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Domestic Relations  –  Parent & Child – Termination of Parental Rights – Judges

Judge Elizabeth Trosch presided at earlier permanency planning hearings and determined that a permanent plan of adoption was in the minor J.A.M.’s best interests. This did not require the judge to recuse herself from the hearing on the petition to terminate the respondent-mother’s parental rights. The practice of assigning one judge to preside over a juvenile case throughout the life of the case reflects a central policy of the state.

We affirm the termination of respondent’s parental rights.

Respondent’s allegations of corruption, misconduct, and bias find no support in the record. Respondent points to no evidence that employees of petitioner Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, Youth and Family Services Division (YFS) committed perjury or tendered forged documents to the trial court, or that they received bonuses or promotions for terminating respondent’s parental rights in her children. Nor does respondent show that YFS withheld evidence favorable to respondent from the trial court, let alone that YFS had an affirmative duty to present such evidence.

We find respondent’s insistence that she “did nothing wrong” and her insistence that “it is an illegal and an unconstitutional practice for [YFS] to remove children because they witness domestic violence” to be consistent with Judge Elizabeth Trosch’s finding that respondent made no meaningful effort or progress toward resolving the substantial risk posed to J.A.M. by respondent’s lengthy history of relationships involving domestic violence.

Affirmed.

In re J.A.M. (Lawyers Weekly No. 010-104-20, 13 pp.) (Robin Hudson, J.) Appealed from the District Court in Mecklenburg County (Elizabeth Trosch, J.) Marc Gentile for petitioner; Matthew Wunsche for guardian ad litem; Richard Croutharmel for respondent. N.C. S. Ct.


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