In re R.J.P., 284 N.C. App. 53 (2022)

Remanded in part
Affirmed in Part
  • Facts: In 2017, when working an in-home services plan, the juvenile was placed by parents with the Palmers. Eventually, the case was closed. In 2020, a new case was opened and the juvenile was placed with the Turners. The juvenile was adjudicated neglected and continued to be placed with the Turners. As part of disposition, visitation between the juvenile and the Palmers was ordered. Due to mother’s incarceration and COVID-19 restrictions, there were no visits ordered with mother. Initially DSS and the GAL were recommending co-guardianship between the Turners and Palmers but subsequently changed their recommendation to guardianship with the Turners only, after concerns about the Palmers and the ability of the two proposed guardians to work cooperatively together arose. After a permanency planning hearing, the court ordered sole guardianship with the Turners, visits with the Palmers, and no visits with the mother. Mother appealed.
  • In choosing an appropriate permanent plan . . . the juvenile’s best interests are paramount.” 284 N.C. App. at 60 (citation omitted). The unchallenged findings, which are binding on appeal, support the court’s conclusion that sole guardianship is in the juvenile’s best interests. The one challenged finding is supported by competent evidence despite evidence that would support a contrary finding. Because competent evidence supports the challenged finding, the appellate court need not consider mother’s alternative evidence. The findings support the conclusion of sole guardianship to the Turners and visitation with the Palmers.
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Disposition (All Stages Post-Adjudication)
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