In re A.B., 245 N.C. App. 35 (2016)

  • All findings of fact for an adjudicatory hearing must be supported by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence (G.S. 7B-1109). Although the order did not state all the findings were made by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence, the trial court used the correct standard when it orally indicated the standard it was applying (clear, cogent, and convincing evidence), had one of the 70 findings state the appropriate standard, and did not have any other contradictory standard contained in the order.
  • It was not error for the court to find “the Department of Social services has substantially proven the facts that were alleged in paragraphs a-k of the termination of parental rights petition by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence.” Citing In re J.W., ___ N.C. App. ___, 772 S.E. 2d 249 (2015), it is not necessarily reversible error for a trial court’s findings of fact to mirror the wording of a party’s pleading. Although one finding of fact includes the language of the petition, there were a total of 70 findings of fact, making it clear that the trial court made an independent determination of the facts and did not merely recite the allegations in the petition.
Termination of Parental Rights
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