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In re A.R.

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

December 31, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF: A.R., C.R

Heard in the Court of Appeals: December 2, 2014.

Appeal by respondent-mother from orders entered 14 June 2013 and 2 June 2014 by Judge Ali B. Paksoy in Cleveland County District Court.  Nos. 12 JA 67-68.

Charles E. Wilson, Jr., for petitioner-appellee Cleveland County Department of Social Services.

Administrative Office of the Courts, by Appellate Counsel Tawanda N. Foster, for guardian ad litem.

Richard Croutharmel, for respondent-appellant mother.

CALABRIA, Judge. Judges STROUD and McCULLOUGH concur.

OPINION

CALABRIA, Judge.

Respondent-mother (" respondent" ) appeals from the trial court's orders which ceased reunification efforts with respondent and her

Page 428

minor children " Ariel" and " Cristina[1]" (collectively " the children" ) and awarded guardianship of the children to paternal relatives in Arizona. We dismiss in part and affirm in part.

I. Background

On 21 May 2012, the Cleveland County Department of Social Services (" DSS" ) filed petitions alleging that the children were neglected, based upon respondent and her husband's (collectively " the parents" ) failure to properly treat Ariel's seizure disorder and Cristina's asthma. After a hearing, the trial court entered an order which adjudicated the children as neglected on 5 December 2012. The trial court placed the children in the physical and legal custody of DSS and ordered the parents to obtain psychological evaluations and follow any treatment recommendations which resulted. The parents were granted visitation, with respondent receiving an extra hour of visitation per week outside the presence of the children's father.

At a subsequent hearing, the trial court appointed a guardian ad litem (" GAL" ) to assist respondent. On 19 February 2013, the trial court entered an order appointing respondent-mother a GAL in an assistance-only capacity.

Respondents failed to obtain their required psychological evaluations. As a result, on 14 June 2013, the trial court entered an order which ceased reunification efforts, suspended the parents' visitation, changed the children's permanent plan to guardianship, and placed the children with paternal relatives in Arizona. Both parents filed a notice of their intent to appeal the trial court's order. DSS did not initiate any proceedings to terminate respondent's parental rights in the 180 days after ...


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