In re M.J.R.B., 377 N.C. 453 (2021)

Affirmed in Part
Vacated and Remanded in Part
  • Facts: Three juveniles were adjudicated neglected and dependent and a newborn was adjudicated dependent due to substance use and mental health issues. Each parent was appointed a Rule 17 GAL. The primary plan was adoption, and DSS filed TPR petitions. Prior to the TPR hearing and outside of the presence of his attorney and GAL, father requested his counsel and GAL be replaced and further requested a 2-hour continuance of the hearing so he could take his medication. His requests were denied. The TPR was granted on the grounds of failure to make reasonable progress to correct the conditions and dependency. Both parents appealed.
  • Motion to Substitute Counsel: The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying father’s motion to substitute counsel when the request was made outside of the attorney’s and GAL’s presence, there was good cause to deny the request, and the motion was not renewed when counsel did appear for the hearing.
Termination of Parental Rights
Appointment of Counsel
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