In re A.L., 2021-NCCOA-452

  • Facts: In 2019, the juvenile was adjudicated neglected and at initial disposition was placed in DSS custody. At a permanency planning hearing in September 2020, custody with DSS continued, and guardianship was identified as the primary permanent plan (this author believes with reunification as a secondary plan). In November 2020, the court ordered guardianship and waived further hearings. In December, mother filed her notice to preserve the appeal of the permanency planning order. In January, mother filed notice of appeal to the court of appeals.
  • G.S. 7B-1001(a)(5)(a) authorizes an appeal of a permanency planning order eliminating reunification as a permanent plan when certain circumstances are satisfied. Mother met the criteria that requires a written notice preserving her right to appeal. The notice of appeal to the court of appeals was filed before the expiration of the 65-day time period for a TPR to be filed. The appeal is premature and untimely. Mother did not file a writ of certiorari. Dismissed without prejudice.
    • Author’s note: the opinion does not discuss G.S. 7B-1001(a)(4), which authorizes an appeal of a final order that changes legal custody of the juvenile (excluding a nonsecure custody order).
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Appealable Order
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