In re N.G.H., 237 N.C. App. 236 (2014)

without prejudice
  • Standing to file a legal proceeding involves subject matter jurisdiction. G.S. 7B-1103 sets forth who has standing to file a TPR petition or motion. The pleading must state facts sufficient to identify the petitioner or movant as one authorized by G.S. 7B-1103 to file a petition or motion, which includes any document or order through which the petitioner claims standing that will enable the court to determine whether it has subject matter jurisdiction. See G.S. 7B-1104.
  • Petitioners claim they have standing under G.S. 7B-1103(a)(7) as an adoption petitioner; however there are no factual allegations in the TPR petition to show an adoption petition was filed, and the adoption petition was not attached to or referenced in the TPR petition. Although one of the TPR petitioners testified at the TPR hearing that an action for adoption was contemporaneously filed with the TPR petition, there was no testimony that the adoption petition was filed pursuant to G.S. Chapter 48 or that the petitioners had standing to file an adoption petition under G.S. Chapter 48. Because the testimony did not establish standing and the TPR petition failed to incorporate by reference or include a copy of the adoption petition to the TPR petition, the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction in the TPR.
    • Author's Note: The opinion does not address the requirements of Article 9 of G.S. Chapter 48 regarding the confidentiality of records created or filed in connection with an adoption.
Termination of Parental Rights
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