In re S.P., ___ N.C. App. ___ (Oct. 1, 2019)

Held: 
Vacated and Remanded
  • Facts: This case involves an appeal by respondent father of a permanency planning order that (1) awarded guardianship to a nonparent and (2) included a visitation plan that authorized the guardian in her discretion to expand the visitation beyond the ordered minimum of one 2-hour supervised visit per month. At the permanency planning hearing, the court accepted court reports by DSS and the child’s GAL and heard arguments by counsel.
  • Standard of review: Whether there is competent evidence to support the findings and whether the findings support the conclusions of law. Conclusions of law are reviewed de novo.
  • Holding: There must be testimony at a permanency planning hearing to support a permanency planning order. This case refers to previously published opinions making the same holding – In re J.T., 252 N.C. App. 19 (2017); In re D.Y., 202 N.C. App. 140 (2010); In re D.L., 166 N.C. App. 574 (2004). This case is indistinguishable. The evidentiary portion of the hearing consisted solely of court reports and counsel’s arguments. Court reports alone are insufficient to support findings of fact.
Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Permanency Planning Hearing
Topic:
Evidence
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