In re K.N.L.P., 380 N.C. 756 (2022)

  • Facts: Father appeals the termination of his parental rights, challenging the best interests determination. He argues several findings of fact are not supported by the evidence.
  • Noting because competent evidence is admissible evidence from the Rules of Evidence and because the Rules of Evidence do not apply to the dispositional stage of a TPR but instead relevant, reliable, and necessary evidence is considered by the court, for clarity the term “competent evidence” is being avoided when addressing the best interests of TPR orders for the language of the statute, “evidence.”
  • The challenged findings are supported by the evidence, including the social worker’s testimony. Findings that are supported by the evidence are binding. The trial court determines the weight, credibility, and inferences to draw from the evidence. When some evidence supports the finding, the finding is binding even when a finding to the contrary could be supported.
  • A sub silentio finding is an unexpressed finding. Two of those challenged findings are not dispositional findings for the appellate court to review.
  • The court did not abuse its discretion in determining TPR was in the best interests of the child.
Termination of Parental Rights
Best Interests Findings
Click on a term below for additional case summaries tagged with the same term.