In re K.G.W., ___ N.C. App. ___, 791 S.E.2d 540 (2016)

Held: 
Affirmed
  • After an offer of proof, the court sustained the department’s and guardian ad litem’s objection to the testimony of respondent mother’s expert witness in the disposition (or best interests of the child) stage of a termination of parental rights hearing. The offered witness is a clinical psychologist who had no contact with or observation of the child and lacked experience in abuse, neglect, or dependency proceedings. The court determined the offered expert witness did not have testimony that would assist it as the trier of fact because of the expert’s lack of familiarity with the child and with juvenile proceedings. The court, as trier of fact, has discretion to determine the credibility and weight to give to evidence, and this court’s determination that the testimony would not be helpful did not deny respondent mother’s rights. 
Category:
Termination of Parental Rights
Stage:
Disposition
Topic:
Evidence
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