in the Court of Appeals 21 June 2018.
by respondent-father from order entered 2 November 2017 by
Judge Louis A. Trosch in Mecklenburg County No. 15 JA 612
Associate County Attorney Marc S. Gentile for
petitioner-appellee Mecklenburg County Department of Social
Services, Youth and Family Services Division.
A. Perez for respondent-appellant father.
Stephen M. Schoeberle for guardian ad litem.
appeals from an order appointing M.G. ("Ms.
Green"), an unrelated individual, as guardian for his
minor child, D.S. ("Diana"). The trial court
granted guardianship of Diana to a non-relative without
explaining why it declined to give placement preference to
Diana's paternal grandmother. The court's order is
vacated and remanded for a new permanency planning hearing.
case is before the Court for the second time. In re
D.S., ___ N.C.App. ___, 803 S.E.2d 873, 2017 WL 41269647
(2017) (unpublished). The Mecklenburg County Department of
Social Services, Youth and Family Services Division
("YFS"), instituted the underlying juvenile case on
9 November 2015, when it obtained non-secure custody of Diana
and filed a petition alleging she was a neglected and
dependent juvenile. The trial court subsequently adjudicated
Diana to be a neglected and dependent juvenile, continued
custody of Diana with YFS, and set the primary permanent plan
for Diana as reunification with a parent and the secondary
permanent plan as guardianship.
20 December 2016 permanency planning and guardianship order,
the trial court set the sole permanent plan for Diana as
guardianship and appointed Ms. Green as her guardian.
Respondent appealed, and this Court concluded the trial
court's finding that Ms. Green has adequate resources to
care appropriately for Diana was not supported by evidence at
the permanency planning hearing. Id. This Court
vacated the trial court's order and remanded the case for
further proceedings. Id.
trial court conducted a hearing after remand on 16 October
2017. The court limited the hearing to the issue of whether
Ms. Green had the financial resources to appropriately care
for Diana. On 2 November 2017, the court entered its order
from the hearing on remand, which it titled
"Supplementary Order." The trial court
incorporated, in its entirety, the 20 December 2016
permanency planning and guardianship order into the
Supplementary Order. The court also made numerous findings of
fact regarding Ms. Green's financial ability to care for
Diana, and made ultimate findings of fact that Ms. Green was
financially able to appropriately care for Diana and
understood the legal significance of being appointed as her
guardian. The court ordered that the permanent plan for Diana
would be guardianship, appointed Ms. Green to be Diana's
guardian, re-adopted a detailed visitation schedule for
Diana's parents and her paternal grandmother, and
relieved the parents' attorneys of further responsibility
in this matter. Respondent filed timely notice of appeal from
the trial court's order.
lies in this Court pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §