In re H.H., 237 N.C. App. 431 (2014)

Held: 
Vacated in Part

  • G.S. 7B-904 limits a court’s authority to order a parent to take specific actions to those actions that would correct conditions the court found contributed to the juvenile’s removal and adjudication.
  • The court's order that respondent mother maintain stable housing and employment were not supported by findings that suggested her lack of employment or stable housing contributed to the children's adjudication or removal from her custody. The respondent mother's inability to provide proper care and discipline for the children were the basis for the removal of her children. Although her ability to properly care for her children may be affected by her employment, housing, and financial concerns, and evidence showed that she had a history of unstable housing and was financially dependent on someone else, the petitions did not allege and the court did not find that these issues led to the children's removal from her custody or were the basis for their adjudications. 
  • Note, the adjudication order incorporated by reference DSS and GAL reports that were admitted without objection, and those reports contained information about her unstable housing and other concerns. But incorporation by reference is not the equivalent of a finding. An adjudication order containing findings of fact would have further supported the adjudication of neglect and the reasons for removal, which would impact the court’s authority to order parents to take certain actions at disposition.
  • NOTE this opinion was overruled by In re S.G., ___ N.C. App. ___ (Nov. 19, 2019)

 

Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Disposition (All Stages Post-Adjudication)
Topic:
Court Authority to Order Case Plan
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