In re A.B., 239 N.C. App. 157 (2015)

Reversed and Remanded
  • An order is the trial court’s responsibility even when a mistake is made by the counsel who prepared it.
  • When findings of facts are inconsistent and contrary to the conclusions of law, a determination of whether the conclusion of law is supported by the findings cannot be made.
  • It is contradictory to find:
    • the mother has not consistently engaged in therapy or made progress in meeting treatment goals, and withdrew from treatment against clinical recommendations, and
    • in therapy, mother acknowledged the negative impact her anger had on her life and parenting, that she consistently participated in outpatient therapy and been able to maintain employment and academic study, has cooperated with medication management, and voluntarily participated in a psychological evaluation that concluded mother did not have a significant pathology and her symptoms could be alleviated by consistent ongoing therapy.
  • It is contrary to find mother:
    • did not complete domestic violence batterer’s program and was discharged 3 times due to excessive absences and
    • successfully completed group anger management, takes responsibility for her role in the violence in her relationship, shows insight as to the impact on her children, and has demonstrated for over a year the ability to manage her mood and peacefully resolve conflicts.
  • These inconsistent findings regarding mother’s mental health and domestic violence were contrary to the conclusion that mother had not made progress in alleviating the conditions that led to the children’s removal as the child’s adjudication of neglect was based on the conditions arising from the mother’s mental health and domestic violence issues.
  • Findings of fact were contrary to the conclusion of law that termination was not in the child’s best interests; specifically, giving greater weight to financial benefits available in an adoption (as opposed to guardianship or custody) over the close emotional bonds between the mother and child and the mother’s efforts to regain custody of her children is internally inconsistent.


Termination of Parental Rights
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