In re J.M., ___ N.C. App. ___ (Sept. 1, 2020)

Held: 
Vacated and Remanded in Part
  • Facts: At a permanency planning hearing, the court ordered guardianship to the maternal grandmother with visitation to mother. The order authorized the guardian to change the conditions or duration of visits if the parent’s conduct would cause emotional distress or harm to the children. Mother appeals challenging that she did not waive counsel and the court improperly delegated its authority regarding visitation to the guardian.
  • Visitation orders are reviewed for an abuse of discretion. G.S. 7B-905.1(c) applies to visitation orders when a child is placed with a guardianship or custodian. Unlike subsection (b), which applies when DSS has custody of a child, G.S. 7B-905.1(c) does not authorize a guardian or custodian to temporarily suspend all or part of a visitation when necessary to protect the juvenile’s health and safety. The guardian’s ability to unilaterally modify mother’s visitation is an improper delegation of judicial authority.

 

Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Visitation
Topic:
Order
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