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In re A.N.S.

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

January 20, 2015

In re: A.N.S., A Minor Child

Heard in the Court of Appeals 4 December 2014.

Editorial Note:

This Decision is not final until expiration of the twenty-one day rehearing period. [North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure 32(b)]

Appeal by respondent from judgment entered 28 May 2014 by Judge Sarah C. Seaton in Onslow County District Court.

Onslow County. No. 13 JT 276.

Affirmed.

Ellis Family Law, P.L.L.C., by Gray Ellis, for petitioner-appellee.

Edward Eldred, Attorney at Law, PLLC, by Edward Eldred, for respondent-appellant.

GEER, Judge. Judges STEELMAN and STEPHENS concur.

OPINION

GEER, Judge.

Respondent father appeals from a judgment terminating his parental rights with respect to his daughter, " Angela." [1] Respondent's sole argument on appeal is that the trial court erred in failing to conduct a preliminary hearing pursuant to N.C. Gen Stat. § 7B-1105 (2013) in order to definitively determine the name or identity of Angela's father. However, we conclude that, under the circumstances of this case, the trial court was not required by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1105 to conduct such a hearing. We, therefore, affirm.

Facts

Angela was born to petitioner mother on 23 September 2011 in Onslow County. On 12 December 2012, petitioner filed a complaint asking that respondent's paternity of Angela be " judicially established," that petitioner be granted " sole and exclusive legal and physical custody" of Angela, and that respondent be ordered to pay child support. Although respondent filed an answer to the complaint and received proper notice of the custody hearing, he did not appear. On 20 February 2013, the trial court ordered respondent to submit to paternity tests, but he never did so.

On 26 September 2013, petitioner filed a verified petition to terminate parental rights to Angela alleging that respondent was Angela's biological father or, " [i]n the alternative, the Respondent 'John Doe' is the father of [Angela]." On 28 May 2014, the trial court ...


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