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Domestic Relations – Civil Practice – Standing – Guardianship – Drug Charges

The court rejects the Department of Social Services’ attempt to collaterally attack a 2009 order granting guardianship of the juvenile “Kaitlyn” to her maternal grandparents. And even if the guardianship order were void, DSS does not attack the prior order granting the grandparents custody of Kaitlyn. As custodians, the grandparents have standing to appeal the trial court’s order adjudicating Kaitlyn neglected.

We reverse the trial court’s termination of respondents’ guardianship of Kaitlyn. Remanded.

Even though the grandparents were arrested on multiple drug-related charges, all parties concede that there was no evidence presented as to harm or risk of harm to Kaitlyn as a result of her guardians’ alleged drug activities.

In re M.N. (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-239-18, 8 pp.) (Lucy Inman, J.) Appealed from Onslow County District Court (Sarah Seaton, J.) Joseph Lee Gilliam and Mercedes Chut for respondents; Richard Allen Penley for petitioner; Matthew Wunsche for guardian ad litem. N.C. App.


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