IN THE MATTER OF: N.X.A. And IN THE MATTER OF: B.R.S.A-D. and D.S.K.A-D.
in the Court of Appeals 6 June 2017.
by respondents from orders entered 26 October 2016 by Judge
David V. Byrd in Wilkes County Nos. 4 JT 127, 14 JT 56-57
L. Hamby, for petitioner-appellee Wilkes County Department of
K&L Gates LLP, by appellate guardian ad litem attorney
advocate Hillary Dawe, for petitioner-appellee guardian ad
L. Hayes, for respondent-appellant mother.
Richard Croutharmel, for respondent-appellant father.
the verification of petitions alleging neglect and dependency
was made by a State agent acquainted with the facts of the
case, it was sufficient to grant jurisdiction to the trial
court. Where the trial court found that mother had the
resources to pay some amount towards the care of the minor
children greater than she in fact paid, the trial court did
not err in terminating mother's parental rights for
failure to provide care and support. Where one ground exists
to terminate mother's parental rights, we need not
address mother's arguments with respect to other grounds.
Factual and Procedural Background
April 2014, Paul W. Freeman ("Freeman"), an
attorney, filed juvenile petitions on behalf of the Wilkes
County Department of Social Services ("DSS"). These
petitions alleged that N.X.A., B.R.S.A-D., and D.S.K.A-D.
(collectively, "the minor children") were neglected
and dependent juveniles. The petitions named J.A.
("mother") as mother of all three juveniles, and
J.D. ("father") as father of B.R.S.A-D. and
D.S.K.A-D. In support of the contention that each of the
minor children was neglected, the petitions alleged the
Upon Information and Belief, on the above date, the Mother of
the child was arrested for one or more violations of the
Controlled Substances laws. A Methamphetamine Lab (or parts
for same) was/were found in (or around) the home occupied by
the child, his siblings and Mother. This poses a significant
risk to the child should he be returned to the home, and has
posed a substantial risk prior to discovery. The Wilkes
County Department of Social Services has been involved with
this family for many years dealing with problems of parental
substance abuse and improper care/supervision of children.
three petitions contain the identical language. All three are
also verified by Freeman, in a verification section
containing the following language:
Being first duly sworn, I say that I have read this Petition
and that the same is true to my own knowledge, except as to
those things alleged upon information and belief, and as to
those, I believe it to be true.
petitions were ultimately heard by the District Court of
Wilkes County, and in an adjudication and disposition order
dated 18 July 2014, the court ordered that the minor children
be placed in the custody of DSS. The matter proceeded for two
years, and on 12 January 2016, DSS filed verified petitions
to terminate mother's and father's parental rights
with respect to the minor children. On 26 October 2016, the
trial court ...