In re Q.M., ___ N.C. App. ___ (Dec. 15, 2020)

Held: 
Reversed and Remanded
  • Facts: At the time the juvenile was born, the mother was a ward of a county DSS due to her incompetency. DSS filed a petition alleging dependency and named the putative father. Mother was appointed a Rule 17 GAL. After a paternity test, a hearing to establish the putative father’s paternity was held, but an order was not entered until months later. Prior to the adjudicatory hearing, DSS had nonsecure custody and the juvenile was placed in foster care. The child was adjudicated dependent, and a dispositional order continued custody with DSS and placement with the child’s father. No visitation was ordered with mother. Mother appeals.
  • Notice of Appeal: Mother was appointed a Rule 17 GAL due her incompetency. The notice was signed by mother’s counsel but was not signed by mother or her court-appointed Rule 17 GAL. DSS filed a motion to dismiss for failing to comply with G.S. 7B-1001, requiring the notice be signed by the attorney and mother. The court granted DSS’s motion. Mother had also filed an amended notice of appeal with the attorney’s and GAL’s signatures and filed a petition for writ of certiorari since the amended notice was untimely. The writ was granted as the defect in the first notice was corrected.
Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Appeal
Topic:
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