In re M.P.M., 368 N.C. 704 (2016)


per curiam, 243 N.C. App. 41 (2015)

  • A parent’s rights may be terminated on the grounds of neglect when there is evidence of neglect at the time of the termination hearing and of a probability that the neglect will be repeated if the child is returned to the parent’s care. A court may look to the historical facts of the case when predicting the probability that neglect will occur in the future.
  • Completion of a case plan by a parent does not preclude a court’s conclusion that the grounds of neglect exist for termination of that parent’s rights. In this case, the respondent father participated in a psychological evaluation, attended ten therapy sessions, and interacted appropriately during his supervised visits with his daughter. Attendance alone is not sufficient. The court’s conclusion that he failed to learn in therapy how to protect his daughter, particularly from her abusive mother, and therefore, was likely to result in a future neglect was supported by findings of fact.
  • The findings of fact were supported by competent, clear, cogent, and convincing evidence, including the DSS social worker’s testimony. The court found that respondent father failed to acknowledge his participation in the abuse of the children that were in the home, lied about his continued contact with the children’s mother, and was unable to protect his daughter from her abusive mother.
  • A trial court may consider a respondent’s in-court demeanor. The court’s findings of fact of a “respondent’s in-court demeanor, attitude, and credibility…are left to the trial judge’s discretion.” 
Termination of Parental Rights
Click on a term below for additional case summaries tagged with the same term.
Error | UNC School of Government


The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.