In re C.N., ___ N.C. App. ___ (April 21, 2020)

Held: 
Reversed and Remanded
  • Facts and Procedural History: In an underlying action, the children were adjudicated neglected based on lack of proper care and supervision and an injurious environment. Mother’s rights were terminated on the grounds of neglect and willful failure to make reasonable progress with findings that mother was not consistent with her treatment or compliant with her case plan and although appropriate at visits, was not consistent in attending those visits. On appeal of that order, the court of appeals held the findings were insufficient to support neglect and the evidence was insufficient to support failure to make reasonable progress. The NC Supreme Court remanded this case to the COA to reconsider its holding in 831 S.E.2d 878 (2019) given the supreme court’s decisions in In re B.O.A and In re D.L.W.
  • In re B.O.A. held the court of appeals had applied a restrictive interpretation of the conditions that led to a trial court’s removal of the children thus limiting a trial court’s authority to order certain requirements in a case plan and instead provided a more expansive interpretation. In this opinion, there was not a restricted interpretation of those conditions. Distinguishing the case from In re B.O.A., here mother made reasonable progress on her case plan.
  • In re D.W.P. is distinguishable from the present case as respondent-mother here has not continued to place her children at risk or fail acknowledge neglect as she stipulated to the allegations in the neglect petition.
Category:
Termination of Parental Rights
Stage:
Adjudication
Topic:
Willfully Leaving Child in Foster Care or Other Placement
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