In re J.C., 283 N.C. App. 486 (2022)

Affirmed in Part
  • Facts: After a physical altercation between the parents, DSS filed a petition alleging neglect of a juvenile. The parents have older children that were in DSS custody, which the court relied upon in part in adjudicating the juvenile neglected. After the adjudication, the court entered a dispositional order that continued the child in DSS custody, placed the child with a relative out-of-state, and ordered supervised virtual visitation only. Parents appeal the adjudication and visitation order, and father challenges his case plan requirements of having to take a substance use assessment, participate in random drug screens, show proof of income, and maintain housing. This summary focuses on the case plan.
  • G.S. 7B-904.1(d1) authorizes the court to order a parent to take appropriate steps to remedy the conditions that led to or contributed to the juvenile’s adjudication or removal. There must be a nexus between the step the ordered and the condition that led to the adjudication, but the steps are not limited to only those that directly address the reason for adjudication or removal. The court “may order services which could aid in both understanding and resolving the possible underlying causes of the actions that contributed to the trial court’s removal.” 283 N.C. App. at 499.
  • The court did not abuse its discretion in order father to submit to a substance use assessment and drug screens. The adjudication was based in part on father stating the physical altercation was because mother was upset he was drinking. Substance use could have led to the domestic violence.  Maintaining housing and showing proof of income were also related as the evidence of domestic violence and keeping DSS from accessing the juvenile suggest the respondents were not maintaining a safe and stable home.
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Disposition (All Stages Post-Adjudication)
Court Authority to Order Case Plan
Click on a term below for additional case summaries tagged with the same term.