progress, and willful failure to pay a reasonable portion for the cost of caring for the juveniles. See N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1)-(3). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court's findings were sufficient to support its conclusion that grounds existed to terminate Father's parental rights on the basis of neglect. View "In re S.J." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating the parental rights of Mother and Father in their daughter, holding that the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion.After a hearing, the trial court entered an order concluding that both parents' parental rights in the child were subject to termination on the basis of neglect and failure to make reasonable progress, N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1)-(2), and that Father's parental rights were subject to termination for failure to pay a reasonable portion of the child's cost of care, N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(3). The trial court further concluded that termination was in the child's best interests. The Supreme Court, held that the termination motion in this case substantially complied with the verification requirement in N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1104 and sufficed to give the trial court subject matter jurisdiction to terminate the parents' parental rights in the child. View "In re C.N.R." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights in her child, holding that the findings of fact contained in the trial court's termination orders had ample record support and that the court did not otherwise err.After a hearing, the trial court entered an adjudication order finding that Mother's parental rights in her child were subject to termination on the basis of neglect and failure to make reasonable progress. See N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1)-(2). The trial court further concluded that termination of Mother's parental rights was in the child's best interests. On appeal, Mother's counsel filed a no-merit brief on Mother's behalf. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err in determining that Mother's parental rights were subject to termination and that the termination of her parental rights was in the child's best interests. View "In re S.G.S" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court terminating Mother's parental rights, holding that the district court did not err.After a hearing, the trial court entered an order concluding that grounds existed to terminate Mother's parental rights based on neglect and failure to make reasonable progress. The court further concluded that it was in the child's best interest that Mother's parental rights be terminated. On appeal, Mother challenged several of the trial court's findings of fact and its conclusions of law. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) competent evidence supported the challenged findings of fact; and (2) the trial court's findings of fact supported its conclusion that a ground existed to terminate Mother's parental rights pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1). View "In re A.L.A." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Mother's parental rights to her three children, holding that the issues identified by counsel in Mother's brief as arguably supporting Mother's appeal were meritless.The trial court concluded that grounds existed to terminate Mother's parental rights on the grounds set forth in N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(1), (2), (3), (6), and (7). The court further determined that it was in the children's best interests that Mother's parental rights be terminated. On appeal, counsel filed a no-merit brief on his client's behalf, conceding that he could muster no non-frivolous argument on appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court's order was supported by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence and based on proper legal grounds. View "In re T.I.S." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights to his child, holding that the issues identified by counsel in Father's brief as arguably supporting the appeal were meritless.The trial court concluded that a ground for termination of Father's parental rights existed under N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1111(a)(5) and that it was in the child's best interests to terminate Father's parental rights. On appeal, counsel for Father filed a no-merit brief identifying issues that could support an appeal but that lacked merit. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court's order was supported by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence and was based on proper legal grounds. View "In re Z.J.M." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court terminating Father's parental rights to his son, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion.After a hearing, 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)(1)-(3) and further concluding that it was in the child's best interests that Father's rights be terminated. On appeal, Father argued that the trial court erred by failing to make required findings pursuant to section 7B-1110(a). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) because there was no conflict in the evidence, the trial court was not required to make findings of fact on the issue of whether the child's maternal grandmother was an appropriate relative placement; and (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Father's parental rights was in the child's best interests. View "In re K.A.M.A." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law