pursuant to N.C. G.S. § 7B-1001(a1)(1) from an order
entered on 12 February 2019 by Judge Joseph Moody Buckner in
District Court, Orange County. This matter was calendared in
the Supreme Court on 4 October 2019 but was determined on the
record and briefs without oral argument pursuant to Rule
30(f) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Stephenson & Fleming, LLP, by Deana K. Fleming for
petitioner-appellee Orange County Department of Social
Bray PLLC, by Christina Freeman Pearsall, for appellee
Guardian ad Litem.
C. Sotolongo, Parent Defender, by Annick Lenoir-Peek, Deputy
Parent Defender, for respondent-appellant mother.
the mother of the minor child T.H. (Tommy),  appeals from the
trial court's 12 February 2019 order terminating her
parental rights. Respondent's counsel has filed a
no-merit brief pursuant to Rule 3.1(e) of the North Carolina
Rules of Appellate Procedure. We conclude that the issues
raised by counsel in respondent's brief are meritless and
affirm the trial court's order.
February 2018, the Orange County Department of Social
Services (DSS) filed a petition alleging that one-month-old
Tommy was a neglected juvenile. DSS had received a child
protective services referral after Tommy tested positive for
marijuana at birth. Respondent was also on probation after
entering an Alford plea to felony negligent child
abuse - for serious physical injuries sustained by her first
child,  who was Tommy's brother. On 19 April
2018, DSS filed an amended petition alleging that Tommy was
neglected and dependent. The amended petition changed the
identification of Tommy's father and added allegations that,
shortly after the filing of the first petition, respondent
entered into a consent order with DSS that was intended to
ensure Tommy's safety and then violated that order.
trial court entered an order adjudicating Tommy as a
neglected and dependent juvenile on 16 July 2018. The trial
court also relieved DSS of its obligation to engage in
reunification efforts. On 11 October 2018, DSS filed a motion
in the cause to terminate respondent's parental rights to
Tommy on the grounds of neglect, dependency, and committing a
felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to
another child of the parent. See N.C. G.S. §
7B-1111(a)(1), (6), (8) (2017). A termination of parental
rights hearing was held on 17 January 2019, and on 12
February 2019 the trial court entered an order terminating
respondent's parental rights on the grounds of neglect
and committing a felony assault that resulted in serious
bodily injury to another child of the parent. Respondent gave
timely notice of appeal to this Court pursuant to N.C. G.S.
§§ 7A-27(a)(5) and 7B-1001(a1)(1).
for respondent has filed a no-merit brief on her behalf
pursuant to N.C. R. App. P. 3.1(e). Counsel has advised
respondent of her right to file pro se written
arguments on her own behalf and provided her with the
documents necessary to do so. Respondent has not submitted
any written arguments to this Court.
independently review issues identified by respondent's
counsel in a no-merit brief filed pursuant to appellate rule
3.1(e). In re L.E.M., 831 S.E.2d 341, 345 ( N.C.
2019). Respondent's attorney filed a twenty-five-page
brief in which she identified two issues that could arguably
support an appeal but also stated why she believed both of
these issues lacked merit. Having carefully considered the
issues identified in the no-merit brief in light of the
entire record, we conclude that the trial court's 12
February 2019 order was based on "clear, cogent, and
convincing evidence" supporting statutory grounds for
termination of parental rights. See N.C. G.S. §
7B-1109(f). Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's
order terminating respondent's parental rights.
 A pseudonym is used to protect the
identity of the juvenile and for ease of ...