In re B.R.L., 2021-NCSC-119

Held: 
Reversed and remanded in part
Reversed in Part
There is a dissent
Berger, J. joined by Newby, J. and Barringer, J.
  • Facts: In 2017, an underlying neglect action that was based on an injurious environment created by domestic violence, substance use, criminal activity, and improper supervision was commenced. A permanent plan of legal custody to a relative was achieved and further hearings were waived. Respondent mother had a couple visits with her child when she was not incarcerated and filed for a motion to review/increase visitation, which was not heard prior to the TPR hearing. The custodians filed a TPR petition. The TPR was granted on the grounds of neglect and willful abandonment. Mother appeals. This summary focuses on the neglect ground.
  • G.S. 7B-1111(a)(1) authorizes a TPR on the ground of neglect, which is demonstrated by current neglect of prior neglect and a likelihood of future neglect. The court must consider evidence of changed circumstances between the prior neglect and the time of the TPR hearing.
    • The court’s order does not address the likelihood of future neglect. There were few findings that related to mother’s ability to care for her child at the time of the TPR hearing. There may be evidence I the record where those findings could have been made, reversed and remanded.
Category:
Termination of Parental Rights
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