In re J.R.W., 237 N.C. App. 229 (2014)


  • A respondent parent’s mental health diagnosis is not per se evidence of incompetence, which is defined at G.S. 35A-1101(7).
  • There is not a substantial question of a respondent parent’s competence requiring a proper inquiry by the court when evidence shows DSS alleged and respondent mother admitted there is no evidence to show she is incompetent, and mother’s condition was not disabling as she participated in court hearings, visited with her child, attended educational programs, transitioned to living on her own in an apartment, and completed a parenting program.
  • There is no right to appeal an order releasing a GAL of assistance for a respondent parent, as appellate review is limited by G.S. 7B-1001.
  • Facts:  In an underlying abuse, neglect, and dependency case, where her child was adjudicated dependent, respondent mother had been appointed a GAL of assistance. Based on a statutory amendment eliminating GALs of assistance, the GAL filed a motion to withdraw, which was granted. DSS filed a motion to terminate respondent mother’s parental rights, alleging five grounds, one of which was dependency. The court terminated respondent mother’s rights on all five grounds.  Respondent mother appealed contending the court abused its discretion by not conducting on its own motion an inquiry as to her competence and need for a GAL of substitution.


Termination of Parental Rights
GAL for Respondent Parent
Click on a term below for additional case summaries tagged with the same term.