IN THE MATTER OF: J.S.K. and J.E.K.
in the Court of Appeals 16 November 2017.
by respondent-mother from order entered 17 February 2017 by
Judge William G. Hamby, Jr. in Cabarrus County, Nos. 15 JT
4-5 District Court.
Hartsell & Williams, P.A., by Brittany M. Love and H. Jay
White, for petitioner-appellee Cabarrus County Department of
Michelle S. Spak for guardian ad litem.
C. Boyer for respondent-appellant mother.
appeals from the trial court's order terminating her
parental rights to her minor children, J.S.K. and J.E.K.
Respondent-mother argues the trial court erred in denying her
motion to dismiss because the motion to terminate her
parental rights did not allege sufficient facts. For the
following reasons, we reverse.
& Procedural Background
Cabarrus County Department of Human Services
("CCDHS") filed juvenile petitions on January 16,
2015 alleging that the children were neglected due to
Respondent-mother's history of untreated mental health
and substance abuse issues, domestic violence, and improper
took the children into nonsecure custody, and a hearing was
held on the petitions on June 11, 2015. The trial court's
August 26, 2015 order adjudicated the children neglected as
alleged in the petitions. The trial court set the permanent
plan as reunification and granted Respondent-mother one hour
of supervised visitation a week.
trial court changed the permanent plan to adoption after a
review hearing on November 12, 2015. The trial court found
that Respondent-mother's progress in correcting the
conditions which led to the children's removal was
"insufficient for the court to be assured that the
juveniles could safely return to her care." The trial
court ceased reunification efforts with Respondent-mother in
a permanency planning order entered January 4, 2016.
20, 2016, CCDHS filed a motion in the cause to terminate
Respondent-mother's parental rights to both children. The
motion alleged that the minor children were neglected and
dependent juveniles; that Respondent-mother had willfully
left the children in care or placement outside her custody
for twelve months without showing reasonable progress in
correcting the conditions which led to their placement; and
that Respondent-mother willfully failed to pay a reasonable
cost of care. See N.C. Gen. Stat. §
start of the termination hearing on November 10, 2016,
Respondent-mother moved to dismiss the motion to terminate
her parental rights, arguing that the motion merely recited
the statutory grounds without alleging any specific facts. In
an order entered February 17, 2017, the trial court
terminated Respondent-mother's parental rights to both
children based on all alleged grounds. Respondent-mother
timely appealed, and argues the trial court erred in denying
her motion to dismiss because the motion to terminate her
parental rights did not state facts sufficient to warrant a
determination that one or more grounds for termination of
parental rights existed. We agree.