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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Termination of Parental Rights – Progress – Conditions Leading to Removal

Even if the respondent-mother hasn’t made reasonable progress with respect to substance abuse, medication management, mental health/psychological issues or parenting skills, her child (Bev) was removed from her custody because of a domestic violence incident between respondent and Bev’s father and because of a bruise found on four-month-old Bev’s arm. Respondent obtained a 50B order against the father and had no further contact with him after the original incident; moreover, when she got into an argument with her live-in boyfriend and he wouldn’t leave, she called the police before the incident escalated. The evidence shows progress – not a lack of progress – in correcting the conditions that led to Bev’s removal from the home.

We reverse the trial court’s termination of respondent’s parental rights.

Respondent’s progress or lack of progress in complying with terms of her case plan that were not alleged in the juvenile petition is not relevant in determining whether grounds exist under G.S. § 7B-1111(a)(2) to terminate her parental rights for failing to make reasonable progress to alleviate the conditions that led to Bev’s removal.

In re B.O.A. (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-238-18, 13 pp.) (John Tyson, J.) Appealed from Granville County District Court (Caroline Burnette, J.) Holly Williamson Batten and N. Kyle Hicks for petitioner; Edward Eldred for respondent; Derek Bast for guardian ad litem. N. C. App.

 


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