In re J.A.K., ___ N.C. App. ___, 812 S.E.2d 716 (2018)

Held: 
Affirmed in Part
  • In an appeal of a permanency planning order that eliminated reunification as a permanent plan, the transcript was not included in the appellate record. It is the appellant’s burden to settle the record on appeal by providing a transcript if available or a narrative of the hearing. Without a transcript or narrative, findings of fact are deemed conclusive on appeal, and the review is limited to whether the findings support the decision to cease reunification with the father.
    • Procedural Note: Respondent was ordered to provide the transcript by August 2017 but failed to do so or request an extension. A late transcript was provided in November 2017, and a motion to amend the record was filed in December 2017. That motion was denied, and there is a dissent on the denial of that motion. In a footnote, the court of appeals stated this dissent may provide an appeal of right to the N.C. Supreme Court from the decision to deny that motion. The dissent is included in this published opinion.
  • The ultimate finding under G.S. 7B-906.2(b) that reunification efforts clearly would be unsuccessful or inconsistent with the juvenile’s health and safety were supported by findings that respondent father had not progressed on his case plan regarding visitation and appropriate housing, which had been concerns for more than a year; missed a CFT meeting; and did not cooperate with DSS.
Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Cease Reunification
Topic:
Findings of Fact
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