in the Court of Appeals 20 March 2017.
by respondent from order entered 29 April 2016 by Judge
Randle L. Jones in Guilford County, No. 15 JT 102 District
Petitioner-appellee mother, pro se.
W. Ewing for respondent-appellant father.
("Respondent") appeals from an order terminating
his parental rights to his child, T.E.N. We vacate the trial
court's order for lack of jurisdiction.
2005, Respondent and petitioner-mother
("Petitioner") began a relationship. T.E.N. was
born out of wedlock in May 2009 in Brick, New Jersey.
Respondent and Petitioner lived together until July or August
2009, when Petitioner moved into a women's shelter with
to trial testimony, Petitioner obtained domestic violence
protective orders against Respondent during the course of
their relationship. In September 2009, Petitioner obtained a
restraining order prohibiting contact by Respondent. The
order also provided "parenting time" or visitation
for Respondent with T.E.N. These orders were neither
introduced into evidence at the termination hearing nor made
part of the record on appeal.
October 2011, Petitioner sought and received a Final
Restraining Order, barring Respondent from her residence,
place of employment, and barring Respondent from having
contact with Petitioner or her friend, K.O. The order was
issued from the Ocean County Superior Court, Chancery
Division, Family Part ("New Jersey court"), and
grants Petitioner temporary custody of T.E.N. On 12 February
2012, the New Jersey court issued an Amended Final
Restraining Order, which barred Respondent from being present
at T.E.N.'s daycare facility. The Amended Order provides
for supervised visitation with the assistance of
point in 2013, Petitioner sought permission from the New
Jersey court to relocate with T.E.N. to North Carolina. In
July 2013, the New Jersey court granted Petitioner's
request. Petitioner moved to North Carolina in August 2013.
Respondent continues to reside in New Jersey.
October 2013, Respondent sought modification of his
visitation arrangement with T.E.N. before the New Jersey
court. The court's order, made part of the record on
appeal, indicates the court modified the visitation
arrangement of a 25 July 2013 order and denied
reconsideration of a 28 August 2013 court order. Pursuant to
the October order, Respondent was allowed one weekend per
month of unsupervised visitation with his son. The parties
were ordered to alternate the transportation of T.E.N.
between North Carolina and New Jersey. Petitioner was ordered
to provide the transportation for the first visit. After this
initial visit, Respondent did not visit his son again.
January 2015, Petitioner filed a petition to terminate
Respondent's parental rights. The petition alleged as
grounds to terminate that: (1) Respondent willfully abandoned
the juvenile; and (2) Petitioner had custody of the juvenile
and Respondent failed without justification to pay for the
care, support, and education of the juvenile as required by
the custody agreement, for a period of one year or more
preceding the filing of the petition. See N.C. Gen.
Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(4), (7) (2015). Following a hearing,
the trial court found the existence of willful abandonment on
29 April 2016 and entered an order terminating
Respondent's parental rights. Respondent filed written
notice of appeal on 12 May 2016.