In re K.P., ___ N.C. App. ___, 790 S.E.2d 744 (2016)

Held: 
Reversed and remanded in part
Vacated in Part

Note, because the court of appeals reversed and remanded the adjudication order, the subsequent orders (including permanency planning order) are vacated.

  • G.S. 7B-802 requires the trial hold an adjudicatory hearing, where allegations in the petition alleging the child is abused, neglected, or dependent are proved by clear and convincing evidence. G.S. 7B-807(a) allows the court to accept the parties’ stipulations to adjudicatory facts when those stipulated facts are either (1) made in writing, signed by each party, and submitted to the court or (2) read into the record with each party orally agreeing to the stipulated facts. These mandatory statutory procedures were not complied with because there was no adjudicatory hearing. Instead, two DSS reports were submitted to the court,  no testimony was taken, and an exchange between the court and various counsel about dispositional issues (visitation, transportation, support) occurred.
  • G.S. 7B-801(b1) authorizes a consent adjudication order when (1) all parties are present or represented by counsel who is present and authorized to consent; (2) the juvenile is represented by counsel; and (3) the court makes sufficient findings of fact. An adjudicatory order is not valid when it fails to contain fndings that there was a stipulation to adjudicatory facts or a consent to an adjudication of the children was reached. In this case, there was no evidence that the parties stipulated to adjudicatory facts or that consent was reached or that a proposed consent order had been drafted for the parties to reach an agreement.

 

             

Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Adjudicatory Hearing
Topic:
Evidence
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