Chatham County. Nos. 10 JA 46, 10 JT 46.
Holcomb & Cabe, LLP, by Carol J. Holcomb and Samantha H. Cabe, for appellee Chatham County Department of Social Services.
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, by William L. Esser IV, for guardian ad litem.
J. Thomas Diepenbrock, for appellant-respondent-mother.
STROUD, Judge. Judges MCGEE and BRYANT concur.
Appeal by respondent from orders entered 18 April 2012 and 24 January 2013 by Judge Beverly Scarlett in District Court, Chatham County. By opinion entered 15 October 2013, this Court reversed and remanded the trial court's orders. By order entered on or about 11 June 2014, the North Carolina Supreme Court remanded to this Court.
This case comes to us by order of the North Carolina Supreme Court remanding this case to us for reconsideration in light of In re L.M.T., 367 N.C. 165, 752 S.E.2d 453 (2013). For the following reasons, we affirm.
We recite the background and applicable law from our prior opinion:
On 15 March 2011, the Chatham County Department of Social Services (" DSS" ) filed a juvenile petition alleging that Derrick was a neglected and dependent juvenile, and on 1 June 2011, the trial court adjudicated Derrick a neglected juvenile. On 18 April 2012, the trial court changed Derrick's permanent plan to adoption and ordered that " [a] Termination of Parental Rights Motion shall be filed" [" Permanency Planning Order" ]. Respondent filed notice preserving her right to appeal the 18 April 2012 order. On 24 January 2013, the trial court terminated respondent-mother's parental rights due to neglect, failure to make reasonable progress, and failure to pay a reasonable portion of support [" TPR Order." ]. Respondent appealed the 24 January 2013 order.
On appeal, respondent contends that the trial court erred in its 18 April 2012 permanency planning order by ceasing reunification efforts without entering the necessary findings of fact required by North Carolina General Statute § 7B-507(b)(1). DSS argues that the trial court never ordered the cessation of reunification efforts and, therefore, was not required to make findings under North Carolina General Statute § 7B-507(b). . . . Moreover, the trial court here changed the permanent plan to adoption, and respondent-mother properly preserved her right to appeal the cessation of reunification efforts pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-507(c). This Court determined in In re A.P.W. that an order which directs the filing of a petition to terminate parental rights and changes the permanent plan to adoption has implicitly ordered the cessation of reunification efforts.
__ N.C.App. __, __, 741 S.E.2d 388, 391 (" As in J.N.S., the trial court in the instant case directed DSS to file a petition to terminate parental rights. Moreover, the trial court here changed the permanent plan to adoption, and respondent-mother properly preserved her right to appeal the cessation of reunification efforts pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-507(c). Based on the foregoing, we hold that the trial court's 21 June 2011 order implicitly ceased reunification efforts,
and we reject DSS's argument for dismissal." ), disc. review denied,367 N.C. 215, 747 S.E.2d 251 (2013).
In re D.C., __ N.C.App. __, 752 S.E.2d 257 (No. COA13-502) (Oct. 15, 2013) (unpublished) (heading omitted).
II. Permanency Planning Order
Respondent argues that " the trial court erred when it entered a permanency planning review order changing the permanent plan to adoption because the order effectively ceased reunification efforts without including the findings of fact required by statute[.]" (Original in all caps.)
" This Court reviews an order that ceases reunification efforts to determine whether the trial court made appropriate findings, whether the findings are based upon credible evidence, whether the findings of fact support the trial court's conclusions, and whether the trial court abused its discretion with respect to ...